The DFG Research Training Group “Statistical Modeling in Psychology” offers 8 scholarships for its PhD program.

The SMiP group is a transregional collaboration of twelve renowned behavioural researchers from five German universities: University of Mannheim, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, University of Koblenz-Landau at Landau, and Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. The SMiP group aims to overcome the gap between substantive research in psychology and recent developments in statistical modeling and psychometrics. Projects in the SMiP group therefore combine research topics from a relevant area of psychology with current advances in statistical modeling.

Participation in the SMiP program includes a PhD project under the supervision of a team of SMiP researchers and a curriculum on advanced statistical models for psychological research. Applicants must hold a very good research-oriented Master’s degree in psychology and should have great interest in approaching substantive research questions by means of statistical modeling. This can entail applying existing models or developing new models. As the official language of the SMiP group is English, proficiency in oral and written English is essential.

PhD projects can be assigned to three thematic areas: (1) cognition and social cognition, (2) motivation and affect, and (3) individual differences.

(1) Examples for statistical modeling in “cognition and social cognition” are models for disentangling encoding, retrieval and judgment processes in memory, or evidence accumulation models of decision making. Models are developed to test and revise substantive cognitive and social-cognitive theories (e.g., processing accounts of priming, dual-process theories of attitudes, theories of social memory).

(2) Research questions in the area “motivation and affect” refer to affective experiences and affect regulation, work-related processes (e.g., job stressor perceptions, recovery from work), as well as properties of assessment methods (e.g., ambulatory assessment, assessment of sensitive attributes).

(3) PhD Projects on “individual differences” can focus on interindividual differences in personality and cognition, or on the interplay between individual differences in one domain (e.g., personality) and other fields of psychological research (e.g., processing strategy in judgment situations or memory tasks).

The SMiP program starting in October 2020 supports and accelerates work on the PhD projects: It entails 6 semesters of courses, skill trainings, and workshops instructed by SMiP researchers and other renowned experts in the respective fields. The SMiP group provides scientific contact and exchange with distinguished researchers worldwide and supports visits to external labs and research groups abroad. Participation in the SMiP program further includes conference and travel support, office space, IT equipment, and access to local laboratory facilities.

Interested candidates should send the completed SMiP Application Form plus the necessary certificates and documents (see to Dr. Anke Söllner via e-mail to or mail to University of Mannheim, Research Training Group SMiP, B6, 30-32, 68159 Mannheim, Germany.

The closing date for applications is midnight April 15th 2020.

The Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Koblenz-Landau, Mannheim, and Tübingen seek to increase the percentage of female scientists. Thus, qualified women are especially encouraged to apply.

Please note that confidentiality violations and unauthorised third party access cannot be ruled out when using email communications that are not encrypted.

After the application procedure, applications sent via standard mail will only be sent back if a postpaid envelope is included; otherwise they will be destroyed according to statutory provisions of data privacy law; electronic applications will be deleted.


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