2 PhD Positions in Social health Sciences/Medical Sciences in ERC-funded project TRAJECT

  • Contract
  • FullTime

Vrije Universiteit Brussel


3 Jul 2023
Job Information

Organisation/Company
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department
End-of-Life Care Research Group
Research Field
Medical sciences » Health sciences
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country
Belgium
Application Deadline
7 Aug 2023 – 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
Type of Contract
Temporary
Job Status
Full-time
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
HE / ERC
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?
No

Offer Description

2 fully funded First Stage Researcher (PhD student) positions in European Research Council (ERC) – funded project
to re-shape our understanding of older people’s end-of-life trajectories 

The End-of-Life Care Research Group of Vrije Universiteit Brussel is looking to fill two PhD positions (full-time appointment) for a large-scale research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and supervised by Prof Dr Lara Pivodic. The project title is “TRAJECT: Uncovering commonalities and differences: Towards a novel framework for identifying end-of-life trajectories of older people with serious chronic illness.” ERC funding is amongst the most prestigious and competitive funding schemes of the European Union, providing the opportunity to tackle a fundamental research problem in a team.

The PhD students will join a multidisciplinary team of researchers who will conduct a mixed-methods, inter-disciplinary investigation of older people’s end-of-life trajectories. The TRAJECT project responds to the long-standing scientific challenge of identifying commonalities in end-of-life trajectories across groups of people, without masking important inter-individual differences. Its central aim is to gain understanding of what is generalisable and what is individually specific in older people’s end-of-life trajectories and in the circumstances that shape them. In a convergent mixed-methods investigation, this work combines 1) a large quantitative longitudinal study and 2) a serial narrative interview study; both with older people (70 years or over) with serious chronic illness who are nearing the end of life. By combining structured quantitative methods with experience-based constructivist approaches, this project aims to achieve groundbreaking insights into older people’s end-of-life trajectories.

PhD position 1 focuses on the quantitative sub-study, PhD position 2 focuses in the qualitative sub-study. Throughout the project, both PhD students will collaborate with a wider project team to integrate the findings from these two research strands.

The work location is Brussels Health Campus (VUB Campus in Jette).

Starting date: Between October and December 2023

 

Tasks for PhD position 1

  • You are responsible for the tasks of preparing and conducting the quantitative longitudinal study, under the supervision of the project coordinator and a postdoctoral researcher. This includes setting up the study and preparing all relevant materials, establishing and maintaining contacts with clinicians at the participant recruitment sites, participant recruitment, data collection, data analysis and writing scientific articles. At a later point in the project, you will be joined by a second PhD student on this quantitative strand of the project.
  • You complete a doctoral dissertation within the topic of this project (PhD by publication)
  • You contribute to the mixed-methods integration of the quantitative and qualitative sub-studies
  • You contribute to other parts of the project by assisting with data collection or dissemination
  • You contribute to the project’s visibility by (co-)authoring scientific publications, participating in and helping organise scientific events, and by updating the project’s website and social media accounts
  • Together with all team members, you contribute to logistical and administrative support of the project
  • You contribute to the activities of the End-of-Life Care Research Group

 

    Tasks for PhD Position 2

    • You are responsible for the tasks of preparing and conducting the serial narrative study, under the supervision of the project coordinator and a postdoctoral researcher. This includes setting up the study and preparing all relevant materials, establishing and maintaining contacts with clinicians at the recruitment sites, participant recruitment, conducting narrative interviews, analysing interviews and writing scientific articles.
    • You complete a doctoral dissertation within the topic of this project (PhD by publication)
    • You contribute to the mixed-methods integration of the quantitative and qualitative sub-studies
    • You contribute to other work packages by assisting with data collection or dissemination
    • You contribute to the project’s visibility by (co-)authoring scientific publications, participating in and helping organise scientific events, and by updating the project’s website and social media accounts
    • Together with all team members, you contribute to logistical and administrative support of the project
    • You contribute to the activities of the End-of-Life Care Research Group

    APPLICABLE TO BOTH PHD POSITIONS

    What we offer

    • A competitive full-time doctoral scholarship* for the duration of 4 years, subject to favorable annual evaluation.
    • The opportunity to obtain a PhD within a large research project, funded by the European Union, which is expected to deliver groundbreaking scientific findings
    • Supervision by an interdisciplinary team consisting of an experienced Principal Investigator, an excellent postdoctoral researcher, and experts from adjacent disciplines.
    • A pleasant workplace in a large research group with many other early-stage researchers and with many opportunities for professional development

    * includes social security contributions, in compliance with Belgian law (including pension contributions, health insurance and benefits covering your income loss in case of illness or maternity).

