PhD Candidate: 'Empowerment of Patients and Doctors Using Data and AI’ at the Donders Centre for Cognition

PhD Candidate: 'Empowerment of Patients and Doctors Using Data and AI’ at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Published Deadline Location
13 Nov 3 Dec Nijmegen

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Job description

This PhD project is part of the Radboud Healthy Data Programme. The use of AI in health data can lead to ethical, legal and societal concerns. You will focus on how the healthy data programme can empower personalised health decisions. You will analyse the connections between empowerment and self-determination, and how AI could influence the decision making of clinicians and patients, and select suitable instruments to measure actual and perceived changes in empowerment.

You will investigate how AI and the improved exchange and frequent reuse of health data could empower doctors and patients, and affect their interaction. To this end, you will analyse how empowerment can be understood as increased self-determination. The challenge is to identify how and in what ways technology can support people, instead of , for example, making them overreliant on technology. You will examine ways in which AI (e.g. as decision support system) and data technology (and education regarding their use) could increase actual and perceived self-determination in making personalised health decisions. You will investigate, select and apply instruments for measuring empowerment changes in the context of health care. On the basis of this, you will contribute to the evaluation of how the healthy data project affects actual and perceived self-determination. You will work together with other PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers and PIs of the HD programme, in particular with those involved in the work package on ethical, legal and societal challenges.

Overall, you will investigate how the three main aspects of the HD programme (improving the organisation of data, addressing medical needs through AI methods, and education) contribute to a meaningful (subproject 1: Concepts) and clearly operationalised increase in empowerment, as expanded, perceived and actual self-determination (subproject 2: Aims). You will provide a framework for measurement of empowerment and self-determination in a health data context (subproject 3: Evaluation). Finally, you will provide feedback and recommendations to the community on how the healthy data programme could further support empowerment (subproject 4: Outreach).

Your education task may be up to 10% of your appointment.


Radboud University


  • You either have a Master degree in AI with a strong interest in and experience with the philosophical aspects and societal implications of AI, or a Master degree in Philosophy with a strong interest in and experience with AI and its applications.
  • Interest in the field of health is an advantage.
  • You have good communication and collaborative skills.
  • You are motivated to conduct interdisciplinary research and interested in collaborating with researchers and practitioners in other fields.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 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) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • Employment for 0.8 (5-year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4-year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 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) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can help your family settle in Nijmegen and assist with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, providing customised support in their search for employment.
  • 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. We provide various training and development schemes, giving you plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions.


You will be embedded in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, which is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and control, 3. Plasticity and memory, 4. Neural computation and neurotechnology. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as 'excellent' and recognised as a 'very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent'. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary and supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

Radboud Healthy Data

The digital transformation that began decades ago has reached a stage where we have access to vast amounts of data and tools that impact our lives in unprecedented ways. Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center want to be the best campus for researchers in data and AI-driven research. This is why we have joined forces with the Radboud Healthy Data program, in which we connect and further develop our expertise in health-related data management and AI toward a sustainable digital infrastructure for the entire Radboud campus. 

Focus areas in our program are FAIR data stewardship, AI methods, education, ethical/legal/societal considerations, data-related community activities and scientific breakthroughs. We build upon our strong history and ongoing activities with partners in our networks. Through Healthy Data, we will strengthen our data-driven infrastructure and our collaborative AI research at the Radboud campus with the ultimate aim to improve health and healthcare in society. 

Therefore, candidates ideally have experience or affinity with working in a (scrum, agile operating) team for a certain period, to co-create sustainable solutions that strengthen our data-driven infrastructure and/or AI applications for health(care).  

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
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1216501



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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