PhD Candidate: The Ethics of Sustainable Decision- making in Surgical Operating Rooms

PhD Candidate: The Ethics of Sustainable Decision- making in Surgical Operating Rooms

Published Deadline Location
28 Sep 22 Nov Nijmegen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 22 Nov 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Would you like to research the moral principles around reducing the environmental impact of medical treatments? And do you want to contribute to new insights in the field of ethics and political philosophy that might help formulate practical guidelines in surgical operating rooms? Then join this project as a PhD candidate! 

Surgical operating rooms contribute considerably to the emission of greenhouse gases, pollution and waste. Clinicians, hospitals and patients, however, have to weigh the benefits of reducing the environmental impacts of medical treatments against many other considerations such as costs and health benefits. Which moral principles can guide us on how to include environmental considerations in these decisions?

After thoroughly investigating the state of the art at the crossroads of environmental and medical ethics, you will perform moral analysis to find answers to the following kind of questions. What are the respective responsibilities of hospitals, individual medical professionals, governments or patients, given the fact that environmental problems are social dilemmas? To what extent is a health professional in position to balance the common good against the wellbeing of patients? How does green decision-making fit the four principles of ethics in healthcare that are commonly distinguished since Beauchamp and Childress's seminal analysis, i.e. autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and justice? The objective is to formulate practical guidelines.

This project is part of a larger NWO-funded research project called CAREFREE (Creating A healthieR Environment for FutuRE patiEnts)) led by Maastricht University. The overall objective of the CAREFREE project is to increase the sense of urgency among stakeholders to behave more sustainably. The project has a multidisciplinary approach, combining methods from social psychology, ethics and philosophy, sustainability, surgery, anaesthesiology, pharmacology and toxicology, health economics and operations research. Therefore, you will collaborate in a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary setting, obtaining insights from and offering insights to researchers and actors in other fields than your own, such as psychologists, economists and clinicians.

This position is free of teaching duties.


Radboud University


  • You hold a Master's degree in ethics or political philosophy.
  • You have a demonstrable interest in environmental and/or medical ethics.
  • You have a demonstrable interest and experience in academic research (e.g. through good thesis research).
  • You are highly motivated to conduct interdisciplinary research and interested in collaborating with scholars and practitioners in other fields.
  • You possess good collaborative and communication skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will be embedded in the Department of Ethics and Political Philosophy at Radboud University's Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. This Faculty is a compact, ambitious division with approximately 180 staff and over 1,000 students from the Netherlands and abroad. Our curriculum includes several top-notch degree programmes in both in-depth disciplinary fields of study and interdisciplinary and interfaculty studies. The Faculty has innovative education and research programmes with a strong focus on current societal issues.

The Faculty is committed to equal opportunities for all. We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity contributes to the quality of teaching and research. We therefore particularly welcome staff from different backgrounds, whose perspectives and alternative ways of thinking may contribute to the Faculty's diversity.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1215463



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you