Post-doc on Effects of misperceptions on climate actions to investigate the extent to which actors in society hold misperceptions of other

The Environmental Psychology group at the University of Groningen invites applications for a temporal post-doctoral researcher position (36 months). The project “Effects of misperceptions on climate actions” aims to investigate the extent to which different actors in society hold misperceptions of other actors (e.g., their willingness to engage in climate actions), and the antecedents and consequences of these misperceptions.

Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen has a national and international reputation for excellence. Research within the Environmental Psychology group focuses on a wide range of topics, including understanding which factors affect sustainable behaviours (such as energy use, car use, food consumption, and participation in environmental groups); understanding how people and groups cope with environmental and climate risks; understanding the effectiveness of strategies to promote sustainable behaviour; understanding the acceptability environmental policies and changes; and the effects of sustainable behaviour on wellbeing. The proposed research is funded by the Stevin prize awarded to Linda Steg for her pioneering, innovative and socially impactful research ( The research aims to contribute to theory development and practice, and is embedded in the research programme Interpersonal Behaviour, as well as in two of the focus areas of the University of Groningen: Energy and Sustainable Society. The Environmental Psychology group collaborates with scholars from different disciplines within and outside the University of Groningen, as well as with governments, NGOs, and various business organisations.

Climate change is one of the most serious threats the world is facing today. To effectively mitigate climate change, coordinated actions are needed from various actors across different sectors. There is likely to be considerable uncertainty and debate around who should be taking action, what kind of actions should be taken, and are being taken by different actors. Many actors may have inaccurate beliefs about what other people and groups believe and do (i.e., misperceptions), which could be acting as a barrier to climate actions. In this project, we will explore misperceptions of the values, beliefs, intentions and actions of other people that are held by different groups in Dutch society, including citizens, activists, employees, managers, business leaders, members of the financial sector and governmental officials. Our main research questions are: 1) To what extent do individuals hold misperceptions of other actors regarding limiting climate change? 2) Do these misperceptions affect climate actions, and if so, under what conditions? 3) Why do these misperceptions occur? 4) Can we promote climate action by addressing these misperceptions?

You will publish the results of your studies in international scientific journals, and you will present your studies at international conferences. You will be a member of the Environmental Psychology Group, and your research will be embedded in the Research Programme Interpersonal Behaviour and in the Dutch Kurt Lewin Institute.


We are looking for an early-career scholar with a PhD in Environmental Psychology (or a closely related discipline) who has a strong research record, and who is interested in combining theoretical excellence with high societal impact. We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • a PhD degree in Environmental Psychology (or a related discipline)
  • a publication record on the topic of climate change, demonstrating your ability to publish international academic publications, preferably in top tier peer-reviewed journals
  • proven record in working with and communicating research findings to varied audiences, including practitioners and the general public
  • experience with theory driven research with a clear eye for the practical implications
  • a clear interest in collaborating with scholars from other disciplines and practitioners
  • the ability to communicate verbally and in written form in English and Dutch
  • creative, critical and independent research attitude
  • ability to work independently and manage joint research activities
  • a team player with good communication skills
  • demonstrable competences as conceptual capacity, environment orientation, presenting and result orientation.


The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is a centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behaviour, and the relationships between people and society. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, and of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented. The Department of Psychology is part of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, and offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in both Dutch and English to over 3.000 students, including the international Master programme Environmental Psychology (…)onmental-psychology/).

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 2,846 to a maximum of € 4,490 (scale 10) gross per month for a full-time position
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus on the annual gross income
  • attractive secondary and market terms of employment
  • a temporary position of 1.0 FTE for a period of three years.

Intended starting date: as soon as possible.


Applicants are requested to submit:

  • a motivation letter stating your motivation to apply for the position and your key qualities relevant for this position
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • contact information of two academic references.

You may apply for this position until 14 June 11:59pm / before 15 June 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:…)rsity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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