PhD candidate ‘Sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and health outcomes in patients with renal and colorectal cancer’

PhD candidate ‘Sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and health outcomes in patients with renal and colorectal cancer’

Published Deadline Location
9 Nov 26 Nov Nijmegen

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Job description

Over half of patients with localized renal and colorectal cancer are overweight at diagnosis and suffer from post-treatment fatigue or other physical and/or psychosocial problems, resulting in a reduced health-related quality of life. Increased physical activity, reduced sedentary time and sufficient sleep have been shown to have beneficial effects on adiposity, fatigue and quality of life in cancer survivors. Are you our new enthusiastic PhD candidate who can help with further research in patients with renal and colorectal cancer?

Currently, the characteristics of patients with renal and colorectal cancer who are sedentary and physically inactive post-treatment are unknown. Furthermore, it is unclear whether replacing sedentary time with time spent in standing, physical activity or sleep reduces adiposity and fatigue and improves quality of life, and what the underlying biological mechanisms are. This information is important to identify which patients are sedentary and physically inactive, and to guide the development of targeted sedentary behaviour and physical activity interventions and guidelines to improve patients’ health and well-being.

In this project, funded by the Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds (WKOF), as part of the World Cancer Research Fund International grant programme, you will investigate the sociodemographic, clinical and lifestyle-related characteristics of patients with localized renal and colorectal cancer who are sedentary and physically inactive post-treatment. You will also test the hypotheses that replacing sedentary time with time spent on standing, physical activity (total, light, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity) or sleep is associated with beneficial changes in markers of adiposity, fatigue and quality of life in the first two years after treatment, and that these associations are mediated by beneficial changes in inflammatory biomarkers.

This project will be conducted within the framework of our multicenter cohort studies ReLife, including 368 patients with localized renal cancer, and EnCoRe, including 497 with localized colorectal cancer. In both studies, detailed data on sedentary behaviour and physical activity were collected at multiple timepoints after treatment using triaxial accelerometers. Questionnaire and clinical data are also available and inflammatory biomarkers will be measured in available blood samples during this project.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • Overall coordination of the project.
  • Organizing retrieval and transport of blood samples.
  • Data cleaning, preparation, and management (questionnaire, accelerometer, clinical, and biomarker data).
  • Performing statistical analyses to answer the research questions.
  • Writing scientific publications, resulting in a PhD thesis.
  • Presenting results at (inter)national conferences.


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)


Do you have a strong interest in research on lifestyle in cancer survivorship and a MSc degree in Human Movement Sciences, Nutrition and Health, Biomedical Sciences, Epidemiology, or comparable education? Great!

Furthermore, you recognize yourself in the profile below:
  • Experience with various statistical techniques, preferably including linear mixed model regression analyses.
  • Experience with statistical analysis software, preferably R.
  • Independent, pro-active, motivated, accurate, and well-structured.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills in English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.901 and € 3.677 (scale 10A ) based on full-time employment.
  • An annual vacation allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • Discount on your supplementary health insurance. You can make use of two collective health insurance policies: UMC Health Insurance and CZ Collective. They offer many extras to stay vital and healthy, such as a prevention budget, workshops, and apps.

In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC.



The Department for Health Evidence consists of 90 employees with expertise in biostatistics, health technology assessment, cancer epidemiology, and reproductive epidemiology, offering a multidisciplinary environment for methodological research in medicine. All specializations work in close collaboration with many clinical departments in the Radboudumc. At the department for Health Evidence we aim to improve healthcare and public health by developing, applying and teaching methods for prediction and evaluation research.

The Department has three main tasks: research, education, and consultation. The focus of all three is on research methodology and data analysis, in the context of Radboudumc’s research themes. The Department for Health Evidence is currently in a transition phase to Science Department IQ Health, in which the Department for Health Evidence and IQ Healthcare will be merged. The Science Department will have six Research and Education groups, including an Epidemiology group. This group currently consists of 17 senior (post-PhD) epidemiologists.

This project will be a collaboration between the Urological Cancer Epidemiology group and the Exercise Oncology group at Radboudumc and the Department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University.

Welcome to Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), where scientific breakthroughs are born through the curiosity and passion of our collaborating researchers in a vibrant environment. We believe trust and excitement are crucial elements to achieving our goals, and we approach our research as teams and with the utmost rigor to make a significant impact on health and healthcare. Our researchers are driven by their fascination with the biological, psychological, and sociological mechanisms underlying health and healthcare. They collaborate with partners from all over the world to improve health outcomes for all. Radboudumc unites patient care, research, education, and corporate learning, which allows us to approach our mission to shape the health and healthcare of the future in an innovative and person-centered way.

Our ambition is to lead the way in the pursuit of prevention, sustainability, meaningful care. We believe that through our research, we can significantly improve the health and well-being of society. Join us on our mission to make a difference in healthcare. Become a part of our community of gifted researchers, professionals or patient partners who are dedicated to making a real impact on population health and healthcare.

Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.
Read more about working at Radboud university medical center means.


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2901—€3677 per month
  • University graduate
  • 188950-P1364066-1


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)

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Geert Grooteplein-Zuid 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen

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