Vacant PhD student position at UCLouvain/IPSY in the area of clinical psychology


A 2-year PhD position is open at the Psychological Sciences Research Institute (IPSY) at UCLouvain (Belgium) to work on a project entitled ‘Reflective Practice for Psychotherapists’. The successful candidate will work with Professor Jochem Willemsen to develop an empirical study on the effectiveness of reflective practice in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. There is very little empirical research about highly effective psychotherapists, and almost none about the factors that mediate the acquisition and maintenance of superior performance skills. In this project, the focus is on reflective practice as a core skill for professional development in psychotherapists.

Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of clinical psychology
  • Submit an application to the ‘Commission doctorale du domaine en sciences psychologiques et de l’éducation’ (CDPE) in order to be accepted as a PhD student
  • Contribute to setting up of the study, data collection and analysis
  • Maintain contacts with psychotherapists involved in the study
  • You contribute to securing ethics approval for the study
  • You write up research for publication and disseminate findings via conference presentations at relevant international conferences
  • You submit an application to FRESH for follow-up funding

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in Psychology, or an equivalent. The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment
  • You can submit outstanding academic results
  • Students in the final year of their degree can also apply
  • You are interested in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy research
  • You are willing to conduct scientific research in order to obtain a PhD
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious and cooperative
  • You have demonstrable knowledge and skills in quantitative methodologies
  • You have good English and French language skills

We offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation
  • The earliest starting date of the scholarship is October 1th, 2020
  • A monthly grant
  • A dynamic and stimulating work environment

How to apply?

  • CV, an overview of your study results and a cover letter
  • A transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than French, English or Dutch, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • For diplomas awarded outside of the European Union, a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be submitted. This can be requested via
  • Applications must be send in one PDF document to by July 20th, 2020 at the latest

More information

For more information please contact Prof Jochem Willemsen, tel: +32 10 47 43 80, mail: