PhD The Art of Creating New Stories: Working Art-Based Learning in Palliat. Care

PhD The Art of Creating New Stories: Working Art-Based Learning in Palliat. Care

Published Deadline Location
8 Nov 12 Dec Amsterdam
We are looking for a PhD candidate who will contribute to the investigation of the effect of art-based learning method in enhancing meaning-making processes for patients with incurable cancer.

Job description

Living with a diagnosis of incurable cancer: for patients in palliative care, this is a harsh daily reality. How can you lead a meaningful life in a seemingly hopeless situation and what role can art education play?

The consortium Art-Based Learning in Palliative Care (ART-PC) brings together researchers from ArtEZ University of the Arts, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Radboud University, and the University of Twente in a project with a prestigious RAAK-PRO grant from Regieorgaan SIA. With this grant, the consortium will specifically research the Art-Based Learning (ABL) method for enhancing meaning-making processes in patients with incurable cancer. ABL is a teaching method where the viewer learns not so much about as from art. Patients visit an art exhibition - in person or online - that has been curated with a particular focus on stimulating the dialogue between the patient and the artwork.
  • This position focuses in particular on qualitative, narrative methodologies that help to better understand how patients learn from their interactions with art works as well as how ABL can be implemented in everyday practice in palliative care.
  • You will contribute to a different publications, conducting interviews with patient, co-organize the exhibition in different settings (including hospitals) and the ABL sessions, carry out narrative analyses, and contribute to valorization activities.

Your main task will be to set-up and coordinate the pilots and exhibitions, conduct and evaluate the ABL sessions.
In addition:
  • You will work on the entire curatorial chain together with experts in the field.
  • You will closely collaborate with the second PhD on the narrative analysis to establish enhancing and hindering factors in meaning making processes for cancer with advanced cancer
  • Your will be publish in top-rated high-impact peer-reviewed journals and regularly be presenting the work at (international) conferences.
  • You will assist in relevant teaching activities.
  • You will collaborate with your fellow PhD students in a thematic research group.


Amsterdam UMC


We are searching for candidates who want to apply their knowledge and skills to ultimately improve palliative oncological care.

On the one hand, the PhD student must enjoy going undertaking the effort to coordinate a multicenter study and motivate colleagues to include patients and on the other hand be willing and able to coordinate, organize, and evaluate the project activities which are part of the specific PhD research.

  • A master degree in Medicine, Psychology, Social Sciences, or Arts and Humanities
  • An interest in oncological care and, in particular, in palliative care
  • An interest in art-based methods
  • An interdisciplinary mindset; open and proactive in interacting with researchers from different disciplines (e.g. doctors, educators, artists, psychologists, museums experts)
  • Good English and excellent Dutch communication, presentation and writing skills (hard requirement)
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Highly motivated and creative

Additional skills we would like to see:
  • Experience with narrative holistic analysis (or other related methods)
  • Experience with Art-based methods

Conditions of employment

  • A flying start to your career in research work in a metropolis with a diverse and open culture, and a multicultural society.
  • Working with motivated colleagues from all corners of the world.
  • You will start with a contract for one year (12 months) in accordance with the CAO UMC 2022-2023, with the possibility of extension for another three years (36 months).
  • PhD students (Onderzoeker in Opleiding) are placed in scale 21, with a fulltime gross salary. The starting salary is € 2.789,- and increases to € 3.536,- in the fourth year. The position is for 4 years.
  • In addition to a good basic salary, you will receive, among other things, 8.3% year-end bonus and 8% vacation allowance. Calculate your net salary here.
  • Pension via BeFrank


Amsterdam UMC

You will be part of the medical oncology research group (prof. dr. Hanneke van Laarhoven) at Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC (location VUMC) and work closely together with another PhD candidate who focuses more on the narrative integration and curatorial part of the research as well as with several hospitals and museums in the Netherlands that contribute to research and implementation.

You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary team including Prof. Dr. Hanneke van Laarhoven (oncologist at Amsterdam UMC), Prof. Dr. Gerben Westerhof (psychologist, University of Twente), Dr. Fabiola Camuti (art-based learning and education, ArtEZ), Dr. Michael Scherer-Rath (contingency and meaning making, Radboud University).

The research group offers a resourceful and stimulating scientific environment.

Additional information

During the publication period, applications will be handled continuously. If the vacancy is filled, it will be closed prematurely.

Due to the composition of the interdisciplinary team, the selection committee for this vacancy also consists of members from outside Amsterdam UMC.

If you have any questions about this position, please feel free to contact prof. dr. H.W.M. van Laarhoven, projectleider en afdelingshoofd medische oncologie, via

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Tanja Hart, Recruitment Advisor, via 06-21603178 or via

A reference check, screening and hiring test may be part of the procedure. Read here whether that applies to you. If you join us, we ask you for a VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct).

Internal candidates will be given priority over external candidates in case of equal suitability.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.


  • PhD
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2789—€3536 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 9672



De Boelelaan 1117, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 12 Dec 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).