Vacancy PhD position @Ghent University

Job description

For the large-scale, interdisciplinary HORIZON anti-cancer research project SUNRISE, we are looking for a PhD student (m/v/x) at the research group CEPEC (Centre for Persuasive Communication) at Ghent University. We offer a fully funded PhD position for a period of 4 years with a start date preferably mid-January 2024.

Primary prevention of cancer through behavioral changes in adolescence is a huge health and societal challenge in Europe. Adolescence is a critical period in which many risk behaviors are initiated. Today’s youth is increasingly targeted with unhealthy food marketing messages that are hard to resist and which may contribute to unhealthy eating habits. This project aims to develop and test the effectiveness of two interventions (i.e., a serious game and social media influencer campaign) aimed at raising awareness on unhealthy food marketing among adolescents, increasing their resistance to this unhealthy food marketing and assisting them to make more healthy food choices.

Our mission is twofold: first, to conduct comprehensive communication research to explore how existing educational resources, such as those offered by Gezond Leven, can be thoughtfully adapted and transformed into engaging gaming experiences and an influencer campaign tailored to European adolescents. An intervention mapping approach will be used to develop the interventions. Second, the games and influencer campaign will serve as powerful tools to heighten adolescents’ awareness, understanding, and proficiency in recognizing advertising tactics while simultaneously fostering health-promoting skills. By embracing innovation and leveraging the immersive appeal of gaming and social media influencers, our project seeks to empower the youth of Europe to make informed choices about their health and well-being. The interventions will be implemented and tested in eight European countries. The researcher will also assist in the testing of interventions developed by the other partners in the project.

Application deadline: 15th of November, 2023

You can find more information on this position here.