PhD position on design methodologies for co-creation of technologies improving the quality of life of people with chronical ...

PhD position on design methodologies for co-creation of technologies improving the quality of life of people with chronical ...

Published Deadline Location
25 Oct 23 Nov Enschede

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Job description

The challenge

When receiving a diagnosis of a (chronical) illness, a sense-making phase goes together with the acceptancy and the behavior change required to start the medical treatments. Digital health tools are developed to monitor the patient journey, contributing to the collection of large amounts of data that can also advise the clinical practice.

Clinical studies focus primarily on treatments based on quantitative results, while qualitative data can inform about the impact of diagnosis on people’s life in terms of self-determination and general well-being, for example in patient journeys reflecting personal value. Quality of life and wellbeing are demanded to be taken into account by both patients and clinicians willing to implement personalized medicine, acknowledging inequalities created and perpetrated by the development of health care practices based on the needs of specific, limited target groups (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender).

Technology can support the constructive use of qualitative data in personalized healthcare. However, the current emergence of new technologies based on AI tools that promise to provide synthetic data simulating (and therewith replacing) participant behavior, calls for a critical and constructive reflection. Which methods, scenarios for design research and outlines can be explored and developed together with the different stakeholders to reflect the experience of patients and consider the quality of life as a relevant element in the paradigm?

Job description
The candidate will
  • investigate the use of technology to support identity and quality of life of people with chronical illnesses connected to hormones imbalances (e.g. thyroid issues)
  • explore how AI based solutions (e.g. digital twins or synthetic data providers) take into account and reflect personal and social values in individuals' care journeys.
  • work with people with disabilities, patient associations and personnel from the medical community as partners for transdisciplinary and co-creation sessions, adopting inclusive approaches to citizen involvement.

You will write papers and travel to participate in (inter)national conferences (such as CHI, CSCW, Health related conferences or venues) to share your work with the academic community, engage with diverse citizen groups to produce knowledge and make use of the facilities provided by the university to explore tangible interactions. You will share a working space with other PhDs and join the trainings of the graduate school to develop your academic skills and take the first steps towards your academic professionalization.


University of Twente (UT)


  • MSc degree in industrial design engineering, interaction design, human computer interaction, biomedical engineering or another field relevant to the position;
  • Self-directed and motivated learner;
  • Acquaintance or experience in working with AI;
  • Attitude to embrace as well as take critical stands towards the development and use of emerging technologies;
  • Conscientious in working with people;
  • Mindful to the needs and wishes of marginalized communities;
  • Able to build great relationships with colleagues, practice and citizens and operate at the crossroads of disciplines;
  • Predisposition to involve diverse partners through participatory and transdisciplinary practices, supporting citizen science initiatives.
  • Effective communication skills (approachable communication for academics and general public);
  • Curiosity about working in an exciting, international environment;
  • Willingness to build valuable and long term relationships with co-workers;
  • Proof of English proficiency;
  • Speaking Dutch or willingness to learn Dutch;

Conditions of employment

  • We offer a four-year position as PhD researcher in the Human Centred Design (HCD) group of the Faculty of Engineering Technology.
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • You will receive a salary ranging from €2.770,- gross per month at the start to €3.539,- in the fourth year;
  • Salary and conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO- NU);
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme;


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1487


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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