The School for Mental Health and Neuroscience has a vacancy for a PhD student, 38 hours/week, 4 years

The School for Mental Health and Neuroscience has a vacancy for a PhD student, 38 hours/week, 4 years

Published Deadline Location
13 Oct 23 Oct Maastricht

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Project title: Pathology is not destiny – Resilience to Alzheimer’s disease

Job description

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid plaque and tau tangle pathologies that can be measured by fluid or imaging biomarkers. Some persons can tolerate substantial amounts of AD pathology without experiencing cognitive impairment. These persons may be resilient to AD pathology. It is currently not clear which mechanisms are underlying resilience to AD pathology. Identification of these mechanisms may provide clues for the prevention of AD dementia.

In this study, the PhD Candidate will perform studies to uncover mechanisms of resilience. This will be done by the identification of biological signatures in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and by investigating associations between the biological signatures and potentially modifiable risk factors such as exercise, diet, social or cognitive activity.

The study will make use of data from the Amyloid Biomarker Study and the Maastricht Memory clinic. The Amyloid Biomarker Study is a data pooling initiative including data of more than 90 centers worldwide. The PhD candidate will identify, harmonize, combine and analyze data within the Amyloid Biomarker Study as well as keep strong communication lines with all partners. Dutch-speaking candidates will, depending on preliminary training, perform clinical activities at the memory clinic of the Maastricht University Medical Center.


  • Analyses of associations between AD biomarkers, CSF proteins, lifestyle factors and cognitive outcomes
  • Data harmonization and communication with project partners
  • Presentation of findings in a thesis, scientific publications and at (inter)national conferences.
  • Contribute to data collection at the Maastricht memory clinic (only for Dutch-speaking candidates)
  • Teaching and supervision of Master students


Maastricht University (UM)


For this project, we are looking for a candidate with an M.Sc. in neuropsychology, biomedical sciences, data science, computational neuroscience, health sciences, or related fields and affinity with working with large datasets. The candidate should have strong communicative, analytical and statistical skills, be flexible and open-minded.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 + 3 years.

This 4-year project will take place at the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS), divison Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at Maastricht University, the Alzheimer Center Limburg and the Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology at the Maastricht University Medical Center.

The employment takes place for 1.0 fte It concerns a temporary employment for a period of 48 months. The gross monthly salary is € 2.541,- per month in the first year up to € 3.247 ,- per month in the fourth year, conform the CAO promovendi salary scale.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. 
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  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2022.441


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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