Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology

University of Zurich Department of Psychology


Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Department of Psychology

Postdoctoral Research Associate
80 %

The Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development is a scientific center at the University of Zurich focused on youth development. The Center is a joint venture between the University of Zurich and the Jacobs Foundation. We are dedicated to interdisciplinary, developmental research that will ultimately improve the lives of young people. Our researchers come from the fields of economics, psychology, and sociology. We also collaborate with scientists from additional disciplines in our efforts to best understand the first decades of life.

Prof. Shanahan's research laboratory is embedded in the interdisciplinary Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development at the University of Zurich and also in the Department of Psychology. Close collaborations are also in place with several researchers at the UZH Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, including with Prof. Boris Quednow (collaboration partner on the SNF project on substance use and stress).

Your responsibilities

Prof. Shanahan's Risk and Resilience research laboratory at the University of Zurich is looking for a post-doctoral researcher who will be tasked with secondary data analyses of several large-scale long-term longitudinal datasets with biological data. The work will involve:
  • Analyses for the secondary data analysis project "Substance Use and Stress in Young Adulthood," which was recently funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). For this project, data from the prospective-longitudinal Zurich Project on Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso, N~1400, from ages 7 to 20 years old) will be used, including newly assessed biomarkers in hair (e.g., cortisol, testosterone, substance metabolites from hair toxicology analyses).
  • Analyses of additional long-term longitudinal datasets, including, for example, the Great Smoky Mountains study (GSMS, N~1400, from ages 9 to 30 years old), which features extensive data on childhood adversities, biological markers of stress (e.g., systemic inflammation), psychopathology, and substance use.

The postdoctoral researcher will primarily be responsible for conducting data analyses and writing scientific papers. S/he will work closely with the investigative team and will have the opportunity to take the lead on publications. S/he will also supervise a few masters and bachelors theses in Psychology. Review of applications will begin immediately until position is filled. Working languages are English and German (English-speaking only will suffice). This position is planned for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of a 3rd year.

Your profile

Requirements: Candidates must have a Ph.D. in psychology, sociology, public health/epidemiology, or a closely related field when starting the position. The ideal candidate brings along strong quantitative skills, including experience with longitudinal data analysis, and substantive interests in stress, biomarkers, psychopathology and/or substance use from a developmental perspective. The ideal candidate has worked with statistical packages that handle missing and multilevel data (e.g., MPlus, R, SAS, STATA), and has excellent skills in interpreting, visualizing, and communicating results from longitudinal analyses.

What we offer

We offer varied and interesting work in an inspiring and socially relevant environment.
Diversity and inclusion are important to us.

Place of work

Zurich Oerlikon

Start of employment

Employment start date to be mutually agreed. As soon as possible, ideally by June 1st. Please submit your application by 30.04.2020.

What to include in your application (merged into one PDF file):

• a 1-2 page statement (12-pt type, single-spaced) of research interests, including at least one paragraph about how you see yourself fit into Prof. Shanahan's Risk & Resilience research agenda
• curriculum vitae, including contact information for three references
• 1-2 writing samples (publication, preprint, or manuscript)

Further information

Maria Schönholzer

Apply now

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

hamburg uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni