PhD project: cardiorespiratory fitness in survivors of childhood cancer

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
September 23, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD project: cardiorespiratory fitness in survivors of childhood cancer

(ref. BAP-2023-566)

Last modification : Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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The 5-year survival rate of childhood cancer is increasing up to 85%. Despite this improvement however, the growing number of childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing long-term side effects with a tremendous impact on quality of life. A decrease in cardiorespiratory fitness is one of the most important and common side effects, which is related with increased mortality and comorbidity risk.

However, little is understood about the underlying mechanisms of this reduction, and conflicting evidence exists about the effectiveness of exercise training to improve fitness. Therefore, this project seeks to investigate the limiting factors of cardiorespiratory fitness in childhood cancer survivors, including heart function, muscle strength and oxygenation, as well as potential associations with lifestyle, psychosocial, and demographic factors. Additionally, the project will co-develop and test individually-tailored physical activity programs to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. The ultimate goal of this innovative proposal is to equip all individual childhood cancer survivors with personalized tools to enhance cardiorespiratory fitness, which in turn can maximize their physical and mental well-being and overall quality of life.

  • You possess (or will obtain before September 2023) a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Movement sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or an equivalent degree.
  • You are intrinsically motivated for the doctoral subject (see below) and work with precision.
  • You have a strong command of both Dutch and English and exhibit a fluent academic writing style.
  • You are proficient in communication and excel in collaborative teamwork.
  • You are committed to dedicating yourself to four consecutive years of conducting doctoral research at KU Leuven.
  • You are willing to apply for an FWO aspirant or SB mandate.
  • You demonstrate good teaching and communication skills and exhibit a strong sense of responsibility.
  • You have excelled during your studies.
  • Offer

    The current position is offered for a duration of 2 years and is extendable upon a positive evaluation of the candidate. This project is an innovative endeavor at an international level, closely collaboratively between the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at KU Leuven and the Pediatric Oncology Department at UZ Leuven.

    The start date is October 1st, 2023.


    Applications will be considered provided they include the following information:

  • Motivation letter (your motivation, objectives, skills, and experience)
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts (Bachelor's and Master's degrees)
  • Contact details of references
  • Any additional relevant information (e.g., publication details, past presentations, master's thesis)
  • For more information please contact Prof. dr. Sabine Verschueren, tel.: +32 16 32 90 70, mail: [email protected] or Prof. dr. Véronique Cornelissen, tel.: +32 16 32 91 52, mail: [email protected].

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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