International Opportunities: Build Bridges to New Horizons

Ph.D Project on Empathy and Formal Features of Audio-Visual Narratives (Germany) Deadline: July 27, 2018

Leipzig University (Germany) in collaboration with

Tilburg University (The Netherlands) and The University of Parma (Italy)

Application Deadline

July 27, 2018

Program Commencement

November, 2018

Duration of the Program

Three Years

Program Details

For the project ‘An investigation of how formal features in audio-visual narratives influence audience members’ empathy and prosocial behavior’ funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Leipzig University and Tilburg University jointly invite applications for the position of a Ph.D researcher.

If selected, you will work on a project on the role of audio-visual formal features in empathic responses to fictional filmic narratives. The work is an interdisciplinary collaboration among scholars in communication, neuro- and computer sciences to identify those formal features in audiovisual fictional narratives that are capable of predicting viewers’ empathy and prosocial behavior. The research is conducted in collaboration with three universities and supervisors: Tilburg University (Supervisors: Dr. Katalin Bálint and Prof. Fons Maes), Leipzig University at the Department of Empirical Research of Communication (Supervisor: Prof. Anne Bartsch) and the University of Parma (External supervisor: Prof. Vittorio Gallese, visiting fellow at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain). The primary affiliation of the Ph.D position is at the University of Leipzig. However, you will also be registered at the Doctoral School of Tilburg University (Department of Communication and Cognition), and is expected to stay part of the time at the collaborating universities.

You will be required to

  • Design, prepare, conduct, analyse, disseminate experimental studies
  • Assist in presenting results of the project at scientific conferences and in journal articles
  • Write and publish peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Write a Ph.D thesis.

Payment will be 65% of a full TV-L E13 position (according to the German public servant remuneration grade table).

Descriptions & Requirements

Read Audience Evolution that examines the definition of the industry-audience relationship!



Applicants should have

  1. A relevant Master’s degree, preferably a Research Master’s degree or equivalent qualifications in psychology, or communication science, cognitive science, neuroscience, cognitive film studies or a related discipline,
  2. Experience/expertise in quantitative research methods, preferably in (at least) one of the following areas:
    • Experimental design
    • Psychophysiological measures
    • Advanced statistics
    • Content analysis
  3. Expertise/ experience/ willingness to develop in neuroscientific research
  4. Good knowledge of (at least) one statistical software package (e.g., SPSS, Stata, R, or MPlus)
  5. High command of English in writing and speaking is a must

Candidates interested in the topic and methods of the project with excellent organizational skills and the ability and interest to work in an interdisciplinary team may apply.

Candidates who are due to finish their Master’s thesis before October 1st 2018 are eligible to apply.

If you would like to read the summary of the research proposal, please contact Dr. Katalin Bálint

Application Process

The following documents are to be consolidated into a single PDF file and sent by email to Dr. Katalin Bálint

  • Cover letter, indicating your earliest availability
  • CV
  • Copies of thesis
  • Copes of degree certificates

As an equal opportunity employer, the University of Leipzig particularly encourages applications from women and persons with disabilities.

If you have any questions, please contact Katalin Bálint

Mention that you found this call on The Insightist, Berlin.

If you like to hear about more such calls follow us in any of these channels:

The Insightist participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This means that whenever you buy a book or anything else on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price (at no extra cost for you). That helps the Insightist to offset a fraction of its maintenance cost, and is very much appreciated.

Click Below to Share this Article: Sharing is Caring!