Vacancies 64504-PhD-candidate-Social-Health-And-Reserve-in-the-Dementia-patient-journey

  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 3 years
  • Date of publication: 8 February 2019
  • Deadline: 22 February 2019
  • Scale 10A: max € 42220 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
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Job description

Do you want to jumpstart your academic career as a PhD student in a truly international environment? Are you in for an engaging scholarly debate with mentors who are passionate about healthy brain aging? Then Nijmegen is the place to be!

The PhD candidate position is part of an international research project that aims to unravel the interplay between social health and biological and psychological factors on the trajectory from cognitively healthy through MCI to dementia. There will be a specific focus on the bidirectional link of social health and cognition before and after dementia develops, the biological substrate on imaging, and the modifying role of brain and cognitive reserve.

You will be involved in a work package that focuses on mapping the multidimensional trajectories of social health and other predictors and outcomes of cognitive decline across the full patient journey. To that aim, you will conduct several epidemiological studies (coordinated and mega-analyses) using existing, international, longitudinal cohort studies. Next, you will coordinate a cross-national qualitative study to enrich the epidemiological and mechanistic understanding of the role of social health in cognitive decline trajectories.

The SHARED project is an international collaboration with partners from renowned institutes from eight countries across the world. During your three years of training, you will be working in Nijmegen (Nl) and expected to be working a shorter period in one of the partner institutes abroad. The Neuro-epidemiology group of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam  is the second Dutch partner in this project and you will collaborate closely with the PhD candidate appointed in Rotterdam.


You should have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in medicine, biomedical or related science and have a strong interest in (neuro)epidemiology. You have experience in epidemiological studies (of aging), and show eagerness to acquire expert level competencies in qualitative research. In addition, you have evidenced outstanding analytical, communicative and collaborative skills, and you are already skilled in writing scientific articles. Given that this is a three (rather than a four) year PhD candidate position, relevant working experience as a (junior) researcher is strongly recommended.

This study will offer you the opportunity to do crosscutting research on a pertinent topic in a stimulating international environment with access to both high-quality data and expert supervision from across the world. This may jumpstart your academic career. However, for these promises to deliver, this requires your dedication, determination to succeed, ability to scientifically excel, and above all creativity to handle (scientific) challenges as they come along. You should demonstrate the potential to be one of those emerging scientific talents of the future generation.


The Radboud University Medical Center and the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences offer a unique, multidisciplinary working and learning environment with opportunities for developing expertise in a diversity of research areas and techniques. Dr. René Melis, Marieke Perry, Prof. Marcel Olde Rikkert and Prof.  Myrra Vernooij-Dassen (Radboudumc) will work together in training and mentoring you. In addition, you will be supervised for parts of the research by Prof. Arfan Ikram and Prof. Meike Vernooij (Erasmus MC) and other international colleagues.

The complex interaction between person and environment, out of which cognitive decline and dementia emerges, urges for a workforce of interdisciplinary researchers, who are at ease to apply a mixture of methods and are able to collaborate in (international) networks across the boundaries of their own disciplines, institutes and biases. The international SHARED consortium offers an excellent arena to train you to become one of such a new generation of researchers.

Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and how you can do your part.

Employment conditions

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be, depending on the type of job, a screening based on the provided cv. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf.

Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions and what our International Office can do for you when moving to the Netherlands.

Comments and contact information

You should submit a motivation letter (max. 1 page), a cv (including a list of grades obtained during your MSc study), and the names of two persons who can provide references.

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. René Melis, senior researcher Geriatrics. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

Please apply before 22 February.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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