Doctoral Student position in Machine Learning and Osteoarthritis

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Deadline: 15 Dec 2019

Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology (MIPT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

Description of the position

An international consortium (Finland, Sweden, Denmark) received recently a research grant of about 1 million euros aiming to provide a multi-scale modelling workflow coupled with machine/deep learning algorithms that can be used for prediction of the progression of osteoarthritis and optimization of its treatment. The project is composed of 6 multidisciplinary work packages:

WP 1: Mechanobiological modelling of musculoskeletal tissues.

WP 2: Motion analysis. 

WP 3: Finite element analysis of knee joint mechanics.

WP 4: Machine learning methodology.

WP 5: Integrations of WPs 1-4 to predict osteoarthritis progression and treatment outcomes.

WP 6: Socio-economic consequences.

We are seeking for a PhD student to work on development of novel machine/deep learning and computer vision models for prediction of osteoarthritis progression combining imaging and clinical patient data (WP 4). Specifically, X-ray data, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, symptom questionnaires, anthropometric data, general physical activity and blood tests will be utilized in PhD thesis.

Eventually, in WP5, the results from the finite element analysis of knee joint mechanics will be merged with the machine learning methodology to predict the progression of osteoarthritis over time and study the importance of biomechanics in clinical OA progression prediction. Development of the finite element methods (WP 3) will be done by another PhD student in the University of Eastern Finland (also call for applicants open). Both PhD students should work closely together.

The project involves potential mobility periods in partner universities: 1) University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; 2) Lund University, Sweden; and 3) University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Research environment

The research will be conducted at Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology (MIPT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland ( ). MIPT is an international environment of best national and international experts in medical research: neuroscience, osteoarthritis imaging and diagnosis, and health technologies. Our unit is highly interdisciplinary consisting of medical doctors, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and computer scientists. We previously published in such journals and conferences as PNAS, Radiology, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Scientific Reports, WACV, ICCV workshops and other venues.

After acceptance, a doctoral student will be enrolled to University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) doctoral program. The general requirements for admission to the UniOGS can be found at the following web pages: .

Length of the position

The contract will be made for four (4) years including a trial period of six (6) months.


We expect high motivation, excellent analytical skills, and ability to achieve the pre-defined goals. The ideal applicant should hold M.Sc. degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or other engineering discipline. If you have completed any of the on-line courses (e.g. on Coursera), please include it to your CV as well. Prior experience in machine learning, computer vision, data analysis and programming are considered as an advantage.


Finland is known as a country with a high quality of life and good healthcare system. The salary of the appointed researcher will be based on the demand level 2-4 chart for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition to the basic salary, an additional salary component (not more than 50% of the basic salary level) will be paid based on personal achievements and performance. The net starting salary for a Ph.D. student is approximately 2300-2400 € per month and it will progressively increase along with the progress of the student. In addition to the salary, the employed person will be insured by the university.

Application process

The application documents should include:

1)    A cover letter describing motivation for this position and earlier research experience

2)    Curriculum vitae and degree certificates

3)    Full list of peer-reviewed publications in English

4)    Full name and e-mail addresses of 1-2 referees (referees will be contacted separately)

5)    Links to your GitHub and Kaggle profiles if you have those 

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application form by December 15, 2019:

Applications sent by email will not be considered. The starting date is February 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Contact details

Direct any questions or correspondence to:

Simo Saarakkala, Ph.D.

Professor, Scientific Director

Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology

Faculty of Medicine

University of Oulu, Finland


Phone: +358 50 5746681

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