PhD position on physiological wearables to detect Early Life Stress

PhD position on physiological wearables to detect Early Life Stress

Published Deadline Location
25 Jun 19 Aug Enschede

Job description

A lot of stress in the first 1,000 days from pregnancy to 2 years, can be harmful for life. Early Life Stress often goes unnoticed while it affects 1 in 8 children. The HEALS (Healthy EArly Life Start) Applied project aims to detect stress in young children early and support parents where necessary. HEALS Applied received a grant from the Netherlands National Science Agenda and entails a collaboration between several universities, knowledge institutes and partners from industry and practice.

HEALS Applied combines knowledge on co-creation and stress with the excellent Dutch preventive care during pregnancy and at consultancies, and develops new methods to detect harmful stress early. You will focus on the detection of (increased risk of) Early Life Stress. You will develop new (bio) markers of Early Life Stress obtained from wearable physiological sensors worn by parents (to be) and child and combine these with sources currently used in preventive healthcare, e.g. background, questionnaires and assessments.

You will work in close collaboration with experts from routine practice, parents (to be), and partners from industry working on advanced physiological sensors and data processing. Your work is closely entangled with the HEALS Applied work on the determinants and mechanisms of Early Life Stress and co-creation sessions.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have, or will shortly, acquire a master degree in the field of Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science or a related field.
  • You have experience in processing and analysing physiological data.
  • You have experience in running experiments and studies with human volunteers.
  • You have excellent communication skills.
  • You are proficient in English and in Dutch.
  • You are keen to interact with end-users , experts from practice, and technology partners and engage them in a co-creation process.
  • You are willing to travel within the Netherlands to meet end-users, experts and other stakeholders.

Conditions of employment

  • As a PhD candidate at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment.
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year).
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to campus sports facilities.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


Your project is grounded in both the University of Twente (Human Media Interaction group) and The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO (Child Health, Leiden and Human Performance, Soesterberg).

The Human Media Interaction group does research into multimodal interaction: from brain computer interfaces to social robots. It is a multidisciplinary group in which computer science meets social science to investigate, design and evaluate novel forms of human-computer interaction, including intelligent technology for health and well-being.

TNO Child Health contributes to the healthy and safe upbringing of children. We focus on preventive youth care, with an eye to the connection between children’s physical, social and psychological problems. At the interface between prevention and cure, and concentrating on integrated care and early prevention.

TNO Human Performance works on measuring, improving and predicting physical, mental, cognitive and perceptual performance.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before August 19, 2024 and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references.
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Prof. Jan van Erp,


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1831


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 19 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).