PhD position | Examining adaptive and maladaptive emotions in patients with cancer

36 hours - Salary: 2495 tot 3196 euro


Your challenge

The diagnosis of cancer leads to a wide range of emotions. In the field of mental health, it is generally acknowledged that a distinction needs to be made between normal and adaptive emotions versus maladaptive and psychopathological emotions. Current measurement instruments fail to make this distinction. The project aims to identify indicators distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive emotions in patients with cancer.

Patients with cancer are categorized as having ‘adaptive emotions’ or ‘maladaptive emotions’, using a professional interview. In all patients, we assess emotional symptoms, cancer-treatment related symptoms, and interference with activities, via mobile phone (ecological momentary assessment, EMA); patients are followed for two weeks.The data is used to test a series of hypotheses on indicators distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive emotions in patients with cancer; these hypotheses have been derived from recent innovative developments in the field of mental health (specifically the network theory on mental disorders, emotion dynamics, and life goals theory).The test protocol (EMA, interviews) has already been developed.

As a PhD student your main tasks will be:

  • Arranging the recruitment of patients;
  • Data gathering, processing, and analyses;
  • Writing of 3 empirical papers and 1theoretical review paper in international peer-reviewed journals;
  • Writing a PhD thesis based on high-quality internationally peer reviewed publications;
  • Training in essential research skills is part of the appointment as a PhD student;
  • Presentation of findings at (inter)national conferences.

Your profile

We are looking for an ambitious, accurate and well organized PhD student with an independent and pro-active attitute who likes to have a wide range of task and responsibilities within the project.

You also have the following qualifications:

  • A completed (research) master in medicine, psychology, health science, or a related discipline;
  • Interested in the interface between research and clinical practice, and between mental and somatic health;
  • Affinity or experience with statistical data-analysis;
  • Dutch as native language (because you need to communicate with Dutch patients); excellent communication skills in English;
  • Demonstrable organization skills and experience with working in a multi-disciplinary project team is a plus.

Your work environment

The project involves close collaboration between the departments of Psychiatry and Medical Oncology, Amsterdam UMC (location VUmc) and Medical Oncology, Radboud UMC, Nijmegen. These departments are conducting research, education and academic patient care. The main focus of the department of Psychiatry is on depression and anxiety disorders, two common psychiatric disorders with high public health impact. Both departments of Medical Oncology are focusing on new chemotherapies and new strategies of anticancer treatment, as well as palliative care. Other hospitals are involved as well. The close collaboration between these departments results in a highly interesting, multidisciplinary PhD project, at the interface between mental and somatic health.

We offer

Salary Scale PHD: 2495 tot 3196 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment where development is encouraged in every aspect. We offer you the opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow.

In addition we offer:
– Additional benefits include an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay.
– Your pension premium will be paid by us for 2/3.
– We reimburse 75% of your OV travel costs (commuting costs).

For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.
For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (a declaration of good behaviour).

Additional information

The preferred starting date for this position is Nov 2020, but is negotiable. The first interviews will take place at August 26th 2020. We kindly request you to take this into account.

The project is funded by KWF Kanker Bestrijding/Dutch Cancer Society.

Information and application

Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact prof. dr. Joost Dekker (psychologist), or prof. dr. Henk Verheul (medical oncologist), via telephone number 0655726887.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at 020 444 8704.

You can apply till 27 July 2020 by using the apply button.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.