PhD Position on Implementation of Health System Performance Assessment

PhD Position on Implementation of Health System Performance Assessment

Published Deadline Location
25 Mar 9 Apr Amsterdam

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Ready to dive into impactful research as a PhD candidate within the international Health Systems and Services Research Group? Your research will drive informed decision-making in Ireland and the Netherlands, ensuring healthcare systems meet people's ne...

Job description

As a PhD candidate at the Health Systems and Services Research (HSSR) Group within the Department of Public and Occupational Health, your primary focus will be on conducting innovative research in the field of health system performance assessment. Your doctoral research project will focus on the implementation of health system performance assessment (HSPA) as a valuable approach for improving health system performance. In this role, you will collaborate closely with policymakers, healthcare professionals, patient representatives and key stakeholders in both Ireland and the Netherlands. Your research will help these stakeholders in better utilising performance data to make informed-decisions at the national, regional, and local levels of the health system. This will contribute to meaningful improvements towards ensuring that the health systems in Ireland and the Netherlands meet people’s health needs and preferences, deliver high-quality accessible care for all, and achieve high-value healthcare outcomes. Furthermore, alongside your research endeavours, you will have the chance to actively engage in our teaching initiatives, thereby enriching your academic experience and fostering knowledge dissemination.

Your PhD thesis will be built upon the results of two projects spearheaded by our research group. As a member of our research group, you'll divide your time between both projects.

The first project: is about the implementation of the Irish HSPA Framework. From 2019-2021, our research group co-developed with key stakeholders in the Irish health care system, the Irish HSPA Framework. It involved defining the focus, identifying domains, and populating the framework with indicators. The Framework was officially launched by the Department of Health (DoH) and Health Services Executive (HSE) in 2021, and accompanied by a prototype visualisation platform (HSPA) to communicate an overall view on the performance of Ireland’s health system to the public.
Your project is part of the second phase of the initial project, and will focus on the practical implementation and utilisation of the HSPA Framework. This involves assessing ways to better align with the planning and management activities of the DoH and the HSE, integrating HSPA into the policy development cycle, and evaluating policy reforms. You'll also examine the functionality and capabilities of the prototype visualization platform aimed at effectively communicating health system performance outcomes to the public. The research methods you will employ include a literature review, policy documents analysis, stakeholders interviews/focus groups and workshops, and consultations with the DoH and HSE.

The second project: your work is focussed on developing performance information that can support primary care, public health and social care services in identifying, monitoring, and addressing the needs of people experiencing vulnerability in Amsterdam by identifying and addressing health system failures in terms of access, quality and affordability of care and informing evidence-based system changes. This will be achieved by co-creating and piloting performance measures leveraging cohort and health registries data curated by the Amsterdam Public Health (APH) research institute towards achieving the following objectives: 1) Explore APH cohort and registry data fitness to establish local health system performance indicators: this exploration will help identify, for example, which data linkages can be envisioned to embedded these data on a continuous basis in health information systems; 2) Map health system failures: following a participatory process with experts, citizens, and local stakeholders, you will map health system and services factors driving vulnerability in Amsterdam’s population and identify the data flows necessary (including social care, preventive care, health promotion and primary care services) to monitor progress; 3) Co-create data-informed system changes: Enhancing the health system’s responsiveness to the needs of individuals experiencing vulnerability by strengthening local initiatives (e.g., ‘Welzijn op Recept’) informed by produced performance information and recommend system changes at the national, regional or local levels.

For both projects underpinning your PhD thesis, you will report findings through writing scientific articles for publication in international peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, you will present your research findings at professional gatherings, scientific conferences, and other relevant events. You will also contribute to the education provided within Amsterdam UMC.


Amsterdam UMC


  • Master's degree in health sciences or a related discipline (e.g., medicine, social sciences, political science, business administration) with proven affinity for healthcare systems and services delivery;
  • Demonstrated interest in scientific research throughout your education;
  • Affinity with qualitative research methods;
  • Strong organizational skills and good interpersonal qualities;
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English, and preferably also in Dutch (not mandatory).

Conditions of employment

  • A flying start to your career in research work.
  • A flexible job with the option to work from home or on location.
  • Engagement in large-scale and individual research, alongside motivated colleagues from all around the world.
  • A 12-month contract with the intention of extending for an additional 36 months upon proven suitability.
  • Salary scale placement in OIO: €2,901 to €3,677 gross per month for full-time employment (depending on education and experience).
  • In addition to a good base salary, you will receive benefits including an 8.3% year-end bonus and 8% holiday allowance.
  • Pension accrual with BeFrank, a modern, comprehensible, and fairly priced pension provider.
  • Excellent public transportation accessibility and reimbursement of your travel expenses (75% public transportation reimbursement).


Amsterdam UMC

You will be employed at the Health Systems and Services Research Group within the Department of Public and Occupational Health. This is an international research group that maintains close ties with researchers abroad, governments, and international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). You will collaborate with other PhD candidates, postdocs, and senior researchers who are engaged in research on the quality, accessibility, and ecological, social, and financial sustainability of healthcare systems. Your main workplace will be at location VUmc , with occasional teaching or discussion sessions at location AMC. Remote working or part-time employment (0.8 FTE) is also possible and can be discussed. Several times a year, you will travel to Dublin for a few days.

You will be supervised by: Dr. Dionne Kringos (Associate Professor in Healthcare Research; Vice-Director of APH), and Dr. Óscar Brito Fernandes (Postdoctoral Researcher in Healthcare Research).


  • PhD
  • Health
  • 32—36 hours per week
  • €2901—€3677 per month
  • University graduate
  • 11231



Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ, Amsterdam

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