PhD position in the value assessment of innovations in end-stage organ failure

PhD position in the value assessment of innovations in end-stage organ failure

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13 Apr 17 May Enschede

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Job description

The four-year PhD position starts on the 2nd of September 2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter). The research project will be embedded in the Health Technology Services (HTSR) department, at the Faculty of Behavioural Management and Social Sciences of the University Twente (UT, The Netherlands).

The PhD candidate will be supervised by dr. Sopany Saing (HTSR), dr. Sebastian Rachuba (Center for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research), and prof. dr. Erik Koffijberg (HTSR). The candidate will collaborate with dr. Olivier Manintveld (Erasmus UMC, Rotterdam).

Project Description

Competition for limited healthcare resources is a hallmark of any healthcare system. In practice, this translates into a waiting list problem: patients need to wait for a resource to become available, e.g. solid organ transplantation waiting lists and the associated staff and bed/room space needed for the surgery and post-operative care. Compared to timely patient management, delayed interventions commonly result in loss of quality of life, or even death, and additional costs and burden to the healthcare system.

This begs the question, if a technological advancement is introduced into a clinical pathway restricted by resource constraints, how would this affect the waiting time for patients to receive healthcare? In organ transplantation, examples of such advancements include warm perfusion or mechanical circulatory support. Warm perfusion or 'Heart in a Box' allows a donor organ to remain viable for longer outside of the human body. Related to waiting time, there is also a growing concern regarding the shortage of the healthcare workforce. This means that patients are competing for similar healthcare professionals. What does the technological innovation mean for the healthcare workforce? This project will explore how we can measure the true impact of new innovations on available personnel capacity.

The concept of capacity constraints is important in Health Services Research but is typically not considered in Health Technology Assessment (HTA). HTA is a tool relied on by decision makers at both national governments and in some instances, at the hospital level, to determine whether or not to adopt a new technology. Healthcare delivery and the respective healthcare pathways are typically very complex and involve multiple stakeholders and different types of interventions (e.g. diagnostic, pharmaceutical, surgery, rehabilitation…). By incorporating capacity constraints in HTA we can develop a more clinically realistic model. Using simulation modelling techniques allows us to provide better support for decision-making processes at both the National and hospital level.

The overarching objective of the project

The project aims to investigate the health economic, but also broader impact, on healthcare resources, workforce, and the healthcare system, of innovations in the context of end-stage organ failure, using simulation modelling. This broader scope will generate insights beyond traditional HTA outcomes, thereby supporting hospitals and society in making optimal implementation and investment decisions. The model will capture the interaction and competition between the patient, donor organs, healthcare professionals, physical resources and the innovation of interest. In collaboration with cardiologists at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam we will be exploring the impact of ‘Heart in a Box’ (warm perfusion of donor organ) in end-stage heart failure.


University of Twente (UT)


Please apply if you are a highly motivated, enthusiastic and curious researcher who wants to combine academic depth with practical applicability, and who dares to take on the challenge of an interdisciplinary research project! We are looking for a candidate with the following qualities, interests and background:
  • A MSc degree in health technology assessment, health economics, health sciences, econometrics, economics, statistics, operations research, computer science, applied mathematics or a closely related quantitative discipline;
  • strong analytical skills;
  • good programming skills, e.g. R or Python;
  • the ability to work both independently and collaboratively;
  • good organizational and communication skills; and
  • good communication skills and an excellent command of spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

We encourage high responsibility and independence, while collaborating with colleagues, researchers, other university staff and partners. We follow the terms of employment by the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO). Our offer contains: a fulltime 4-year PhD position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • 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;
  • 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • 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;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • A full status as an employee at the UT, including pension, health care benefits and good secondary conditions are part of our collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.


At the department of Health Technology and Services Research (HTSR) (, multidisciplinary expertise is combined to support decisions on health innovation development, evaluation, optimization, and implementation. Research focuses on quantitative analyses supporting strategies to improve the efficiency and sustainability of healthcare. The HTSR section is part of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS, and the Technical Medical Center (TechMed,, a leading innovation hub of the University of Twente.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1749


University of Twente (UT)

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