Marie Sklodowka Curie Fellowship – Call for Expressions of Interest


Research Group MIOS (Media, ICT & Interpersonal Relations in Organizations & Society) at the University of Antwerp seeks expressions of interests from potential postdoctoral researchers wishing to apply for a Marie Sklodowka Individual European Fellowship. Selected candidates will receive dedicated support from one or more of the MIOS professors (depending on the topic of the application) to develop their proposal and application for submission to the European Commission on 14 September 2017 (17.00 o’clock Brussels local time). We welcome proposals focusing on:

Cyberbullying: definition, measurement, typology, prevalence, profiles of bullies and victims, impact and evidence-based interventions (contact and  

Online, data-driven marketing communication and privacy: different types of personalized online marketing communications, consumers’ disclosure of personal data in online marketing, the (persuasion) knowledge and experience of children and adolescents in the area of online marketing communications (contact,,

Online self-disclosure and privacy: what influences adolescents’ and adults’ online self-disclosure and privacy protective behaviours, including online self-disclosure in interpersonal communication related opportunities and risks  (e.g., online friendships, online dating, sexting) (contact and

Digital gaming: the study of player experiences and player involvement, the integration of marketing communication into games (e.g. in-game advertising, advergames, in app persuasion), the health implications of games (contact

Health Narratives: the use of narrative communication to promote health behaviors (contact,, and   

Food Media Studies: study the impact of food media (cooking shows, Instagram, FoodTube and so on) on food literacy among children and adults (contact


Only postdoctoral candidates with a good track record in terms of research and publications are asked to apply.

About MIOS

MIOS is a research group within the Department of Communication Studies at the Faculty Social Sciences. Our researchers are dedicated to the study of individuals’ uses of media and ICT, as well as interpersonal relations within organisations and the broader society, to pursue evidence based communication strategies and policy.

For detailed information see:

We offer

The Marie Sklodowka Curie Individual Actions (MSCA) are prestigious fellowships funded by the European Commission. They offer a generous allowance for 1-3 years including mobility, family and research allowance. Applicants can be from any country, must hold a PhD (or equivalent), and must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the MCIF deadline on 14 September 2017. More information on the MSCA can be found on this website: 

How to apply?

Candidates are invited to submit their Expression of Interest to and by 10 July 2017.

  • The Expression of Interest should include 1) Your CV limited to a maximum of 5 pages 2) A 2-3 page research proposal 3) a motivation letter identifying research synergies with MIOS members. Please email this as ONE PDF file attachment, putting ‘Expression of Interest’ as your email heading to and
  • Results will be announced by 17 July 2017.


Please note: You are sending an Expression of Interest that you wish to work with us to apply for a Marie Sklodowka Curie Fellowship. You are not applying for a University of Antwerp Fellowship.

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.


Dating it Safe Study: publication and podcast

Joris Van Ouytsel talks in the JOSN podcast with Dr. Julia Muennich Cowell, Executive Editor of the Journal of School Nursing, about a new study published in the April issue of the journal entitled “The Associations Between Substance Use, Sexual Behaviors, Bullying, Deviant Behaviors, Health, and Cyber Dating Abuse Perpetration”.  The study uses data from the Dr. Jeff R. Temple's Dating it Safe study and Joris worked on the publication during his time as a Fulbright grantee at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. The study focuses on the links between perpetration of digital forms of dating violence and other forms of risky behavior and risky behaviors. The results of the study showed that having had sexual intercourse or using alcohol or drugs before having sex was significantly linked with cyber dating abuse perpetration, as was poor physical health, and substance use. Joris also discusses why research on digital forms of dating violence is needed. 

Listen to the podcast

Full publication


Dating violence is an important public health concern and is considered to be a form of school violence. While digital technologies have enabled perpetrators of dating violence to target their victims online (cyber dating abuse), little is known about how this form of perpetration relates to specific adolescent risk behaviors. This brief research report focuses on the associations between substance use, sexual behaviors, deviant behaviors, self-reported health, and cyber dating abuse perpetration. Participants included 705 ethnically diverse adolescents (n = 408; 57.9%female) in Southeast Texas. Having had sexual intercourse or using alcohol or drugs before having sex was significantly linked with cyber dating abuse perpetration, as was poor physical health, and substance use. Consistent with limited research, we found a link between cyber dating abuse and engagement in bullying behaviors. The discussion section includes suggestions for school nurse practice and further research.

Mediated narratives, interactive technology, and health behaviors.

Can you use a TV soap or a game to promote health? What is the role and impact of health stories from celebrities, (blogging) patients and health organisations? How should health and media professionals work together? And what challenges do health communication scholars face? These and other questions were answered at the HealthNar closing symposium.

On March 23-24, 2017, the closing symposium of the European IRSES Health Narratives Network was organized at the University of Antwerp (Belgium).  On the first day, the potential of Entertainment-Education for health promotion was explored. On the second day, new technologies and new storytellers were put in the spotlights.

