PhD Position in Hearing Loss After Childhood Cancer
University of Bern Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Switzerland

PhD student for a participatory research project on hearing loss after childhood cancer

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern

The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern performs research in a range of disciplines relevant to public health (www.ispm.unibe.ch).

The Paediatric Epidemiology Research Group conducts population-based and
clinical studies in child health, with a specific focus on childhood cancer. The group is lead by Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Kuehni (claudia.kuehni@ispm.unibe.ch).

Today 85% of childhood cancer patients in Switzerland can be cured, but late effects of the harsh treatments are common. Hearing loss can develop after irradiation of the head or after certain chemotherapies, and can affect the educational achievements, social interactions, and quality of life of survivors. Hearing loss does not always appear directly after treatment, but may develop many years later. Therefore, former patients are advised to regularly check their hearing function. This does not happen as often as recommended, because cured patients are reluctant to take days off work to visit a specialized hospital to conduct hearing tests.

In your PhD, you will develop a project that evaluates an easy and low-threshold approach to screen for hearing loss after childhood cancer near the people's home. The project has a participatory approach and will include all stakeholders during the development and running of the research project: patients, physicians, and hearing experts. You will conduct interviews, lead focus groups, and conduct questionnaire surveys with childhood cancer survivors, physicians, and industry representatives.

Period: PhD contract for 3 years, start as soon as possible
Place: ISPM University of Bern, Switzerland
Apply no later than: September 30, 2021

During your PhD you will:
  • Set up a novel community-based approach to screen for hearing loss in childhood cancer survivors across Switzerland
  • Initiate and lead a stakeholder advisory panel including childhood cancer survivors, health care professionals (pediatric oncologists, audiologists, and general practitioners) and representatives from the industry
  • Evaluate the intervention based on the RE-AIM framework using qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g. by performing semi-structured interviews)
  • Contribute to the clinical data collection on hearing loss
  • Collaborate with a broad team of pediatricians, epidemiologists, statisticians, and other PhD students
  • Present your results in international meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals
You have:
  • A university degree (MSc or equivalent) in psychology, sociology, public health, health sciences, medical anthropology/ethnology or related fields
  • A strong interest in child health, qualitative research, and epidemiology
  • Experience in qualitative research (e.g. leading interviews or focus groups, etc.)
  • Fluency in English and German and/or French, ideally both
What we offer:
    • Working in a motivated and competent research team.
    • Teaching in methods of health-related research.
    • Preparation for a research career in a scientific setting (university) or a public health institution.
    • Enrolling in a lively graduate school of the University of Bern.
    • Salary according to the Swiss National Science Foundation Salary Scales for PhD students.
If you look for an exciting PhD position in a highly motivated team, please send your CV with motivation letter as PDF to Dr. Luzius Mader (luzius.mader@ispm.unibe.ch) and Dr. Fabiƫn Belle (fabien.belle@ispm.unibe.ch). For further information please contact us by e-mail.


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