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Erasmus MC, in collaboration with TU Delft, is looking for a PhD candidate within a project investigating the development and employment of unique advanced biomechanics and imaging methods to precisely assess load in cartilage and other joint tissues in osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a highly prevalent, progressive and degenerative musculoskeletal disease affecting the joints, and it is associated with impaired mobility and pain. Developing models that link advanced biomechanics and imaging data will facilitate accurate and precise quantification of joint stress that can be further linked to OA outcomes such as structural progression of OA features or clinical measures like pain. Developing these valid and reliable models could be used in a variety of clinically and experimentally relevant applications, including improving the identification and quantification of individual patient risk factor profiles, informing diagnosis and treatment planning, evaluating interventions, and performing computational simulations of novel interventions.
At Erasmus MC we are building a beyond-the-state-of-the-art biomechanics gait lab that combines traditional motion capture, instrumented treadmill, and dynamic bi-planar fluoroscopy. Using multiscale computational modelling, data captured in the lab will be linked to high resolution, advanced magnetic resonance imaging data and possibly with additional data acquired via other imaging modalities, other biomechanics instrumentation (e.g. electromyography, wearables/inertial measurement units), or lab-based measures (e.g. urinalysis, surgical explants).
You will be responsible for all aspects of completing your study within this project, including: writing detailed study protocols, securing ethical approval to perform studies, perform participant recruitment and enrolment, performing data collection, analysing data, and writing manuscripts to disseminate study findings. Regarding data collection, the PhD student will be responsible for collecting biomechanical measurements and in acquiring images using both MRI and fluoroscopy. This project may include working with clinical MR scanners but also high resolution scanners and the PET-MRI instrument. You are expected to publish your research results in international peer-reviewed journals. You will also present your work at international conferences, and will write and defend a doctoral dissertation.
Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)
- You finished a Master in Technical Medicine or Medicine and have affinity for technology. A related Masters background will be considered, though preference is given to individuals qualified to independently acquire MR images.
- You have a strong and enthusiastic scientific interest, specifically related to biomechanics and medical imaging.
- You have strong interpersonal skills, including experience working with patients or conducting patient-oriented research.
- You are fluent in both English and Dutch, with excellent scientific writing skills.
- You have a creative and problem-solving mind-set and are able to work in a multidisciplinary team. You can collaborate with researchers with different backgrounds and expertise.
- You show initiative, are not afraid to approach people and have excellent social skills.
- You are pragmatic, meticulous, and able to work with deadlines. You are internally driven, work independently, and excel in a structured work environment. You know how and when to ask for help or support.
Conditions of employment
A challenging position within one of the largest University Medical Centers (UMC) in the Netherlands with high ambitions in the field of healthcare and education, and sharing a joint strategy with TU Delft ("Convergence") on how to impact the future of healthcare.
- An enthusiastic multidisciplinary team of research professionals and thorough guidance and supervision during the PhD traject.
- You will receive a temporary position for 4 years.
- Salary is based on scale 10 for candidates with a master in Medicine. Candidates with different backgrounds will receive € 2.570,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.271,- in the 4th year, according to scale OIO.
- Training and courses on medical scientific research.
- Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
- A pension insurance with ABP. Erasmus MC contributes approximately 2/3rd of the monthly payment.
- Special conveniences, such as an on-site and affordable bicycle repair shop, sports club, and physiotherapist.
The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC)
You will be primarily located at Erasmus MC in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine. You will collaborate closely with the Department of General Practice, as well as the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at TU Delft. You will work at TU Delft occasionally, for example to attend lab meetings and to assist with data collection in the biomechanics laboratory.
You will be embedded within and supported by a large, enthusiastic and driven group of researchers within the areas of orthopaedics, medical imaging and biomechanics. Within the project there is a close collaboration with investigators in the Erasmus MC Departments of Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, as well as with investigators from the TU Delft Department of Biomechanical Engineering (sections Biomechatronics and Tissue Biomechanics). Collaborations will also occasionally include other Departments as needed to provide intellectual and technical support, such as General Practice (EMC) or Imaging physics (TNW-TUD).