Postdoctoral Researcher in Bayesian Graphical Modeling

University of Amsterdam Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences


Postdoctoral Researcher in Bayesian Graphical Modeling

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Educational level:  PhD
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  1 April 2023
Vacancy number:  11250

Are you interested in a postdoctoral position where you will develop a state-of-the-art methodology for the analysis of psychological networks? We are looking for a postdoc to join the Bayesian Graphical Modeling (BGM) lab ( headed by Dr. Maarten Marsman.

The psychological literature on network modeling is growing rapidly, and Bayesian statistics offers concrete solutions to outstanding methodological problems (e.g., and The network structure will be modeled with a graphical model or a Markov random field. The postdoc will develop a Bayesian methodology to assess structural changes in the network after an intervention and to model the influence of grouping or predictor variables. These variables may be observed, as in ANOVA and regression, or unobserved, as in mixture modeling or latent class analysis. After successfully deriving the Bayesian models and methodology, the candidate will implement the new methods in the open source statistical software R and JASP. In addition, the candidate will collaborate with the BGM lab on joint projects and help supervise Ph.D. students. The BGM lab will consist of two postdocs and three Ph.D students.

The BGM lab is part of the Psychological Methods Program Group at the University of Amsterdam, one of the largest and most successful research centers in psychological methods. Its main research areas are network analysis, Bayesian statistics, mathematical psychology, and psychometrics. In addition to developing novel research methods, we are actively developing psychological theory on several topics, including intelligence, psychopathology, and decision-making. The group is committed to open science and has made important methodological contributions over the past decade to facilitate transparent research practices.

What are you going to do

You will:

  • derive Bayes factors or Bayesian variable selection procedures to assess the impact of interventions and predictors on graphical models;
  • analyze the performance of proposed Bayesian solutions using formal methods and simulations;
  • implement the new Bayesian procedures in open source software such as R and JASP;
  • regularly present research results at (international) workshops and conferences and publish them in internationally renowned journals;
  • help supervise Ph.D. projects in the BGM lab.

Teaching is limited to 5% of the time, assisting in courses and supervising M.Sc. students. More teaching is possible if desired by the candidate.

What do we require

For these positions, you must have

  • a Ph.D. with a specialization in psychological methods, psychometrics, mathematical psychology, statistics, econometrics, or a related discipline;
  • hands-on experience in building Bayesian statistical models, especially Bayesian variable selection models;
  • hands-on experience with computational methods to evaluate Bayesian statistical models, e.g., Markov chain Monte Carlo methods;
  • excellent programming skills in R and C or C++;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English, as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at international conferences;
  • a good publication record;
  • excellent interpersonal and organizational skills.

It is essential that you make Amsterdam (or a location within commuting distance) your primary residence for the duration of the postdoctoral project and that you are available to start between now and September 1, 2023.

It is desirable (but not essential) that you have

  • experience using JASP or programming in JASP;
  • experience with random graph models or graphical models.

Please note that knowledge of Dutch is not required for this position.

What can we offer you

The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended for one year to a total duration of two years. For this position, the University Job Classification profile 'onderzoeker 3' applies.

Salary depends on past education and relevant work experience, with a minimum salary of €3974 and a maximum salary of €5439 gross per month based on a full-time appointment for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with scale 11, as per the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities). We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and year-end bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalization, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programs. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees, and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the Faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. Thesocial and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands, and Amsterdam, now and in the future. 

Want to know more about our organization? Read more aboutworking at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions, or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Maarten Marsman, Assistant Professor of Psychological Methods

Job application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by April 1, 2023. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in one pdf should include a CV and a letter of motivation (max. 500 words) that should address your fit to the project (see “What are you going to do?”, “What do we require?”, the referred papers, and the BGM website). If already available, a digital copy of the Ph.D thesis would also be greatly appreciated.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please

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