The experience of stress is an inherent aspect of daily-life. However, can we validly measure this and intervene, and how and under what circumstances does it contribute to disease? Erasmus MC offers a PhD student position within our Stress in Action project.

PhD-student position: Stress in Action. 36 hours

Stress in Action project
In this project, 25 multidisciplinary scientists from six Dutch Universities collaborate around the theme ‘stress in daily life’. Divided over three Research Themes and three Support Cores, the Stress in Action consortium, we will validate daily-life stress assessments, examine which contextual factors contribute to the experience of daily-life stress, and examine how daily-life stress leads to the development of both mental and cardiometabolic diseases. The project is funded through the Dutch Scientific Organization under the Gravitation program. More details can be found here.

What will you be doing?
Within Research Theme 3, we aim to generate proof-of-concept evidence using intervention studies that aim for health improvement through (in) direct impact on stress responses.  We consider the full health continuum, i.e., positive (e.g. wellbeing, normotension) and negative (e.g. depression/anxiety, hypertension) health outcomes.

You will work on experimental approaches (ongoing studies such as e.g. MARIO-project prevention study, Grow-it app, Partnerschapovergewichtnederland, etc.) and utilize existing data to evaluate stress reduction and impact on mental and cardiometabolic health. Data contain e.g. actigraphy assessment of physical activity and sleep, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) of negative and positive emotions, passive smartphone data including GPS-signal and social media activity. You will also contribute to data harmonization within the consortium using advanced analytics, including time-series and machine learning analyses. You will utilize and integrate these data for scientific papers and develop, perform and evaluate intervention studies. Collaborations with and support from colleagues working on similar topics (PROTECtME, eHealth Junior project) is offered. You will have a co-supervisor  from Amsterdam UMC (Prof. Dr. B. Penninx) and Erasmus MC (Prof. Dr. L. van Rossum).

Where will you be working?
The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology of Erasmus MC Sophia Kinderziekenhuis with approximately two hundred employees is the only independent university child and adolescent psychiatric department in the Netherlands with its own research lines and professors located in a children’s hospital. The department is constantly evolving and focuses on internationally recognized scientific research, combined with high-quality university patient care in the university medical center and providing various training and education. For the Stress in Action project, there is a close connection with researchers from the Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit, the University of Groningen and its UMC Groningen, University Twente, Erasmus Medical Center and Utrecht University.

Requested profile

We are looking for a Dutch speaking candidate with:

  • A MSc-degree in psychology (research master), artificial intelligence, neuroscience, computer science or a related discipline (also candidates close to graduating are encouraged to apply).
  • A strong interest or experience in intervention studies using different modalities.
  • A strong interest in advanced data analytics and working with large multi-modal databases. Experience with R or Python is required.
  • Affinity and preferably experience with writing research papers.
  • Excellent English conversation, writing skills, and presentation skills.
  • Strong communication and social skills.

Before you apply please check the conditions for employment of Erasmus MC.

What will we offer?

  • A challenging position within the largest University Medical Center (UMC) in the Netherlands with high ambitions in the field of healthcare, education and research;
  • You will start with a contract for one year, with the possibility of extension for another three years (36 months).
  • The gross monthly salary is € 2.789,- which will increase yearly (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP, we take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Professor Manon Hillegers, preferred start date is spring 2023.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website. Submit your motivation letter and a recent curriculum vitae until March 8, 2023.  Or use this Application link

No agencies please.