PhD candidate "Adaptive lifestyle interventions targeting behavior change of patients with different holistic profiles" in the RECENTRE project

Wageningen University
January 08, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Job description

Are you interested in improving the quality of life of patients and citizens by advancing eHealth technology for a personalized approach and smart monitoring solutions? Are you interested in innovative research methods, such as micro-randomized trials and n-of-1 trials?

The chairgroup Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with expertise in the field of behaviour change, (e)health interventions and innovative research methods. You will be part of the national RECENTRE (Risk-based lifEstyle Change: daily-lifE moNiToring and Recommendations) program, funded by the 4TU.Federation (https: // www. By holistic and high-tech monitoring of vulnerable populations in their home and tailored recommendations, we will find timely interventions for those at risk. With our large consortium, we are connecting the four universities of technology in The Netherlands (Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente and Wageningen University and Research) with multiple clinical, patient and knowledge organizations.

In the RECENTRE project, you will investigate how to move from holistic patient profiles to recommendations for adaptive lifestyle interventions, considering the processes driving behavior change, engagement, costs, effectiveness, scalability and feasibility. There is an urgency to expand our capacities to tailor interventions to people and contexts, as many health issues, such as obesity and cancer, are highly complex (i.e., dynamic, multicausal, and manifest idiosyncratically). This calls for interventions that are individualized, contextualized and timely. The chair group Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles will use optimization trials (e.g., SMART design via the MOST research framework) to devise decision rules that specify whether, how, and when to alter the intensity, type, or delivery of treatment at critical clinical decisions during the life course, making use of the continuously collected sensor data from the patients. The focus of the PhD is on testing optimized adaptive interventions using innovative research designs, such as micro-randomized trials and n-of-1 trials.

As a PhD candidate, you go through all steps of the research process, under supervision, from writing a research plan to reporting the results in scientific and practice-oriented journals. You further develop your skills as a researcher by following a training program for PhD candidates at the Wageningen School of Social Sciences.


  • A completed relevant master's degree, for example in the social or behavioral sciences, health sciences, or related;
  • Experience with carrying out health interventions is an advantage;
  • Affinity with interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • Affinity with lifestyle related behaviour change;
  • Excellent organizational, communication and social skills;
  • Competencies to work together in a team;
  • A strong motivation to develop as a scientist;
  • Excellent English and Dutch speaking and writing skills.
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.


    Conditions of employment

    Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
  • In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

    There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

    You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the " Best University " in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

    Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


    Employer Wageningen University & Research

    Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

    Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

    WE ARE This position will be part of Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles chair group. This is a young and ambitious chair group keen to unravel the origins of healthy and sustainable consumption and lifestyle practices. These behavioural insights are used to design, evaluate and implement strategies to enable healthy and sustainable lifestyles. These strategies include upstream environmental and downstream behavioural interventions acknowledging that individual behaviour is socially embedded and arises in specific times and places. The work of the group is characterized by an inter- and transdisciplinary approach where different academic disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, public health, epidemiology and geography) and professional fields (policy, practice) collaborate. The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

    We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


    Additional information

    For more information about this function, please contact Prof. Emely de Vet by e-mail:

    For more information about the procedure, please contact Jouke van Oostenbrugge by e-mail:

    Do you want to apply? You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

    Please submit your application until January 8, 2023 and include a motivation letter, your cv and a list of grades. In addition, we ask you to provide an abstract in which you outline the research design of the project in 250 words. Job interviews will be conducted from the moment applications are submitted until we find a suitable candidate. It is thus recommended to submit your application as early as possible.

    Equal opportunities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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