Team dynamics and destructive spirals of conflict and stress by integrating different aspects of stress for startups

  • // Belgium
  • University/Institute Name Ghent University
  • University/Institute Name Department of Marketing, Innovation & Organization
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Position Duration4 years
  • Position Funding Type
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD Program)

The research project in which the successful candidate will be involved integrates research on psychological and physiological stress, conflict and team dynamics with management research, contributing to the constructive use of conflicts and promoting well-being, performance, and startup founding team success.

Startups are among the top priorities for strengthening economic growth. Despite investment into fostering their development, most new businesses fail in their first years, conflicts in startup teams and effects of work stress being two of the top reasons for this failure. This project aims to study team dynamics and destructive spirals of conflict and stress by integrating different aspects of stress (psychological, hormonal, cardiovascular, behavioral), conflict, and regulatory efforts (individual- and team-level stress and conflict coping, communication, informal performance management) in startups founding teams. Also, it aims to shed light on the way in which these dynamics can impair startup decision making, wellbeing, performance and long-term outcomes (e.g., survival, revenue, funding attracted).

Working at Ugent

  • We offer you a full-time position, initially offered for one year, but it could be renewed up to maximum four years upon positive evaluations.
  • Envisaged starting date: as soon as possible.
  • Minimum net monthly wage: €2.324,66.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of paid leave, bicycle commuting reimbursement, ecocheques, etc. A complete overview of all our fringe benefits (in Dutch):


  • The applicant should have (a) a master degree in work and organizational psychology/ Human Resources Management, or an equivalent degree and experience with and/or a strong interest in the domains of work stress and well-being, conflict management, entrepreneurship, with the use of physiological markers; or (b) Master in psychobiology or a related area with a strong interest in social sciences. A high obtained grade is recommended. The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment. Students that are in their final year can also apply.
  • The candidate should be a collaborative, dynamic person who likes to work in a multidisciplinary and inter-university research environment. He or she should have a very good knowledge of the English language and excellent communication skills (written and spoken). The applicant should have a scientific attitude towards excellence, be creative and precise, have problem-solving capacities and planning skills.


Ghent University is a world of its own. Ranked among top 100 universities in the world, employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, and technical and social services on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With each of its 11 faculties and more than 100 departments offering state-of-the-art study programs that are grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its employees as well as its students.


How to apply

To apply, please send the following documents to prof. Gosia Kozusznik ([email protected]) with “Application vacancy startup team dynamics” in the title:

  • a CV including an overview of your study results (e.g., a list of grades, diplomas, publications) and email addresses of two academic referees.
  • a motivation letter (max. 2 pages) explaining your motivation to carry out a PhD within this particular area of knowledge.

For more information about the project or details about the position, please contact Prof. Gosia Kozusznik ([email protected] ).

The closing date for applications is December 15th 2022. The applications will be reviewed in order of their reception.

The selected candidates will be invited for an interview during which they will be asked to make a short presentation (the topic and instructions will be announced after the closing date to the selected candidates).

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

Research Skills Required

Computer/Software Skills Required

Which language proficiency is required?

Applicant type required for this position

Position Start Date