Organ Transplantation Innovation: What are the Ethical and Patient Consequences?

Organ Transplantation Innovation: What are the Ethical and Patient Consequences?

Published Deadline Location
30 Mar 22 Apr Rotterdam

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Job description

At present, the availability of donor organs is desperately insufficient to meet the need. The availability of high-quality donor organs - needed for a successful transplantation - will be even further at risk due to ageing and lifestyle changes of the population. Namely, organs retrieved from elderly, obese or unhealthy lifestyle donors and those donated after cardiac arrest do not recover from injury inherent to surgery as completely as young organs. New strategies are needed to solve the donor organ shortage.

In the Flagship 'Organ Transplantation: making unsuitable donor organs suitable', Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre and Technical University Delft join their research forces ( Technological innovations are envisioned to build a long‐term machine perfusion platform to not only sustain but also recover donor organ viability out‐of‐the‐body. Hence, damaged donor organs will be made suitable for transplantation.

Job description
This vacancy is for a PhD candidate who will principally focus on ethical aspects as well as on patient and societal preferences regarding new strategies to organ transplantation (kidney, liver, heart, and lung). Through all aspects of the research program, the technologically innovative strategy for organ transplantation will raise important societal questions about prioritization, health‐related quality of life, well‐being, and cost‐effectiveness issues. The PhD candidate job position will (1) determine the best approach for clinical implementation of repaired donor organs in an ethical way, necessary for good clinical decision-making for future patients and for policy making (e.g. allocation guidelines); (2) determine the ethical implications of the availability of 'repaired' organs for clinical care and for the distribution of organs (a scarce resource) in terms of allocation, indication and prioritization; (3) quantify patients' and societal preferences for different transplantation strategies; (4) provide guidance for shared decision-making and allocation systems that meet ethical and legal requirements concerning refurbished and other new options for donor organs; and (5) be involved in generating tools to monitor the costs, (clinical) benefits and stakeholder preferences after organ transplantation. Besides research responsibilities, the PhD candidate will also participate in our teaching programs (up till 0.15fte).


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


The successful applicant for this position is expected to have a recent or almost completed MSc degree in health sciences or health economics. The applicant should be a collaborator and flexible thinker, intensely interested in legal, ethical, patient/societal preference research and organ transplantation. The applicant should be motivated to participate in an interdisciplinary research program and learn in situations that are beyond their current capabilities. The ideal candidate has interests in qualitative and quantitative methods and has a strong motivation for doing research in the field of organ transplantation. Knowledge of medical ethics and experience in preference measurement application are a distinct and desirable advantage. The applicant must have excellent communication and writing skills in English, and preferably in the Dutch language as well, 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). In addition, the PhD candidate will get an Erasmus MC guest contract as the interdisciplinary supervisory team for this PhD trajectory comes from EUR (supervisor) as well as Erasmus MC (supervisor and co-supervisor). The PhD candidate will be located at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) and will work in close collaboration with project partners at Erasmus MC and TU Delft. We offer a 1.5 year position with the possibility of extension to 4 years based on performance. Starting date of PhD appointment is negotiable, although the latest starting date will be September 1st, 2023. Remuneration will be in accordance with the PhD scale set by the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). Fulltime work will pay € 2541 per month before taxes in the first year, going up to € 3247 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 hrs/week.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission 'Creating positive societal impact'. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way - Making Minds Matter. We're global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR's distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Faculty / Institute / Central service
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. In addition, the PhD candidate will get an Erasmus MC guest contract.


  • PhD
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3540


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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