PhD candidate Shift2health for the development and evaluation of strategies to prevent and reduce obesity in shift workers

PhD candidate Shift2health for the development and evaluation of strategies to prevent and reduce obesity in shift workers

Published Deadline Location
7 Sep 24 Sep Rotterdam

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Job description

How does (a lack of) good sleep and working at night affect eating behavior? How do these relationships vary between individuals with different chronotypes? How can we aid shift workers in having better diet-related health outcomes? If you get excited about these questions, we are looking for you: an ambitious PhD candidate to join our multidisciplinary project team!

There are nearly 30 million shift workers throughout various employment sectors in Europe. Working night shifts is associated with an increased risk of becoming overweight and obese. Overweight and obesity and associated diseases not only severely impair the life of individuals, but also put unsustainable pressure on national health systems. The Shift2Health project aims to identify the mechanisms leading to overweight and obesity in shift workers and to develop and evaluate strategies with consideration of psychological, behavioral, biological and social factors to support healthy eating patterns. As a PhD candidate, you will be involved in two field studies in healthcare and industry where your two main focuses will be A) the development and evaluation of a multi-center lifestyle intervention in shift workers in close collaboration with Wageningen University & Research and B) to contribute to a multi-center cross-sectional analysis comparing shift workers and non-shift workers to identify pre-obesity risk biomarkers and characterize the mechanisms (particularly related to circadian rhythm and sleep disruption) that underlie shift work-related changes in these biomarkers.

This project will allow you to gain experience with a broad range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, applied to a highly relevant societal challenge In Europe, potentially resulting in significant health impact.

The project is embedded within the European Shift2Health consortium, a large European Union funded Horizon project, and as such enables you to collaborate with researchers from research institutes across Denmark, Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium and Italy from a comprehensive selection of relevant backgrounds including Nutrition and Dietetics, Chronobiology, Public health, Psychology and Clinical practice.


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)


The position is offered to (research) MSc graduates in Health Sciences, Psychology, Epidemiology, Public Health, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field. Key skills that the candidate will be developing and working with are quantitative analysis, including integrated data-analysis, design and execution of human volunteer studies in occupational settings, collection and analysis of continuous data (such as collected through wearables), and scientific communication (oral and written). The department highly supports candidates who want to further develop their skills in multidisciplinary collaboration, goal-oriented working, independency, and engagement.

Your qualifications:
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in Dutch and English. For this position your command of the Dutch and English language is expected to be at C1 level.
  • A strong drive to conduct social-scientific research.
  • Experience with empirical studies and statistical software (SPSS, R, or similar).
  • Experience in blood sampling is highly appreciated.
  • As a PhD, you are asked to complete the Master of Science programme at Netherlands institute for Health Science (NIHES) during your appointment time.

Conditions of employment

  • You will receive a temporary position for 5 years.
  • The gross monthly salary is € 2.789 ,- in the 1st year and increases gradually to € 3.536,- in the 4th year (scale OIO), based on a fulltime workweek.
  • A 4% pay-raise per November 1, 2023.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.
  • An International Office which aids you in preparing for your arrival and stay.


Erasmus MC

A healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education. This is what Erasmus MC stands for. Conducting groundbreaking work. Pushing boundaries and leading the way. In research, education, and healthcare. We are practical people with a high level of expertise, working hard to improve and renew the healthcare of today and the public health of tomorrow.

You will become a part of the research team at the Department of Public Health, where we are dedicated to improve population health at local, national, and international level through excellent research and education. Our research is characterised as highly multidisciplinary and is focused on the development and use of innovative methods. Collaboration with and direct impact on practice and policy are at the heart of our work.

Your specific research group, The Occupational Health section, studies interventions to promote sustainable health and employability of shift workers; and identify and validate biomarkers to quantitatively assess shift work-related circadian and sleep disturbance.

This interdisciplinary project will be performed in close collaboration with Wageningen University & Research's Human Nutrition and Health department, and other related European research institutes.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 28 hours per week
  • €2789—€3536 per month
  • University graduate
  • 36.05.23.TG-P1312248-1


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)

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Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD, Rotterdam

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