PhD-position “Psychedelics for personal and planetary health” – Maastricht University (UM) – Maastricht

Maastricht University (UM)

Together, the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology and the Maastricht Sustainability Institute are looking for a talented and ambitious candidate for a PhD project investigating the effects of psychedelic drugs on sustainable behavior and decision-making.

Job Description
During the course of this PhD position, you will conduct a series of observational and placebo-controlled, experimental drug trials in healthy volunteers, investigating whether psychedelic drugs’ ability to elicit self-transcendent emotions and feelings of connectedness to nature can be used to investigate key processes that may elicit transformative shifts in human cognition and behaviors that are not only related to personal health, but also towards environmental sustainability.

This proposed research is part of a synergistic, novel collaboration between the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI), School of Business Economics (SBE), and the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology (NP&PP), Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN), to explore the mechanisms by which a pharmacological intervention (a psychedelic) may enhance both personal and planetary health. You would work between both institutes throughout your four years PhD.

Additionally, 10% of your time will be dedicated to teaching courses relevant to this research line, in both institutes.


  • Successful completion of a master’s degree in psychology, environmental psychology, psychopharmacology, behavioral or ecological economics, or a related field.
  • Skills

  • A scientific mindset, critical thinking capacity, and a strong interest in psychopharmacology and environmental psychology.
  • Competence in written/spoken English.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work independently and in a team.
  • Previous experience in a research setting is not required but a plus.
  • Someone who can start in the position fully by September 1, 2024
  • Applicants are expected to include a concise CV, and a (max. 1 page) motivation letter. In addition, a research proposal related to the topic will need to be submitted (1 page, with an additional page for references and a reference list, using APA referencing style). This is to get a broad idea about how you would be addressing this topic.
  • Initial interview dates are scheduled for: 28 and 30 May, 2024.
  • What we offer
    As PhD-position “Psychedelics for personal and planetary health” at Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience , you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as ‘acknowledge and appreciate’.
  • The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply.

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