PhD position, UMC Utrecht

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PhD position in Clinical Epidemiology

The UMC Utrecht and the LUMC have recently been awarded with a ZonMw TOP grant. In order to perform this study we have a vacancy for a PhD position in Clinical Epidemiology, with a focus on the use of routine care data in clinical research.

In this TOP Grant we will study ethics, law, research methodology and patient-engagement of a so-called Learning Health System, in order to transform all knowledge generating in the field of Cardiology in the UMC Utrecht and the LUMC to Learning Health Care practices. The Learning Health System (LHS) has been put forward as an alternative to the current health care system in which there is a strict division between care and clinical research and which thought to hamper progress in healthcare. In an LHS medical research is integrated in the care of patients so that the health care practices offered in the system are continuously studied, learned from and improved. Up till now, health practices have hardly been transformed into LHSs. One of the problems is that there are fundamental debates and uncertainties about appropriate research methodology to learn from routinely collected data, e.g. how to deal with poor quality data, and how to calculate treatment effects that are valid (i.e. how to account for confounding by indication, e.g. by using registry-based trials, or propensity score matching), and how to deal with poor quality data. Therefore, in your PhD thesis you will develop the methodology needed for an LHS. Topics include how 1) to assess the value of routinely collected health data for prospective assessment of the effects of (new) interventions, 2) to investigate requirements for (re)using routinely in clinical practice collected data, and 3) to develop methods for rigorously evaluation of which intervention works in whom. Using this newly developed methodology (and additional work in ethics, law, and patient-engagement), we strive to truly convert the cardiology departments at the UMCU and LUMC in LHSs.

You will be appointed at Julius Center of the UMC Utrecht. The Julius Center is internationally renowned for its applied clinical research and innovations in the methodology of clinical research. You will be supervised by Prof. dr. Diederick Grobbee of the Circulatory Health Program in the UMC Utrecht, by Dr. Ewoud Schuit (Methodology) and by Dr. Rieke van der Graaf (Medical Ethics). Your supervisor in the Leiden UMC (LUMC) will be Prof. dr. Martine de Vries (Medical Ethics). You will be expected to work closely with the other team members of the project, in particular with the PhD student Ethics (located at the LUMC) that will also be appointed to this project. Although you are appointed at the UMC Utrecht, you will be expected to work at average one day per week at the LUMC.

You have a Master’s degree in Medicine, Life Sciences, Epidemiology or equivalent. Experience in epidemiologic research (e.g. study design, statistics) is a plus, and preferably you have skills and knowledge in more than one of these fields. Affinity with research ethics is also considered an advantage. You are highly motivated, skilled in team work, but are also able to work independently. You have fluent oral and writing communication skills in English and Dutch. Fluency in Dutch is especially important because of the transformation of the two Dutch, academic sites into LHS.

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 2.919,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for three years.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses, career opportunities and personal budget. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

This is a temporary appointment for one year, which can be prolonged with two years after adequate functioning after one year. Deadline applications 26 June. Starting date: 1 September 2018. Interviews: 5 July 2018 in Utrecht.

More information
If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.Rieke van der Graaf, Assistant professor via phone +31 (0)88 75 513 47 or email

Apply here.

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.