PhD student - Towards Accurate Prediction of Healthcare Choices (1.0 fte)

PhD student - Towards Accurate Prediction of Healthcare Choices (1.0 fte)

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 27 May Rotterdam

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Description of the research program:

Healthcare is under heavy pressure due to rising expenditures, an ageing population, high prices of new medical treatment options, and substantial resource waste. Accurate prediction of patients’ choice behavior enables better decisions in healthcare by avoiding poor policy decisions, trial-and-error implementation and demand-supply imbalance. For accurate prediction of choice behavior, however, current choice models in healthcare (and beyond) are inadequate because we are forgetting one very important thing: current choice models study people’s choices independently of other people’s influence. However, most healthcare choices are not made in a social vacuum. Moving towards a social interdependent choice paradigm is crucial to reach accurate ex-ante evaluation of healthcare policies.
This research program takes this important, urgent and challenging step by performing three interrelated projects: Project I ‘Theory development’; (2) Project II ‘Translation of theory into a method paradigm’; and Project III ‘Proof-of-principle’. The work involves frontier research at the interface between medical, behavioral, and econometric sciences. This ambitious research seeks a range of ground-breaking contributions to the fields of choice modeling, choice behavior prediction, and decision-making in healthcare as well as real-world benefits to society as a whole.

Job description

Description of the position

The PhD candidate will principally focus on Project II and Project III. The PhD candidate job position will (1) translate theory into a social interdependent choice method paradigm: how to measure and model stated choices for socially interdependent decisions to improve prediction of choice behavior in healthcare? (Project II); and (2) validate the developed intersocial choice paradigm via different applications in healthcare with contrasting situations to establish generalizability of the results (Project III). The candidate should be a collaborator and flexible thinker, intensely interested in both human decision making and its mathematical/statistical representation, and motivated to participate and learn in situations that are beyond their current capabilities. Dedication to work needs is an a priori expectation. Besides research responsibilities, the PhD candidate will also participate in our teaching programs (up till 0.10fte).

The applicant ultimately selected for this project will be laying the foundation for a unique career in choice modeling research. The individual will become an expert in quantitative research techniques to support preference research, and will become proficient in a portfolio of methods used to elicit and measure preferences (e.g., Discrete Choice Experiments, multivariate statistics, modeling of limited dependent variables). In addition, there should be a strong interest in mathematical modeling and data-driven econometric/statistical inference making, as exhibited by necessary background capabilities (e.g., strong mathematical aptitude and training at the postgraduate level, econometric/statistical/biostatistics training, econometric estimation techniques, etc.). Finally, the individual will learn to communicate to academic and policy audiences through technical research reports, papers and presentations.




Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


The successful applicant for this position is expected to have a recent or almost completed MSc degree in econometrics or applied mathematics. The ideal candidate has interests in quantitative methods and has a strong motivation for doing methodological research in the field of healthcare. Knowledge of computational programming languages (e.g., R, gauss, Julia, C++, Fortran) are a distinct and desirable advantage, particularly as applied to the development of code for classical or Bayesian parameter estimation procedures. Applicants must have excellent communication and writing skills in English, and like to collaborate closely in an interdisciplinary group.


Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time position as PhD student at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). The PhD candidate will be located at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). We offer a 1.5 year position with the possibility of extension to 4 years based on performance. Starting date of PhD appointment is September 1st, 2022. Remuneration will be in accordance with the PhD scale set by the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). Fulltime work will pay € 2443 per month before taxes in the first year, going up to € 3122 per month in the fourth year. EUR offers a holiday allowance (8%), a set end-of-year bonus (8.3%), and there are generous opportunities for additional education and attendance at scientific conferences. Full time is considered to be 38 hours a week.



Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research. Inspired by the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam, our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global social challenges. Our mission is therefore "Creating positive societal impact". Our academic education is intensive, active and application oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR ranks amongst the top European universities. Erasmian values ​​function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded.


Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is responsible for a bachelors and three (international) master programs on health policy, economics and management, serving more than 1,300 students. ESHPM is a multidisciplinary school with research focusing on three main themes: ‘competition and regulation in healthcare’; ‘quality and efficiency in healthcare’; and ‘healthcare management’. The position is offered in the Health Technology Assessment group.


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • ESHPM20220425


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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