PhD Student for Project in Mozambique

Professors Michael Gielnik (Leuphana University of Lueneburg) and Michael Frese (Leuphana University of Lueneburg) seek qualified applicants for the position of PhD Student for a project with the World Bank to do psychological training with farmers in Mozambique. The goal of the training is to increase the farmers’ effectiveness. The training is part of a poverty reduction initiative.

We focus on an action oriented training of personal initiative (cf. Frese et al., 2006) for farmers in Mozambique (supported by the World Bank). The project is a randomized controlled experiment with long term measures of the success of the training program. Several hundreds of farmers will take part in the experiment. The PhD student will have to travel several times to Mozambique (including its rural areas). The tasks include conducing preliminary fieldwork including focus groups together with colleagues from the World Bank, improving and adapting the training program to the group of farmers in Mozambique, holding a Train-the-Trainer workshop (as part of the scientific team from Leuphana University),  quality assurance, and supervising the data collection of the long-term evaluation studies. The PhD student can set up additional studies on entrepreneurship in the context of entrepreneurship (training) in the developing world.

The language of the PhD thesis is English. It usually consists of 2-3 articles, one of them is the major article on the project.

For additional information about the project see: Frese, M., Gielnik, M. M., & Mensmann, M. (2016). Psychological training for entrepreneurs to take action: Contributing to poverty reduction in developing countries. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(3), 196-202.

The position offers an opportunity to earn your PhD and gain first-hand field management experience in a complex randomized controlled field study.

Start and duration date:

May or June 2017, with some flexibility. There will be a 3-year contract with the understanding that you have finished your dissertation in this period.


Lueneburg, Germany and Mozambique

Education and/or work experience requirements:

  • A Master’s degree in psychology or business with very good grades.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a developing country.
  • High degree of personal initiative.
  • Very good knowledge of methods of statistical analysis of data and of doing studies.
  • Experience living and conducting field research in a developing country is a plus.
  • Very good management and organizational skills.
  • Prior scientific publication is a plus (in any language).
  • Fluency communication skills in Portuguese and English.
  • Flexibility, self-motivation, the ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently.
  • Manage high-level relationships with partner organizations.

Salary and benefits:

The PhD student will receive a salary in line with the regulations for a German PhD student. The project will cover the expenses for the trips to Mozambique.

If you are interested, please contact Professor Pedro Neves as soon as possible. Please send a letter of motivation, letters of recommendation (if available) and/or referee contacts and your CV under the subject “PhD for Project in Mozambique”.

For any additional information or clarification, please contact Professor Pedro Neves.