Browse By

PhD Researcher Position Available at Leipzig University (Germany) and Tilburg University (The Netherlands)

A Phd Position in a Research Project


on Empathy and Formal Features of Audio-Visual Narratives



Leipzig University (Germany) and Tilburg University (The Netherlands)
Application deadline: July 27, 2018

The project An investigation of how formal features in audio-visual narratives influence audience members™ empathy and prosocial behavior , funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) invites applications for the following position, starting in November 2018:

*1 PhD researcher for three years*


The PhD will work on a project on the role of audio-visual formal features in empathic responses to fictional filmic narratives. Empathy, defined as the understanding and experiencing of mental states of an observed other person is a key psychological process that channels narrative effects of audio-visual narratives. This PhD will work in an interdisciplinary collaboration among scholars in communication, neuro- and computer sciences to identify those formal features in audiovisual fictional narratives that are capable of predicting viewers’ empathy and prosocial behavior.

The PhD will conduct research in collaboration with three universities and supervisors: Tilburg University (supervisors: dr. Katalin Bálint and Prof. Fons Maes), and Leipzig University at the Department of Empirical Research of Communication (supervisor: Prof. Anne Bartsch) and the University of Parma (external supervisor: Prof. Vittorio Gallese, visiting fellow at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain).

The primary affiliation of the PhD position is at the University of Leipzig. The PhD will also be registered at the Doctoral School of Tilburg University (Department of Communication and Cognition), and is expected to stay part of the time at the collaborating universities.

The PhD researcher will:

  • Design, prepare, conduct, analyse, disseminate experimental studies
  • Assist in presenting results of the project at scientific conferences and in journal articles
  • Write and publish peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Write a PhD thesis

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • Hold a relevant Master’s degree, preferably a Research Master’s degree
  • or equivalent qualificationsin psychology, or communication science, cognitive science, neuroscience, cognitive film studies or a related discipline

Has experience/expertise in quantitative research methods, preferably in (at least) one of the following areas:

Experimental design

Psychophysiological measures

Advanced statistics

Content analysis

Expertise/ experience/ willingness to develop in neuroscientific research

  • Good knowledge of (at least) one statistical software package (e.g., SPSS, Stata, R, or MPlus)
  • Candidates should be interested in the topic and methods of the project
  • High command of English in writing and speaking is a must
  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Have the ability and interest to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • International candidates are welcome to apply
  • Candidates who are due to finish their Master’s thesis before October 1st 2018 are welcome to apply

Payment will be 65% of a full TV-L E13 position (according to the German public servant remuneration grade table).

As an equal opportunity employer, the University of Leipzig particularly encourages applications from women and persons with disabilities.

Applications including a cover letter, indicating your earliest availability, a CV, and copies of thesis, degree certificates must be submitted on the *July 27, 2018* the latest.

Please send your application as one pdf to dr. Katalin Balint k.e.balint{at}

If you would like to read the summary of the research proposal, have any questions, please contact Katalin Balint k.e.balint{at}

Leave a Reply