Department of Health Psychology University Klagenfurt


Open Positions

We are looking for motivated students and scientists to join our growing team. The following positions are currently open:

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2 years, 100%:
A two-year post-doctoral position is available at the University of Klagenfurt in the Institute for Psychology. This position is funded through the European Commission Horizon 2020 program and under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases network (Principal Investigator, Prof. Heather Foran). The project, “RISE”, uses an implementation science approach to test a parenting program in southeastern Europe.  Main responsibilities include data analysis, coauthoring research publications, and coordination of research activities across countries. Interest and competencies in statistical methods are required, as well as excellent English skills. Career development opportunities are available and actively supported.

Description of the Position:
Start date: January 1, 2020 (flexible)
Two years

Doctorate degree in psychology, statistics, or other related fields
Excellent data analytical skills
Excellent language skills in English
Excellent language skills in German (preferred, but not required)
Interest in public health interventions and parenting research fields

Application Process:
Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts and certifications to the departmental secretary, Ms. Iris Krische: If you have questions about the position, please contact Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, Please also visit our project website and department website (, Applications will be reviewed immediately and until the position is filled.

 Doctoral Student Position: A 4-year full-time doctoral position in the research group of Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran is open. The deadline for applications is June 26th, 2019 . For more details, please see the following job ad: (Link).

 Research internship – as soon as possible

We are offering several research internships with the possibility for an immediate start within the international RISE project. The RISE project is a large multi-site study conducted in three South-eastern European countries. The focus of RISE is on evaluating a parenting intervention for vulnerable families who report child behaviour problems. The research internship is under the supervision of Dr. Elena Jansen and Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran.

Tasks include amongst others:

– Data coding and analysis
– Literature searches and contribution to development of study manuals
– Testing of data assessment procedures via tablets
– Attending local team meetings

Please send your application including your CV to

We will contact you if we need any further information.

Student Research Internships

Research project: Connecting Older Adults and Their Families through Social Technology

This research project examines social isolation in elderly family members (study 1) and aims to test an intervention to increase contact between young adults and their grandparents through training in online video or phone calls (study 2).

The research internship is in collaboration with Janina Müller and under supervision of Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran at the Department of Health Psychology, at Klagenfurt University. If interested, contact Janina Müller at

Tasks include:

Study 1:
· importing data into SPSS
· data preparation (e.g., survey data cleaning, specify missing values, evaluate psychometric properties of study measures, coding variables)
· analyzing data (e.g., descriptive statistics, correlations, regressions)

Study 2:
· editing materials for recruitment
· recruiting participants for studies (e.g., older adults in retirement homes)
· collecting data
· support the implementation of the psychoeducational intervention with older adults and their families (e.g., prepare training materials, support older adults to complete the questionnaire)
· importing data into SPSS
· data preparation (e.g., survey data cleaning, specify missing values, coding variables, evaluate psychometric properties of study measures)
· analyzing data (e.g., descriptive statistics, correlations, regressions)

Researchers are looking for participants.

 Research project investigating the connectedness of older adults and their families through social technology

Janina Müller, doctoral student under supervision and in collaboration with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, is looking for younger and older adults to participate in a research study which examines social isolation in elderly family members and aims to test an intervention to increase contact between young adults and their grandparents through training in social technology.

To be eligible for this study, you must meet the following criteria:
Young adults; 18 years or older, german-speaking
Older adults; 65 years or older, german-speaking

If you are interested in participating:
Young adults can complete an online survey (approx. 45 minutes):
Older adults will either receive the paper-pencil questionnaire (approx. 20 minutes):
       at the Psychology Department (Room N.2.27 or N.2.50) at Klagenfurt University or
       by post/ email

To register your interest for this study, please contact the the study facilitator Janina Müller (

Research Focus

Most of the contributing factors to the global burden of disease are non-communicable diseases with predominately behavioral and environmental risk factors. Many of these risk factors are preventable, and our research team is interested in understanding these risk factors and their causes. Our research also includes studies on screening, assessment, prevention, treatment, and implementation. Current topics of interest include child nutrition, physical activity, obesity, family maltreatment, mental health, parenting, child behavioral symptoms, stress management, and interpersonal dysfunctions such as social isolation.

