Phd position on personalized lifestyle interventions following ICU stay

Phd position on personalized lifestyle interventions following ICU stay

Published Deadline Location
11 Dec 14 Feb Maastricht

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We are looking for a PhD candidate with a strong background, interest, and affinity for academic research in the area of lifestyle interventions for clinical populations

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a strong background, interest, and affinity for academic research in exercise and nutritional interventions for clinical populations, who will be responsible for:
  • Contribution to the full project plan (under supervision).
  • Setting up and executing research studies within a clinical setting (writing protocol for ethical clearance, practical preparation for research, patient recruitment, planning and execution of test days, data handling and analysis).
  • Prepare progress reports, write academic publications (under supervision), and present research outcomes at national and international conferences.
  • Active contribution to other research activities within the larger research group.
  • Setting up and/or maintaining collaborations with various other groups within the University, Hospital, and beyond (rehabilitation center and industry).
  • Keeping up with the relevant scientific literature within the field of study.
  • Supervision of research assistants and students, where appropriate.
  • Completing a PhD thesis in 4 years.

Project description
Annually, more than 90,000 patients are admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in the Netherlands. As in-hospital mortality has dropped to 15%, 85% of the patients are discharged alive from the hospital. However, a large number of these patients have acquired severe weakness and functional disabilities. Many need to be transferred to rehabilitation centers, or nursing homes, and even the younger patients often fail to return to work. For many patients, post-ICU hospital discharge is the start of a long journey with substantial physical, cognitive, and/or mental health problems. Currently, awareness and recognition of these symptoms, known as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) are growing. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the best treatment strategies for PICS, probably due to the lack of understanding of the pathophysiological processes and risk factors underlying PICS. In this project we will evaluate the efficacy of lifestyle interventions, combining personalized exercise and nutritional intervention to allow more rapid and complete recovery.

The current project will apply personalized exercise and nutritional intervention in ex-patients who have been admitted to the ICU and who are still compromised with regards to their physical function (PICS) and evaluate the efficacy of such a program to help them regain health and functional performance.


Maastricht University (UM)


Candidates should hold a Master degree (MSc) in a relevant field (e.g. nutrition, biomedical science, medicine, or exercise sciences/movement sciences). There is a preference towards candidates holding a medical degree and/or candidates with experience and affinity working with clinical populations. The preferred candidate is a team player with excellent collaboration and communication skills, including speaking Dutch and English fluently. Finally, the candidate should have a strong drive to participate in in vivo human research on the impact of exercise and nutrition on muscle mass, function, and overall health in clinical populations.

Conditions of employment

What we offer

As PhD candidate 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 according to UFO profile PhD candidate, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from € 2,770 and € 3,539 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 1.0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • 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.

Human Biology / Intensive Care / NUTRIM
The Department of Human Biology is part of NUTRIM, Research Institute of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, within the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University. The central research theme of the Department of Human Biology is Healthy Living with Obesity, Sarcopenia, Energy metabolism and Cardiometabolic Health as spearheads.

The Department of Intensive Care medicine delivers care for critically ill patients, suffering from at least one vital organ failure. The department has a strong track record on clinical and translational research on protein metabolism and an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Human Biology. Clinical studies are performed under supervision of staff intensivists and in adherence with the “Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act” (WMO)

NUTRIM - Research Institute of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism is part of the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences of the Maastricht University. NUTRIM catalyses translational research into metabolic and chronic inflammatory disorders and aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalized medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions. Within NUTRIM, approximately 400 scientists including 245 PhD students, and an additional 70 support staff members work interdisciplinary together in 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioral-science departments. Through its research master and PhD programme, NUTRIM aims to educate investigators of high scientific excellence and ambassadors to support and develop this research field. For more information: NUTRIM Website.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 490


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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