Postdoc researcher in Biomedical Onco-Ethics

Postdoc researcher in Biomedical Onco-Ethics

Published Deadline Location
30 May 20 Jun Maastricht

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic postdoc researcher in Biomedical Ethics. Our department is committed to high-quality interdisciplinary teaching and research regarding health in society through philosophy, biomedical ethics and law, sociology, history and anthropology.

Job description
Research in biomedical ethics, focused on an ethical exploration of universal cancer screening.

Most cancers are detected at a stage where the chances of successful treatment are already significantly reduced. Population screening aimed at finding cancer at a pre-symptomatic stages has not until now been able to importantly improve this situation, given that for each form of cancer, it would require developing a separate test that is not only easily applicable, but also sufficiently accurate and affordable for a population screening program to have positive benefit-to-harm and cost-utility ratios. Against this background, the concept of universal (or multi-organ) cancer screening based on easily accessible tumor markers in the circulation may well be revolutionary, as it would allow simultaneous screening for in principle all types of cancer, using a minimally invasive blood test. While the research is still in the test-validation phase, it is important to pro-actively consider the wider conditions for responsible implementation of this possible new approach. In the light of internationally accepted criteria for population screening (‘Wilson and Jungner’) a potential concern is that it may not be obvious that for each and every form of cancer that such a test might detect, the benefits clearly outweigh any possible harms. If so, what follows for the proportionality of offering universal cancer screening? Is it perhaps time to reconsider the established screening criteria, and adapt them to the new era of broad-scope screening approaches?

In this explorative project, empirical research regarding stakeholder views and ethical analysis will be combined in order to identify ethically relevant issues that need to be addressed before the implementation of (some form of) universal cancer screening may be considered. As this is a short seeding project, it is designed to formulate the agenda for further steps, including ethics research projects, that will be necessary to define that end.

The ethics research will be embedded in GROW, the School for Oncology and Reproduction, at Maastricht University and located at the Department of Health Ethics and Society.

Candidate profile:
  • background in normative ethics (philosophy or theology)
  • a PhD on a (biomedical) ethics topic
  • expertise regarding the ethics of public health, more esp. population screening
  • a strong research profile and publication record
  • capacity and willingness to engage in qualitative empirical research
  • an interdisciplinary attitude
  • a willingness and ability to professionally connect to national and international debates linked with relevant research domains
  • proficiency in Dutch and English, both oral and in writing (min. C1)

What we offer
As Postdoc researcher in Biomedical Onco-Ethics at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 10 according to UFO profile Researcher, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €3226,00 and €5090,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 0,5 FTE.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

Department Health Ethics and Society
The Department Health, Ethics and Society (also known as Metamedica) is dynamic and multidisciplinary in nature, with contributions from a range of medical humanities disciplines, including ethics, law, sociology, anthropology, history, and philosophy. Its central ambition is to contribute to critical reflection on developments in biomedical science and healthcare through education and research, both locally and internationally/global.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact prof.dr. Guido de Wert at for more information.

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new Postdoc researcher in Biomedical Onco-Ethics? Apply now, no later than June 20, 2024 for this position.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • max. 19 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 976


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).