PhD Position in Medicine
Utrecht University

PhD candidate in Medicine 


Job description
A future where people no longer get sick due to exposures in their workplace. As PhD candidate or Postdoctoral researcher, you can contribute to this aim with your research. You will work towards a healthy future together with committed and knowledgeable colleagues, and you will have ample opportunities to take the initiative to give substance to the research projects. For the research programme of the new Dutch national expertise centre for occupational diseases (LEXCES) we are looking for two to three researchers to strengthen our team.

It has been estimated that in the Netherlands around 3,000 people die annually due to exposure to hazardous agents in the workplace. Many more will become ill and contract an occupational disease, of which the consequences for (former) workers are considerable. Workers who contract a disease after exposure to a hazardous agent will not only face health issues, but also often experience psychological problems and financial insecurity.

As PhD candidate/Postdoctoral researcher you will work at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), where we collaborate internationally to improve the health of humans and their environment. IRAS is a world-leading institute in the research field of exposure assessment in the (work) environment and related health effects. We develop and apply advanced methods to further improve the research in this field. The international character of IRAS is also reflected in its employees whom originate from all over the world. We consider it important that, in your role as researcher, you:
  • will set up collaborations with the other partners within and outside LEXCES;
  • will work on developing new methods and share your insights with both the scientific community and the professionals in daily practice;
  • will strengthen the field of occupational health by developing new knowledge and networks.

IRAS has recently established LEXCES together with four other partners within the Netherlands. Within LEXCES we combine scientific knowledge from different fields, aiming at developing more effective preventive measures and supporting technologies and methodologies that can be applied in daily practice. An example is early detection of exposure to hazardous agents and early biological effects. You can read more in this interview with Susan Peters: "We're aiming for a world where people no longer get sick as a result of their work.".

Within LEXCES you will work as a PhD candidate/Postdoctoral researcher on one or more of the following objectives:
  • Mapping of existing data sources on occupational exposure and health, and how these sources are (or can be) connected.
  • Improve exposure assessment, analyses of occupational exposure data and development of job-exposure matrices.
  • Explore the possibilities of new AI-systems (like ASReview, INDRA and AOP finder) to map knowledge about potentially hazardous agents and exposure.
  • Investigate which possibilities new biomonitoring techniques offer for early detection of chemical exposures and how biomonitoring can be used to detect any health effects as soon as possible after a new substance has been released on the market, so that preventive measures can be taken.
  • Explore the literature on probability of causation and aspects that affect individual sensitivity, as well as performing analyses on existing (cohort) studies and/or simulation studies to evaluate alternative approaches on probability of causation.

We are looking for several enthusiastic new colleagues who as PhD candidate/Postdoctoral researchers want to contribute to a healthy future:
  • You have a PhD in epidemiology or related field e.g., data science, toxicology, exposure science) or you are interested in pursuing a PhD.
  • You have a demonstrated interest in, or experience with occupational health.
  • You can communicate effectively with colleagues and external partners.
  • You can work independently and have a pro-active attitude.
  • You are analytically strong: you view questions from various sides and are able to prioritise.
  • You have strong command of the English language, both spoken and written.

For the PhD-candidate we offer a temporary position (0.8-1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years when 1.0 FTE and five years when 0.8 FTE upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year, including an attractive retirement scheme.

For the Postdoctoral researcher we offer a temporary position (0.8-1.0 FTE) for 24 months. After a positive evaluation, extending the employment is one of the possibilities. The minimum gross salary is €2,960 and the maximum gross salary is €4,670 (scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year, including an attractive retirement scheme.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. Furthermore the faculty delivers expert clinical care at the University Animal Hospital. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1,500 students. It is is located at Utrecht Science Park, near the historical city centre of Utrecht.

Additional information
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Susan Peters at or Professor Roel Vermeulen at

This vacancy will be opened for a longer period, but interviews may be planned earlier since we have multiple positions available.

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply now' button below.

*Note to recruitment agencies: Please refrain from contacting us regarding this job posting.

The application deadline is

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