Open PhD position on Socio-Emotional Processes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (100%)

FernUni Schweiz
Faculty of Psychology, Swiss Distance Learning University, Brig, Switzerland
WorkplaceFribourg and Geneva, North Romandie, Switzerland
Durationfour years
Occupation rate100%
StartSeptember 1, 2018

Department of Special Education, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Faculty of Psychology, Swiss Distance Learning University, Brig, Switzerland


We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled candidate willing to pursue a PhD over a period of four years to focus on a project that aims at better understanding socio-emotional processes in individuals with and without neurodevelopmental disorders, i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Williams syndrome. Using a multi-method approach including psychophysiology, possibly NIRS, and virtual reality (VR), the PhD student will contribute to developing a battery of tests designed to measure social approach, positive emotion, and emotion regulation and to recruiting participants in German speaking regions. Therefore, besides good English writing skills, the candidate should ideally be able to speak German. The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Distance Learning University (Brig, Switzerland).
The main lab will be at the Department of Special Education, University of Fribourg, but some activities will also be at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva. The PhD candidate will be part of the Swiss Doctoral School in Affective Sciences.


The candidate should have knowledge and experience with running experiments, is expected to prepare stimulus material, to program the experiments in eprime/matlab, and to help set up mobile physiological assessments including VR stimulation with collaborators at the CISA, Campus Biotech.
The candidate obtained a Masters degree in Psychology, Neurosciences, Special education or a related field and had at least a grade of 5 (Swiss grade system with 6 as the maximum) in his or her masters. Ideally, the candidate already has some research experience. Good social-communication skills are also necessary since the candidate will conduct assessments with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders including intellectual disability. Programming experiences (e.g., Matlab, Eprime) would be an advantage. The candidate has a strong interest in conducting research, excellent writing and communication skills and a good command of English and German.


Applications must include:
Motivation letter
Curriculum Vitae
Copy of the university marks (grade list)
2 reference letters (that should be sent directly to

Please send your application (CV and a cover letter) to:
For more information on the position, please contact: Prof. Andrea Samson, Swiss Distance Learning University, Brig, & Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), Campus Biotech, University of Geneva & Department of Special Education, University of Fribourg. -
In your application, please refer to
and reference  JobID 40118.