PhD student | Bayesian methods in modeling cancer screening

36 uur / Salarisindicatie: 2279 to 2919 euro / Vast contract, bepaalde tijd


Your work environment

The department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the VU University Medical Center aims to initiate, support, and perform excellent scientific research, in and for benefit of the priorities of VUmc. In addition, we aim to educate (future) clinicians and researchers in the field of epidemiology and biostatistics. The EpidM programme of our department includes a Master’s Programme in Epidemiology, ongoing additional training courses in epidemiological and advanced statistical methods, and international Winter Courses.

Your challenge

EpidM and the research line ‘Decision Modeling’ are looking for a PhD student who will develop a course in Bayesian Statstics, embedded within a PhD project. Topics of the course will include the basic principles of Bayesian statistics versus frequentist methods, Bayesian hypothesis testing, numerical methods to estimate the posterior, Bayesian regression models, and Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling.

The PhD project will focus on developing probabilistic methods for multi-state models, with applications to cervical cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening. Multi-state models are used to describe the progression of precancerous lesions to detectable cancer and the interaction of the natural course of disease with screening. The PhD student will develop methods to simultaneously estimate the durations between health states and the accuracy of screening tests from individual-level screening and treatment data, explicitly addressing the adequate estimation of uncertainty. This project is embedded in the Decision Modeling Center from the VU Medical Center. The DMC aims to optimize decision making in health care by developing and using mathematical models, and has established a track record in mathematical modeling both in the field of cancer screening, as well as personalized diagnostics and treatment.

Your profile

We are looking for a PhD student who will be to develop and teach the EpidM Bayesian Statistics course, develop statistical methods for multi-state models, apply these methods to screening data, and write scientific publications.

  • Your profile
    We are searching for junior investigator with the following expertise and experience:
  • You have a Masters degree in Econometrics, Mathematics, Statistics, Mathematical biology or a comparable subject matter;
  • You are interested in statistical methodology as well as applied decision modeling in the field of health care;
  • You have an Interest in teaching and developing educational materials
  • You have experience with performing statistical analyses (SPSS, Stata or R) and mathematical modeling.
  • You have programming experience using preferably R, C++.
  • You are able to take initiative and work independently.

We offer

Salary Scale PHD: 2279 to 2919 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

In addition to a good base salary, we offer, amongst others, an 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay. For more information on our fringe benefits, please see our benefits

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag).

Additional information

The interviews are scheduled Tuesday June, 26th. We want to ask you to take this into account in your agenda.


Don’t hesitate to call or email us! If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Veerle Coupé, via telephone number 020 – 444 1049. If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Dionne Mooijer, corporate recruiter at 020 – 444 5635. You can apply till 19 June 2018 by using the apply button.