The department of Epidemiology of the Faculty of Medical Sciences/University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) has a vacancy for a PhD-student within the ambitious Stress in Action project.

PhD-student position: ‘Stress in Action. Genes-Stress interplay’
32-36 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?
You will examine which genetic vulnerability characteristics moderate the impact of daily-life stress exposure and responses on cardiometabolic health outcomes. We will examine the interplay between daily-life stress exposure, stress responses and personal genetic characteristics in cardiometabolic health status (in cross-sectional analyses) and on change in health status (in longitudinal analyses) in large cohorts of twins and individuals from the general population. We will pay specific attention to gender, as we have earlier shown that the genetic background and gene-environment interaction may differ between males and females. Personal genetic characteristics will be based on polygenic risk scores (PRS) using the most recent findings from GWAS by large scale consortia for both cardiometabolic and mental health outcomes. The predictive value of both additive and moderating effects of genetic vulnerability indicators will be tested using machine learning analyses.

Where will you be working?
You will be working in the department of Epidemiology of the Faculty of Medical Sciences/University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. The Faculty of Medical Sciences is the second oldest medical faculty in The Netherlands.

You will be based within the department of Epidemiology of the University Medical Center Groningen. Our goal is to study the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in both the general population and in clinical populations. Consistently over the past ten years, the department’s overall focus has been on Life Course Epidemiology, which lies at the center of Healthy Aging, a main theme of both the UMCG and the University of Groningen.

Requested profile:

  • You have a (research) master’s degree in Genetic Epidemiology, Behavioral Genetics, Statistical Genetics or a related discipline (also candidates close to graduating are encouraged to apply);
  • You have a strong interest in advanced data analysis and working with large databases;
  • You have affinity and preferably experience with writing research papers;
  • You have good academic English writing, conversation and presentation skills;
  • You have good social, organizational and communication skills and are willing to work with other team members.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.
In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What will we offer?

  • You will get a full-time appointment for a period of 4 years (32-36 hours a week) to be concluded with a PhD thesis, after one year, the performance will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the coming 3 years.
  • Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.789,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.536,- gross per month (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment (36 hours a week).
  • In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.
Submit your motivation letter and a recent curriculum vitae until March 6, 2023 using the application link. For more information, see the UMCG website.

Intended starting date: April 1 2023 or upon agreement.

Application link