PhD position Simulation Modeling for Economic Evaluation in Diabetes Mellitus


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 31,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study and career paths. Students are provided with a well-balanced, high quality curriculum across a multitude of disciplines. The University of Groningen is an international centre of knowledge: it belongs to the best research universities in Europe and is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide.

We are looking for an enthusiast candidate for our research unit PTEE (Pharmacotherapy, -Epidemiology, and -Economics), Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) ( We are located physically within the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) of the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS). In other words, GRIP is ideally positioned to benefit from co-operations between both faculties.

Job description

Economic evaluation supports health-policy decision makers in allocating scarce resources in health care. Health economic decision modeling applies statistical, epidemiological and operations research methods to simulate the long term outcomes of alternative treatment options, considering health effects as well as treatment costs and wider economic consequences, e.g. effects on productivity.

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a non-communicable disease characterized by distorted glucose regulation. Due to increased levels of blood glucose patients have increased risk for a variety of complications, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, foot problems, eye complications and renal complications. The prevalence of diabetes is on the rise internationally as well as nationally and linked to rising prevalence of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Traditionally, treatment focuses on regulation of blood glucose. Recent research and new treatments tend to widen the perspective and address a broader variety of treatment and to consider diabetes as a continuum of disorders with varying importance for the role of glucose, lipids, blood pressure, and obesity.

In this PhD project, your goal is to address the challenges for Economic Evaluation of these new perspectives on diabetes and its treatment.
Taking current daily practice in the Netherlands as a starting point, possibilities for improvement by further fine-tuning of treatment to individual characteristics will be investigated.
Methods employed will include simulation modeling and prediction modeling. To do so, several sources of real world and experimental data are available. These include GP registry data from diabetes cohort studies with information as routinely registered in primary care, the IADB with detailed pharmacy dispensing data, and claims data with information on reimbursed costs for persons with and without diabetes.

You will work in Groningen. However, there is a close cooperation with researchers at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands ( Also, established international cooperation with Stanford University and Oxford University (HERC) offer nice opportunities.


We are looking for a PhD who:
- has a master or similar second-level university degree (e.g. engineer) from econom(etr)ics, applied mathematics, industrial engineering, or a similar discipline
- alternatively, candidates with a pharmacy, health sciences or epidemiology background may be considered if they have a strong quantitative record and proven interest in doing simulation model analyses
- are willing and able to work in a multidisciplinary team and communicate to colleagues with a different professional background
- have excellent English language skills (both written and spoken).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- a salary starting from € 2,325 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2,972 for a full-time employment
- holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income in May
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance in December
- a full-time temporary appointment for a period of in principle four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year
- a PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidates will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

How to apply
Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:
1. a cover letter with background and motivation (max. 1 page) (letter of motivation attachment)
2. curriculum vitae (CV attachment)
3. contact information of three references (extra attachment 1)
4. a statement regarding your past research experience, your research interest and other information you consider relevant (extra attachment 2, max 1 page).

You can submit your application until 1 September 11:59 pm / before 2 September Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr T.L. Feenstra, Associate Professor of PharmacoEconomics

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219393

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