Family Psychology

Family problems and family maltreatment are major public health problems that can affect physical and mental health across the lifespan.

  • Improve screening and assessment of family problems and maltreatment
  • Understand the role of interpersonal processes in health behaviors and disease progress
  • Develop and test family-based interventions

Digital Health

Digitalization presents opportunities and challenges for health research and health care.

  • Evaluate online user health behaviors and health information
  • Develop and test innovative technology-based health interventions
  • Conduct implementation studies on behavioral health offers

Public Health

Behavioral risk factors such as poor nutrition, obesity, low physical activity, alcohol use, and psychological disorders are important for reducing global burden of disease. Prevention and early interventions targeting behavioral risk factors among children has wide-ranging implications for public health.

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research on behavioral public health
  • Coordinate the university research cluster on Public Health
  • Disseminate science-based health promotion offers to the community

Selected Projects

RISE, “Prevention of child mental health problems in Southeastern Europe – Adapt, Optimize, Test, and Extend Parenting for Lifelong Health”. EU-Horizon 2020, Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases funded project, 2018-2021
Klagenfurt Team members: Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran (Principal Investigator), Dr. Elena Jansen, Lucia Kuhn, Hugh Murphy

Family Validation Study. Validation of the criteria and interview for parent-child relational problems.
Klagenfurt Team members: Iris Fraude, Janina Mueller, Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran (Principal Investigator) 2018-2020. Collaboration with Prim. Dr. Wolfgang Wladika, Klinikum Klagenfurt, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Neurology.

A Psychoeducation Family Intervention via Social Technology to Improve Social Support, Health and Well-Being among Elderly. Funded project. 2018-2020.
Klagenfurt Team: Janina Müller (Doctoral student), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran (Supervisor)

Online Health-Related Information Seeking for Self and Family Members. (since 2018)
Klagenfurt Team: Christian Kubb (Doctoral student), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran (Supervisor)

Automated Facial Affect Coding to Understand Couple Processes. (since 2015)
Klagenfurt Team: Iris Fraude, Univ.-Prof.
Dr. Heather Foran, in Collaboration with Ulm University

Relationship Functioning, Depression and Anxiety in American and German couples. DFG-funded project (2011-2015).
This project examines the 10 year course of family functioning and psychopathology among German families who participated in a previously DFG-funded RCT of Triple P Parenting program. We also have been examining the associations between family functioning, psychopathology, and physical health outcomes over the ten year period. Klagenfurt Team: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, in Collaboration with TU Braunschweig, Germany.

International Parental Burnout Study. (Austrian lead, 2019-2020).
Klagenfurt team: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, Hugh Murphy, Katharina Prandstetter in collaboration with overall international lead (Prof. Isabelle Roskam & Prof. Moira Mikolajczak). This study was supported by a collaboration with FOKUS KIND Medien

Relational Processes and the ICD-11. (since 2009). In collaboration with the Relational processes working group. See recent publications:


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran
Professor, Chair of Department

Room: N.2.28
Office Hours: Thursday, 15-16

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Brigitte Jenull

Room: N.2.29
Office Hours: Thursday 10-12

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sven Rabung

Room: N.2.34a
Office Hours: Tuesday 14-15

Iris Krische

Dr. Elena Jansen

Dr. Xiang Zhao

 Janina Müller, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Christian Kubb, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Hugh Murphy, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Franziska Fides Dichtl, B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Franziska Waller, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Lucia Johanna Kuhn, B.Sc., B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Jennifer Fierla, B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Jonas Leo Müller
Student Staff Member





Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Institute for Psychology
Department of Health Psychology
Universitätsstr. 65-67
A-9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria

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Department of Health Psychology Klagenfurt