PhD position on learning with algorithmic technologies in medical diagnosis

PhD position on learning with algorithmic technologies in medical diagnosis

Published Deadline Location
28 May 31 Jul Amsterdam
Are you interested in studying how people engage in different types of learning when working with algorithmic technologies? Please apply for a PhD position at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's KIN research group.

Job description

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is offering a fully funded, four-year PhD-position on learning with algorithmic technologies, as part of the NWO-funded project “Learning in artificial intelligence across and beyond occupational communities (LIAISON): Towards effective deployment of novel algorithmic technologies in medical diagnosis”.

Sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, deep learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) enable innovative ways of working and learning. A concrete and promising example of this is the use of AI in the domain of radiology. By using AI for diagnosing, radiologists can reduce their day-to-day workload, freeing up time to spend on medically challenging cases. This in turn can lead to more rigorous diagnostic accuracy, increased senses of autonomy in managing one's daily work.

However, the current use of algorithmic technologies for making such improvements in medical practice has been limited, short-sighted, fragmented, and unsystematic. While organizations and institutions are investing significantly in algorithmic technologies, this does not yet create sustainable, significant, viable values for patients, society, and the healthcare ecosystem.

Learning communities can help to overcome many problems by providing a safe and effective space for various stakeholders to collaboratively define, experiment with, and reflect on learning scenarios. In this project, we envision a learning community around ways of using algorithmic technologies in medical diagnosis, where developers, medical professionals, patients, and policy makers come together to:

1) explore and identify a range of possibilities for using algorithmic technologies for medical diagnosing, thereby considering different perspectives including technical, social, and ethical perspectives.

2) collaboratively experiment with algorithmic technologies in use-cases, thereby training workers in the efficient and effective development, implementation, and use of such technologies for medical diagnosing.

3) continuously share experience and insights to improve algorithmic technologies for medical diagnosing.

4) translate experiences from use cases into concrete learnings to provide input for education and training programs.

As PhD candidate, you will focus on understanding how people learn with algorithmic technologies within and across specific use-cases. You will be responsible for collectively designing and implementing experiments around use cases of medical diagnosing.

You will be part of a team of two PhD candidates and three senior researchers (Dr. Mohammad Rezazade Mehrizi; Dr. Wendy Günther and Dr. Willem Grootjans) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Leiden University Medical Center, and work with a community of medical professionals, patients, developers, and policy makers.

The project can start after October 1, 2024

Your duties

You will not be expected to train algorithms or engage in data science work. Rather, you will focus on understanding how people learn with algorithmic technologies.

You will need to develop a thorough understanding of learning theories and computer-human interaction. You will need to apply knowledge of how people experience, engage, and disengage in different types of learning traps. You will design and implement experiments around specific use-cases of using algorithmic technologies for medical diagnosing. In doing so you will set up and design systems, platforms, and interfaces required for running the experiments. In doing so, you will be considering the wishes of various stakeholders, including medical professionals, patients, developers, and policy makers. Through the experiments, you will capture and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on different types of learning occurring as humans interact with algorithmic technologies. You will also be expected to actively share insights and transfer research outcomes.

PhD candidates will give a modest contribution to the department’s teaching program, with the opportunity to obtain a basic qualification teaching certificate (shortened BKO).


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • Research Master or MSc in human-technology interaction, design, technical medicine, industrial engineering, or a related field;
  • Interest in theories on human-computer interaction and learning from psychological and workplace perspectives;
  • Ability to design and implement experiments around specific use cases and participate in collective design activities;
  • System design, programming, and interface skills. Experience with setting up platforms and configuring different technologies;
  • Understanding of medical context and ability to converse with medical specialists;
  • Affinity with data analytics, machine learning and AI;
  • Familiarity with quantitative as well as qualitative research methodologies;
  • Motivated to conduct high quality research with the aim of publishing top-level articles;
  • Academic writing skills;
  • Proficiency in English;
  • The person must be physically present and on-site in the Netherlands (being able to travel to Leiden Medical Center and Amsterdam on a regular basis for the data collection) and able to travel for the study across the EU.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially one year. If there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


KIN Center for Digital Innovation (KIN) ( is one of the departments of the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. KIN conducts research on the development, use and business value of innovative organizational processes and technologies. The research contributes to an international field that is relatively new and multi-disciplinary. We work closely together with faculty and researchers from other universities and cooperate with an extensive network of business partners. The KIN research group is also responsible for several courses in the Business Administration curriculum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and facilitates the Master Digital Business and Innovation.

School of Business and Economics
We at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at VU Amsterdam bring together socially relevant teaching and research in the areas of business administration and economics. We focus on real-life issues that have a huge impact on society, economics and ecology: from robotics to big data, and from job market participation to change management.

Collaboration and cooperation, transparency and social responsibility are four keywords that embody our approach. Students, researchers and staff at SBE share real-world knowledge in order to devise solutions together to global economic and social challenges. In order to make a positive impact on the world, society and the lives of others.

Are you interested in joining SBE? You will work in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment with motivated colleagues dedicated to helping society make informed choices. SBE employs roughly 600 staff, with 7,250 students enrolled in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and 1,700 executive students.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 6,150 staff work at the VU and over 31,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application. Please upload a short letter (maximum one page) in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and two references (names and e-mail addresses).

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4089


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).