PhD vacancies

PhD vacancies

Published Deadline Location
14 Dec 3 Jan Amsterdam

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We seek two highly motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious PhD students with a strong affinity for health economics, healthcare policy and computational science.

Job description

The Netherlands Cancer Institute forms together with the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital a Comprehensive Cancer Center, combining excellence in all stages of anticancer research and patient care. . It in is located in Amsterdam and conducts research in all major areas of oncology, with special emphasis on immunology, cancer cell biology, and translational research. It is a stimulating international environment with closely collaborating researchers and clinicians. 

The research group of Prof.dr. V.P. Retèl & Prof.dr. W.H van Harten conducts Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health economic research alongside the translational  pathway and aims to contribute to speedy patient access in case of promising innovations. At the NKI, health economic studies and health technology assessments (HTA) have become increasing important from early stages of research that lead to clinical innovations. They help to inform policy- and coverage decisions, to guide the translational research process, and to anticipate on technological and environmental developments. Our group is part of the department of Psychosocial and Epidemiological research and consists of 1 postdoc, 5 PhDs, 1 research assistant, and a number of master students. 

Within our research group , we are searching for two talented and ambitious individuals to conduct research in line with the OncoValue project. This project is conducted by a consortium of European cancer Centers and lead by the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Helsinki University Hospital. The NKI group is a senior partner in this project and HTA work package (WP) leader. This WP is especially focussing on Real World Data-based HTA development and use in European hospitals, methodological development issues, and broad HTA (including Ethical, Legal, Social/Organisational Issues). 

OncoValue is an EU-funded, collaborative project of leading cancer hospitals and complimentary data technology companies in six EU Members States (i.e., Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, and Italy). The objective of the project is to generate and enable the inclusion of high-quality real-world data (RWD) regulatory and reimbursement decision-making.  RWD will support  decision making on  the effectiveness medicines, reduce excess spending on medicines with limited clinical benefit, and support evidence-based clinical guidelines. We estimate that combining the use of both structured and unstructured data is inevitable for the  years to come. With the use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, we will explore options to transform unstructured clinical cost data into structured data equipped to enable analytics and health technology assessments. 


The Netherlands Cancer Institute


Ph.D. 1: “Developing a framework for real world data-based HTA in oncology”
This Ph.D position will work towards a framework for real-world data based HTA. In this position, you will explore requirements from HTA-bodies to accept RWD-based HTA analyses and results. You will develop a framework for applying RWD-based HTA for regulatory decision making including minimal required input data to perform (early) HTA, and including high quality monitoring data (as added value compared to trial data). Further you will be challenged to develop models that actually generate a new level of evidence by combining and/or comparing the traditional HTA “dossier” development with innovative RWD based approaches. The framework that you develop in close collaboration with the other PhD student will inform an RWD-based HTA algorithm that you will test in an internal and external pilot use cases. For the external pilots you will work with cancer centers in Europe and The Netherlands. This PhD will be affiliated with the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, besides the NKI. 

Ph.D. 2 “Exploring ‘future-proof’ HTA methodology based on real world hospital data”
This Ph.D position will take a socio-technological perspective to develop a “future-proof” HTA methodology using Real World Data. First ELSI related aspects like the actual technical generation of data from the various data sources (the data lake surrounding a health institution), the ethical and legal aspects and the generalisability for EU countries will be explored in view of HTA requirements. You will work with structured and unstructured data along the clinical pathway to identify the elements (e.g. “data blocks”) necessary for HTA. The framework that you develop in close collaboration with the other PhD student will inform an RWD-based HTA algorithm that you will test in an internal and external pilot use cases. For the external pilots you will work with cancer centers in Europe and The Netherlands. This PhD will be affiliated with the University of Twente, Enschede, besides the NKI.

PhD specific job requirements
We are searching for two researchers with the following expertise and experience:

  • You have a Master degree in Health Sciences OR Health Economics OR Epidemiology OR Computational Science OR Econometrics OR related degree
  • You are interested in applied decision modelling in the field of health care (our connection with the clinic is very strong);
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal (English). Dutch language skills are not required, but could be handy for PhD 1 in case of working with RWD.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

You will work in a dynamic international scientific environment and collaborate with colleagues at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, the NKI, and at other European research institutes. PhD students enter the Amsterdam Oncology graduate school and have the opportunity to follow numerous high-quality courses.

  • The gross salary per month will range between € 2.972 to € 3.620 according to standard Dutch PhD salary scale, depending on previous experience. The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Ziekenhuizen (Collective Labor Agreement for Hospitals).
  • The position is for 4 years.Your travel expenses will be reimbursed at € 0,19 per km. Free parking at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek is also part of the package. Personnel is stimulated to use public transport and bicycle and therefore we offer an interesting arrangement for bikers and/or discount on the NS-business card. 

For more information in regards to the secondary conditions please visit our website:


  • Research, development, innovation; PhD
  • Health; Engineering; Economics
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2972—€3620 per month
  • University graduate
  • PA NK 20221214-2


The Netherlands Cancer Institute

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Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX, Amsterdam

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