Postdoc machine learning/ data science in Psychiatry

Postdoc machine learning/ data science in Psychiatry

Published Deadline Location
20 Mar 9 Apr Utrecht

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You will be developing and applying NLP and machine learning methods on a federated learning platform in the STRAD MD project with the aim of discovering dynamic dependencies in patients with depression in multiple mental health institutes.

Job description

Together with experienced professionals in our STRAD MD project team, you will work with the STRAD MD federated learning platform. This platform is being set up at the UMC Utrecht and at one or more locations of the large mental health organizations Arkin and Parnassia Group so that research projects involving sensitive data from large and diverse groups of patients can safely be utilized for machine learning projects. The goal of this project is to model dynamic interactions between symptoms of depression, patient properties and interventions (such as medication choices and therapy sessions), with the data involving a lot of free text.

The STRAD MD project will form the basis for a more sustainable way of collaborating with data, preferably in a federated manner, between mental health institutions in the Netherlands. It is your challenge to help realize this growth, especially regarding developing and implementing durable NLP solutions. In our team you will have a lot of say in designing and implementing appropriate solutions, plenty of room to experiment, and every opportunity to develop yourself.

Your activities at a glance:
  • Developing and setting up (federated) NLP pipelines across three mental health institutes for feature/ entity extraction on the federated learning platform (other project members will work on technically setting up the federated learning platform, devops/ database engineering is not part of the postdoc). You can build on work of our previous NLP PhDs and postdocs, collaborate with the UU teams involved and/ or bring your own flavor.
  • Modeling dynamic interactions between patient properties, symptoms, intervention preferably using explainable approaches, partly based on the features/ entities extracted with the NLP pipeline.
  • Exploring the combination of combining the two techniques above in one optimization pipeline.
  • Exploring the possible added role of synthetic data for facilitating federated learning.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


  • PhD and/ or postdoc experience in field of machine learning/ data science.
  • Experience researching NLP techniques/ working with NLP.
  • Wants to work in interdisciplinary team (work together with other researchers, IT department, psychiatrists).
  • Experience with research on medical topics would be a plus.
  • Experience with federated learning techniques would be a big plus.
  • Experience in explainable AI or network analysis would be a plus.
  • Speaking Dutch would be a plus, as you will work with a lot of Dutch text.

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (32 - 36 hours) is € 5.292,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


The Psychiatry department of the UMC Utrecht stands for high-level care, research and education. Applied Data Science is an important innovation route. The PsyData team, the department's data science team, works here to translate the promises of Data Science into our clinical practice. We have a team of NLP, wearables and data science experts and work closely together with other data science, IT and NLP teams in- and outside of the UMC Utrecht.

The Psychiatry department is at the forefront in the field of data science and works together with other mental health institutions and knowledge institutes to achieve national breakthroughs, including the use of federated learning, a central topic in the STRAD MD project. In this project we work together with two major mental healthcare institutes in the Netherlands, Parnassia Groep and Arkin. We also work together with the computer science department of Utrecht University, the Social and Affective Computing and Human Computing Groups, with the option of the collaboration being close, joining their groups for reading groups and project meetings and to possibly hire and (co-)supervise master students with them.


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • 32—36 hours per week
  • max. €5292 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 2024-4573


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

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