PhD Position in Health Economics Centralisation of Care

PhD Position in Health Economics Centralisation of Care

Published Deadline Location
1 Mar 8 Apr Delft

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Study the hidden impacts of healthcare centralization

Job description

Are you passionate about understanding healthcare systems and the impact of healthcare policy on patients and society? Do you want to use your quantitative skills to improve the sustainability of our healthcare system? This position might be for you!

Substantial evidence supports that the quality of high-complexity healthcare improves with larger volumes. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is untrue for low-complexity care. In the Netherlands, there is a move towards specialized, central expertise centers for high-complexity care. The hope is that this will increase the quality of care and reduce hospital costs. Meanwhile, patients and their families may need to travel longer distances for these types of care. The aim is to keep low-complexity care, which is the majority of care, close to the patients, in local facilities. It is unknown to what extent both these aims can be achieved simultaneously, without unintended consequences.

In this PhD, you will investigate how the centralization of complex care services influences the delivery and cost-effectiveness of other care types. Case studies include the centralization of trauma care and the centralization of pediatric cardiac surgery. The recent debates on delivering these types of care often make it to newspaper headlines. In both cases, changes in care provision are expected to take effect in the coming two years. These 'natural experiments' will allow you to study the intended and unintended consequences of healthcare centralization. You will do so in close collaboration with experts in the field.

You will work with data from large, clinical registries and administrative databases to quantify impacts on quantity and quality of care provision, building upon your experience in econometrics, epidemiology, data science, or similar. Additionally, you will perform economic evaluations to determine the costs and outcomes associated with changes in healthcare policies and practice. You will do so in close collaboration with our clinical partners and your supervisory team.

The aim of this PhD is to generate insights into the impact of centralization of high-complexity care on the provision and cost-effectiveness of other types of care. You will qualify and quantify the trade-offs between intended and unintended policy consequences.

This is a unique opportunity to perform groundbreaking research to shape future healthcare policy and practice.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • A curiosity-driven mindset and a passion for (doing) research.
  • A Master's degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, i.e. econometrics, health economics, data science, clinical epidemiology, engineering, policy analysis, complex systems engineering, or similar.
  • Strong quantitative skills, e.g. in panel data analyses and/or cost-effectiveness modelling.
  • Familiarity with the Dutch health system and/or clinical content areas is an asset, but not a necessity.
  • Command of the Dutch language is an asset, but not a necessity. If the selected candidate does not speak Dutch, he/she is expected to learn the language within the first year of the research.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral.
  • Preferably some experience with academic writing (nice-to-have).

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05108


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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