       

      Requirements

      Research Field
      Sociology
      Education Level
      Master Degree or equivalent

      Research Field
      Medical sciences
      Education Level
      Master Degree or equivalent

      Research Field
      Anthropology
      Education Level
      Master Degree or equivalent

      Research Field
      Psychological sciences
      Education Level
      Master Degree or equivalent

      Skills/Qualifications

      Required skills and qualifications for PhD position 1

      • You hold a Master’s degree with honours/magna cum laude or an equivalent or higher study result in psychology, sociology, epidemiology, gerontology, health sciences, or a similar degree by 30 Sept 2023
      • You have a deep interest in and enthusiasm for research and are highly motivated to embark on an early-career researcher position and complete a doctoral degree within the foreseen time frame
      • You can demonstrate your scientific skills and experience through the quality of your master thesis and your academic background. At least one publication (e.g. scientific article, blogpost, layperson summary of scientific findings, etc.) is highly appreciated.
      • You have a background (e.g. through your studies, internships, specialization courses, master thesis, previous employment etc.) in at least one of the topics of the project: population ageing, serious/chronic illness, end of life, health/illness trajectories; or you can otherwise demonstrate an affinity with these topics.
      • Very good skills in quantitative data analysis and high motivation to develop these skills further. Proficiency in advanced statistical analysis methods is an advantage.
      • Experience in work or research with vulnerable populations is highly appreciated
      • Collaborative, team-minded and pro-active attitude
      • Excellent self-management and planning skills and ability to work independently
      • High level of written and oral communication skills in Dutch and English, especially academic English; mastery of additional languages commonly spoken in Belgium is a strong asset
      • You have not yet held a position of doctoral bursary (doctoraatsbursaal) in Belgium for more than 6 months

      Required skills and qualifications for PhD position 2

      • You hold a Master’s degree with Honours/Magna cum Laude or equivalent excellent study results in psychology, anthropology, gerontology, sociology, nursing, health sciences, agogics or a similar degree by 30 Sept 2023
      • You have deep interest and enthusiasm for qualitative research and are highly motivated to embark on an early career researcher position and complete a doctoral degree within the foreseen time frame
      • You can demonstrate your scientific skills and experience through the quality of your master thesis and your academic background. At least one publication (e.g. scientific article, blogpost, layperson summary of scientific findings, etc.) is highly appreciated.
      • You have a background (e.g. through internships, specialization courses, master thesis, previous employment etc.) in at least one of the topics of the project: population ageing, serious/chronic illness, end of life, narrative research, health/illness trajectories; or you can otherwise demonstrate an affinity with these topics.
      • Very good skills in qualitative research and analysis methods; experience or affinity with phenomenological or constructivist research approaches is an advantage
      • Experience in work or research with vulnerable populations is highly appreciated
      • Collaborative, team-minded and pro-active attitude
      • Excellent self-management and planning skills and ability to work independently
      • High level of written and oral communication skills in Dutch and English, especially academic English; mastery of additional languages commonly spoken in Belgium is a strong asset
      • You have not yet held a position of doctoral bursary (doctoraatsbursaal) in Belgium for more than 6 months

      Languages
      ENGLISH
      Level
      Excellent

      Languages
      DUTCH
      Level
      Excellent

      Additional Information
      Benefits

      Working at VUB

      At the VUB, you are guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build your career. As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

      • A competitive full-time doctoral scholarship for the duration of 4 years, subject to favorable annual evaluation.
      • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
      • Hospitalisation insurance;
      • Space to shape the content of your work and continuously learn;
      • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
      • Ecocheques;
      • Meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
      • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a full-time contract). 

      Selection process

      HOW TO APPLY

      Send to [email protected] and at the latest on August 7th 2023

    • Your CV, with a list of your publications, if applicable
    • The highest degree you have attained and a list of your final grades
    • Letter of motivation, in which you
    • clearly indicate your preference for either the PhD1 or PhD2 position and
    • in which you outline your motivation to obtain a doctoral degree and where you explain your perspective on research on older people’s end of life.
    • A copy of your master thesis. If it is not completed yet, an abstract, the introduction and at least one full chapter
    • If applicable: another relevant writing sample
    • The name, institution and e-mail addresses of two referees from your academic and/or professional background who may be contacted for a reference
    • The selection procedure comprises the following:

    • First screening of applications and shortlist; notification of candidates outside of shortlist
    • For shortlisted candidates: A brief test of knowledge quantitative research concepts and understanding of statistics (for PhD1) or of qualitative research concepts (for PhD2); followed by notification of candidates who did not pass test.
    • For candidates who passed test: interview on motivation, goals and perspectives regarding work in this ERC project
    • Final selection and notification of candidates
    • If no suitable candidates are found after any of these steps the vacancy will be reopened after the closing date.

      Additional comments

      More information needed?

      If you have questions related to one of these vacancies, you can contact Prof dr Lara Pivodic ([email protected] ).

      Work Location(s)

      Number of offers available
      2
      Company/Institute
      Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Family Medicine & Chronic Care, End-of-Life Care Research Group
      Country
      Belgium
      City
      Brussels
      Postal Code
      1090
      Street
      Laarbeeklaan 103
      Geofield

      Where to apply

      E-mail
      [email protected]

      Contact

      City
      Brussels
      Website
      http://www.endoflifecare.be
      Street
      Laarbeeklaan 103
      E-Mail
      [email protected]

      STATUS: EXPIRED

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