Fulltime PhD student in Patient engagement through virtual reality

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 06 Aug 2023

31 May 2023
Job Information

University of Twente (UT)
Research Field

Cultural studies
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

6 Aug 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Do you want to make a difference in eHealth technology of the future?

Development of eHealth monitoring and coaching systems starts with including participants needs and wishes to determine the scope and acceptance of technology. However, this is limited to needs and wishes that people are currently able to imagine. By letting participants experiment with future-self perceptions in virtual reality, high engagement can be created for personalized lifestyle recommendations. You will identify preferences regarding the role of the sensor system for future daily living in a more vivid and valid way than traditional methods. With this approach you will contribute to developing monitoring and coaching systems that facilitate meaningful behavior change of high-risk populations.

This PhD project is part of the 4TU RECENTRE project (patient engagement work package). In the RECENTRE consortium, deep-tech sensor technology will be developed to monitor the health of people with cancer or obesity in their home setting. Predictive patient profiling and risk modelling methods will be developed to identify people with cancer or obesity who may benefit from personalized and adaptive lifestyle recommendations. See 4tu.nl/recentre for more information. You will have a chance to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration with other PhD Candidates and researchers from the fields of engineering, mathematics, nutrition sciences, social sciences and psychology. Input from the other work packages will continuously and bidirectionally inform the research in this PhD project. In addition, close collaboration with the BMSlab offers the chance to work with VR developers and experiment with innovative technology.

With the work package team, the Candidate will investigate with a mixed methods approach: immersive patient engagement that includes not only cognitive but also emotional and behavioral components; the role of future self approaches for lifestyle-related behavior change. The Candidate will conduct experimental research with people with cancer and/or obesity through personalized and adaptive VR.

Specific Requirements

We are looking for someone with:

  • a Master's degree or equivalent in psychology, health sciences or a related field
  • affinity with patient engagement and excellent communication skills to compassionately collaborate with people with vulnerable health
  • affinity with virtual reality and the interest to assist VR developers with (minor) programming tasks (experience with Unity software is a pre)
  • affinity and/or experience with working in an interdisciplinary team, and to learn from and collaborate with people with various backgrounds
  • affinity and/or experience with both qualitative and quantitative research and analysis (mixed methods is a pre)
  • independent thinking and critical analytical skills
  • ability to work within a complex, innovative and creative research project
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Dutch, in order to work in an international university and also collaborate with local research participants and other stakeholders

Additional Information

UT offers a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a subject of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment and a green and vibrant campus. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Universities and include:

  • You have an employment contract of 1.0 FTE (38 hours) for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employment conditions offered by the university
  • The gross monthly salary starts at €2,541 in the first year and amounts to €3,247 in the fourth year of your employment. In addition, the University of Twente has a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development
  • A training programme in which you and your supervisors draw up a plan for training and supervision
  • As a PhD student, you will be enrolled at the Twente Graduate School
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, but also encourage interaction and discussion with colleagues

Additional comments

The PhD position starts the 1st of October 2023; the vacancy is open until the 6th of August 2023. The first round of job interviews will be on the 14th and 15th of August. The second round will be planned a.s.a.p.

Please submit your online application before 7th of August 2023 for full consideration. Your application should include the following documents:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation, qualifications, and relevant experience for the position (max 1 page);
  • Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications if applicable);
  • Bachelor and Master grade transcripts;
  • Name and contact details of two references who worked closely with you.

Note that we only accept applications submitted through our online application portal.
For questions, please contact Judith Austin (j.austin@utwente.nl ) or dr. Christina Bode (c.bode@utwente.nl ).

Website for additional job details


Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Universiteit Twente
Postal Code
Drienerlolaan 5

Where to apply





Drienerlolaan 5
Postal Code

7522 NB

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