Ph.D. in Smartwatch-Based Intelligent User Interfaces for Preventive Healthcare

Eindhoven University of Technology
December 07, 2023
Offerd Salary:€2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Ph.D. in Smartwatch-Based Intelligent User Interfaces for Preventive




Irène Curie Fellowship



Industrial Design



Date off


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Job description

We are seeking an excellent and motivated candidate for a Ph.D. position in the research and development of smartwatch-based intelligent user interfaces to support preventive healthcare applications. The Ph.D. candidate will leverage state-of-the-art AI techniques to explore opportunities for product and service design in preventive healthcare systems. These systems provide health-promoting services within people's living environments, rather than solely addressing disease symptoms in treatment facilities.

We conduct interviews in two waves, selecting on a first-come, first-serve basis. Initially, we will consider applicants who apply within the first 2 weeks. If the position remains unfilled, we will then interview candidates who apply between weeks 3 and 6.

The Ph.D. project will be mainly executed at the TU/e (TU Eindhoven) campus, where cross-disciplinary research is fostered, in cooperation with the Department of Psychology of Maastricht University (UM), Maastricht UMC+, and TU Berlin, co-funded by both ZonMw and NWO projects. The accepted Ph.D. candidate will have a unique opportunity to position themself at the forefront of future healthcare systems design.

In the first two years, the candidate will focus on the design case of experience sampling (ESM) for chronic pain management in women. Building on existing Experiencer (https:// infrastructures, the candidate will develop a tailored smartwatch app for capturing momentary assessment (i.e., self-reports), activity logs (from the accelerometer), and physiological data. The candidate will design and implement a data-capturing system, which includes a smartwatch-based intelligent user interface that adapts to user preferences and behaviors, as well as an interactive dashboard providing intuitive visualizations for patients and caregivers. The candidate will also conduct usability tests of the user interface design, and handle and analyze data generated from the technical and user studies. The candidate will collaborate with the UM and TU Berlin engineers on connecting and synchronizing the smartwatch with supplementary physiological and activity- sensing devices where relevant. User-experience tests with patient samples should provide system feedback and lead to preliminary insights into the design principles that should guide the implementation of such systems.

In the last two years, the candidate will generalize the findings to multiple design case studies of preventive healthcare applications, such as cardiac care and obesity care, carry out further empirical studies, and collaborate in design activities to understand further design issues. The candidate will conclude the studies with recommendations for smartwatch-based ESM designs for preventive healthcare. The findings will be made more accessible and practical by translating them into design principles and guidelines that are both generative and evaluative for future human-centered preventive healthcare applications.

Throughout the four-year project, the candidate will conduct multiple iterations of development and evaluation of a smartwatch-based ESM tool that (i) supports longitudinal data collection pertaining to daily life activity, emotions, and other relevant aspects; (ii) ensures higher adherence in self- tracking through the application of behavior change techniques and gamification; (iii) provides insightful and actionable data visualization powered by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence tools and techniques; (iv) supports synchronization of multiple data sources, such as external physiological or activity sensing systems; and (v) makes measurements and data collection user-friendly at home.

Job requirements

Candidates should hold a Bachelor's and Master's degree in an area relating to Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, or a closely related topic. They should be competent or eager to master full-stack engineering, including smartwatch apps, front-end and back-end web development. Moreover, candidates should demonstrate track records or a genuine interest in engaging with users and stakeholders to understand their needs, conduct co-design activities, and perform evaluation work.

All candidates should be proficient in both written and spoken English. Fluency and a good command of Dutch will be valued when carrying out further research and design activities with target users and stakeholders. Additionally, they should be proactive in collaborating with other Ph.D. students, colleagues, and supervisors from various backgrounds regarding research and education.

Excellence in creativity, autonomy, and dedication are expected personal qualities. A genuine interest in research, familiarity with design thinking, experience in academic writing and publishing scientific research, and experience in collaborative research projects will weigh positively.

The candidates should have (and will further develop in this project) strong professional and communication skills to collaborate with remote partners in a multi-national and multi-disciplinary research team.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self- aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands- on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

    Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


    Candidates will find general information about TU/e and the Industrial Design Department on https: // www.

    Specific questions about the project can be addressed to Dr. Rong-Hao Liang ( ), Dr. Pieter Van Gorp ( ), and Prof. Dr. Panos Markopoulos ( ).

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services Industrial Design, tel. +31(0)40 247 5336, email:


    Candidates are kindly asked to submit their application (a cover letter explaining your motivation for the Ph.D. study and specific interests in this project, an extensive curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and any other supporting documents (e.g., publications, awards)) using the Apply now- button on our website.

    Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded. If you have more than five documents, you will have to combine them.

    Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.

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