Vocational and Personnel Psychology Lab (VoPP)

Members of our research group


Post-doctoral researcher

Teaching assistant & PhD canditate

PhD candidate

Former PhD-students / post-doctoral researchers and assistant professors affiliated to the VoPP

Description of research group

  • The Vocational and Personnel Psychology (VoPP) lab aim to conduct research about vocational and personnel psychological themes ranging from vocational interests and choice over recruitment and selection issues, to training and career guidance / coaching. Topics investigated by VoPP members address the growing demands for evidence-based advice on various career and personnel-related issues in vocational and work-related settings.

Current research topics

HR/Personnel psychology (Eva Derous)

Targeted recruitment (Aylin Koçak)

  • The ‘Targeted Recruitment’ topic of the VoPP Lab aims to create better recruitment procedures that attract a diverse pool of applicants (older applicants, younger applicants and female applicants in particular). Aylin mainly investigates whether information in job advertisements contains stereotypes and how these stereotypes affect applicants’ experiences. Various quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used in this project, ranging from interview studies to lab experiments, such as eye-tracking experiments. This project is a collaboration with the Department of Experimental Psychology of the FPPW. This research project is financed by the Special Research Fund (BOF -UGent). 

Blending in after burning out: An interdisciplinary and dynamic perspective on determinants of successful return to work after burnout (Claudia Rooman)

  • The topic of burnout is investigated from an interdisciplinary perspective combining personnel psychology with labour economics. The focus is specifically on determinants of successful return to work upon reintegration in the labor market after a burnout episode. Next to well-being, Claudia also specializes in other research topics like diversity in hiring, overqualification and job crafting. She finds it highly important to conduct business-relevant research and to answer real-life questions organizations struggle with. This interdisciplinary research project is financed by the Special Research Fund (BOF -UGhent).
  • Link to article in Het Nieuwsblad
  • Link to article in HRMagazine (p.38)
  • Link to article in De Morgen

EdisTools (Stijn Schelfhout)

  • The Edistools project aims to support ethnic diversity and to tackle ethnic discriminatory behaviour in four life domains (work, housing, education and healthcare) by examining the underlying mechanisms and broader contexts of ethnic discrimination and by developing user-friendly training tools and assessment instruments that doctors, teachers, real estate agents / landlords and employers/ HR professionals can use to test and train themselves on intercultural effectiveness. Within this project, VoPP researchers are responsible for the development and validation of diverse assessment tools to measure and increase intercultural effectiveness. The EdisTools project is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO SBO).
  • Stijn Schelfhout obtained his PhD defending a dissertation on how vocational interests can influence both study choice and study success in the careers of freshman students using data–driven approach (i.e., SIMON-project at UGhent). Stijn’s research interests include but are not limited to vocational interests, academic achievement prediction, intercultural effectiveness and discrimination. As an experimental psychologist, Stijn has a keen preference for exploring appropriate methodological design and statistical analyses of a broad range of (applied) behavioral research, regardless of the specific topic.

Age and personnel selection in the digital age (Maaike Schellaert)

  • This PhD project aims to contribute to theoretical and practical insights into the role of age during technology-enhanced selection assessments. Based on multiple empirical studies, the dissertation examines how the use of new technologies (e.g. virtual reality) or social media (e.g. LinkedIn) might cause subgroup differences during the selection process in both test performances and perceptions between younger and older applicants. Maaike Schellaert is also interested in employment of older workers and how  technological changes might affect their retirement decisions.

Open hiring - Divergent (Eva Derous)

  • Open HiringTM is an innovative recruitment tool that aims to remove application barriers and recruitment discrimination of low-skilled job seekers. Project goals are: (a) reaching, motivating to apply and activating low-skilled job seekers, (b) promotion of job retention among low-skilled workers, (c) addressing labour market shortages. Open HiringTM is tested at the Ghent labour market. 
  • The Open Hiring project is funded by the European Social Fund in Flanders (ESF Vlaanderen), European Union and Flemish Government.
  • Partners: Divergent, Ugent - VoPP, Stad Gent, UNIZO Oost-Vlaanderen, Antwerp Managementschool, and Start Foundation
  • Contact: 

Fatal first impressions? Unravelling biased decision-making in rater-based assessments (Eva Derous)

  • Within a split second assessors form a first impression of a trainee. How does this first impression influence the final ratings of medical trainees? Unravelling this judgment process is essential for fair assessment of all medical trainees/students in our multicultural society. This VENI-project is funded by the Netherlands Research Foundation (NWO).
  • Partners: Erasmus MC, Institute of Medical Education, the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Contact:
    • Inge Otto, PhD-student,
    • Karen Stegers-Jager, supervisor
    • W. W. van den Broek, M. Ph. Born and Eva Derous, co-promotors.

Back into Business after Burn-out: the Burnout Return to Work-monitor. (Claudia Rooman, Eva Derous)

  • In one in three cases of long-term work disability, a mental health issue like burnout, is the basis. Resuming work after a burnout is easier said than done: regaining well-being in your job is quite a challenge if your work situation contributed to the dropout. In the context of relapse prevention concerning stress and burnout, there is a need for evidence-based tools that measure the quality of work resumption after burnout (the factors that contribute or hinder it). The development of an evidence-based tool (questionnaire) to monitor the success of reintegration trajectories is therefore an important ambition that the VoPP is realizing together with Divergent and important profit and non-profit practice partners, among which the City of Ghent (September 1, 2021 -  April 30, 2023).