The symposium included keynote lectures, poster presentations, interactive sessions and a roundtable discussion. Several renowned scholars and field experts contributed.

The symposium invited health promotion practitioners, media professionals, health communication scholars, and health and media policymakers to participate. 

Young people confronted with hate speech online

Research conducted by MIOS among more than 1000 12-18-year-olds found that one third of girls received unwanted comments about their looks, body or sexuality. One out of five teen girls were confronted with sex related gossip through social media. One in five have been called names. 

More information about the study can be obtained from Heidi Vandebosch, Karolien Poels, Kathleen Van Royen

More details about the AMiCA projectAutomatic Monitoring for Cyberspace Applications, a collaboration between the research teams CLiPS, MIOS, LT3, IBCN & VISICS. 

Hereafter you'll find more information (in Dutch):

Bijna één op de vijf Vlaamse tienermeisjes wel eens ongewenst “hoer” of “slet” genoemd via sociale media.

Een heel aantal tienermeisjes in Vlaanderen werd al eens geconfronteerd met seksueel grensoverschrijdend gedrag via sociale media. Dat blijkt uit onderzoek van het Departement Communicatiewetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen, uitgevoerd door Kathleen Van Royen in samenwerking met Prof. Heidi Vandebosch en Prof. Karolien Poels.

Een kleine 1.000-tal jongeren tussen 12 en 18 jaar werd gevraagd naar hoe vaak ze in de voorbije 6 maanden op sociale media “ongewenst” geconfronteerd werden met  bepaalde seksueel getinte uitspraken of acties. Bijna één derde van de meisjes kreeg al eens een ongewenste opmerking over uiterlijk, lichaam of seksualiteit. Over één of vijf werd een seksueel getinte roddel verspreid via sociale media, en bijna één op vijf werd ongewenst "hoer" of "slet" genoemd. Ongeveer zeven procent van de meisjes kreeg ooit een seksueel getinte vraag waar dwang of bedreigingen aan te pas kwamen. Van bijna één procent, tot slot, werd een foto met naakt verspreid via sociale media.

Meisjes krijgen het volgens de studie beduidend zwaarder te verduren dan jongens. “Mee aan de basis van deze cijfers ligt een ongelijke genderhouding” legt onderzoekster Kathleen Van Royen uit. "Zo heerst bijvoorbeeld nog het idee dat wanneer je je als meisje te aantrekkelijk voorstelt of te suggestief gedraagt, je daarvoor moet worden afgestraft", zegt Van Royen. Maar ook sociale media faciliteren dit doordat zulke opmerkingen niet in iemands gezicht hoeven gegeven te worden of anoniem kunnen zijn. Daders zijn vaak jongens of oudere mannen, maar ook meisjes doen dit. Zij handelen eerder vanuit jaloezie, een bepaalde onzekerheid of door ruzie. 

De impact van cybergeweld kan moeilijk onderschat worden, vindt Van Royen, omdat die vaak groter is als er meer getuigen zijn. Bovendien is het voor jonge meisjes moeilijk om zich van sociale media weg te trekken omdat dit deel van hun leefwereld uitmaakt. “Meisjes die herhaaldelijk zulke opmerkingen krijgen of de controle verliezen over de situatie, kunnen hier negatieve emotionele gevolgen van ondervinden”, aldus Van Royen. Vooral voor jonge meisjes kan dat een grote impact hebben, en dus vindt Van Royen dat er dringend actie ondernomen moet worden tegen deze toch wel hoge cijfers. «Kinderen moeten al van jongs af aan bewust gemaakt worden van gelijke genderverhoudingen. Dat kan bijvoorbeeld op school gebeuren.” Het is daarbij heel belangrijk om potentiële daders duidelijk te maken wat de impact kan zijn. Bovendien is het belangrijk om meisjes weerbaar te maken en om hen beter te leren omgaan met online geweld.

"Er worden al goede sensibiliseringsacties ondernomen", zegt de onderzoekster, zoals door Mediawijs, Child Focus, en Sensoa. "Maar een meer structurele aanpak is nodig.” Sociale media kunnen bovendien zelf meehelpen aan het inperken van de cijfers, maar behalve rapporteringsmechanismen en gebruikersrichtlijnen, doen ze dat momenteel nog te weinig. Uit eerder onderzoek bleek al dat Facebook soms niets aanvangt met klachten van jongeren.

MIOS part of the international HealthNar program

Narratives play an increasingly important role in (online) communication about health issues. News reporters not only report the cold facts about an upcoming epidemic, but also increasingly employ techniques that are used in novels and movies. Serious games use interactive storytelling techniques to improve the health of children. Health campaigns use celebrities and role models in order to convince a target audience to adopt healthy habits.

In spite of their increasing use, relatively little is known about the effects of narratives in a health communication context, as expertise on narratives is scattered across different disciplines.

The objective of the HealthNar program is

  • to strengthen and consolidate the emerging field of narrative health communication and
  • to establish a flourishing and solid multidisciplinary research exchange network on narratives and health.

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