PhD candidate for RIVER-EU


Huisartsgeneeskunde & Ouderengeneeskunde

Working Enviroment

The Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine and the Department of Health Sciences, Global Health Unit, are looking for a PhD candidate to work on an international research project, entitled Reducing Inequalities in Vaccine uptake in the European Region – Engaging Underserved communities (RIVER-EU). This project aims to make access to vaccination, with specific focus on MMR and HPV, equitable. To improve access to these vaccines among underserved communities in Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia, the project will aim at identifying and removing health system barriers. The PhD candidate will focus on qualitative data collection in the Netherlands and quantitative data collection in four European countries.

Project background
The RIVER-EU project is funded from the European H2020 collaborative research program and coordinated by the UMC Groningen. Vaccine coverage for minority groups, including those with a minority ethnic background, in Europe is lower than that for the general population. Religious and cultural minorities and individuals with a minority ethnic background often have worse access to healthcare across Europe. This leads to lower vaccine coverage for these groups. RIVER-EU focuses on identifying and removing obstacles in the health care system by adjusting existing interventions and developing new ones that are tailor-made with and for disadvantaged communities.

The fieldwork for the PhD-candidate on RIVER-EU will consist of two parts: 1.) data collection on experienced health system barriers, on possible solutions and on the implementation of interventions in the Netherlands among and with Turkish and Moroccan girls and among stakeholders (health care professionals and policy makers). 2.) data collection on cost-effectiveness of interventions in all five included communities in Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

The UMCG Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, in collaboration with the Global Health Unit of the Department of Health Sciences, is leading and coordinating a consortium of 14 partners from the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Finland and the UK. The research project will start June 2021 and will last five years.

Research activities
The research activities in the RIVER-EU project will be:
- To describe the two underserved communities in the Netherlands (Turkish and Moroccan female).
- To explore health system barriers and enablers to vaccination that result in Dutch Turkish and Moroccan female achieving low uptake.
- Prioritise – via a Delphi study – health system barriers that are most important to address.
- Adapt existing interventions and/or develop and adapt new interventions in close collaboration with target population and with stakeholders.
- Implement and evaluate interventions in a participatory action research approach.
- Prepare and conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis to evaluate the health and economic value of the (various) interventions.
- Disseminating research outcomes, including writing reports and scientific publications.

Your role
You will be part of the UMCG team of social scientists, health scientists, general practitioners and health economists. You will be working under direct supervision of a post-doctoral fellow, a senior research assistant and respective professors. Your work will be both in guiding qualitative (participatory action research) and quantitative data collection (cost-effectiveness) and analysis.

Job description

The Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine and the Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen
The University Medical Center Groningen, located in the center of Groningen, is one of the Netherlands’ eight university medical centers and the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands. It has an ambitious, dynamic, international environment with state-of-the-art facilities. More than 13.000 employees provide patient care, are involved in medical education and perform cutting-edge scientific research with focus on healthy ageing.

The Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine of the UMCG has various tasks for which more than 200 enthusiastic and committed employees work together. They provide student education and the three-year training to become a general practitioner. The department also conducts scientific research in general practice, elderly care medicine and midwifery, and provides patient care in the Academic General Practice Groningen.

The Department of Health Sciences consists of the Community and Occupational Medicine and Health Psychology Sections as well as the unit of Applied Healthcare Research and the Global Health Unit. The department hosts about 130 employees, most of whom work as researchers. The Global Health Unit concentrates its education and research on international health with focus on health systems, health outcomes and health economics research and has around 10 (parttime) staff members and 30-40 PhD students.


- You have a (research) master’s degree in sociology, health sciences, public health, medicine or other health-related sciences.
- You have affinity with underserved communities and global health.
- You have knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
- For this position, fluency in Dutch is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of Arabic/Turkish is an advantage. You have proven expertise in written English, e.g. a master thesis and/or a publication.
- You are flexible, ambitious and eager to learn.
- You are an excellent team player, and are able to work as a dedicated team member, arrange your time efficiently and comfortable with complex situations.
- You are available to start the job on short notice (June 2021).
- You meet with other conditions that UMCG may pose, e.g. Certificate of Good Conduct, and testimonials from previous employers.

Conditions of employment

We offer a challenging position (0.6 FTE) for five years, the duration of the doctoral research, in an inspiring and multidisciplinary and international environment. The appointment will be initially for one year, when functioning well the appointment will be extended till the end of the project. Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English:

The first round is on 28th of April between 11.00 and 16.00.
The second is 29th April between 15.00-17.00 or the 30th between 10.00-11.00.

For more information about this position:
- Dr. Danielle Jansen, associate professor, e-mail address:

Additional information

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 11 April 2021. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form