PhD: Investigating mechanisms of fatigue and fatigability in clinical groups
Biomedical Sciences of Cells & Systems (BSCS)
The mission of the section Molecular Neurobiology of the department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems (BSCS) is to study the central nervous system (CNS) during healthy ageing and neurodegenerative diseases using state-of-the-art techniques. The University Medical Center Groningen is located in an exciting student city in the northern Netherlands. The PhD student will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen and will be embedded within the Research Institute Brain and Cognition.
Fatigue is a frequently occurring symptom in many patient groups (e.g. multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s syndrome, and long-COVID). Fatigue negatively affects quality of life and the ability to be employed. Although many factors that contribute to sense of fatigue have been identified, most underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Fatigue has a multifactorial basis and investigating fatigue requires (simultaneous) combinations of different techniques. Fatigue is per definition self-reported and can be measured with questionnaires. In contrast, fatiguability refers to a quantitative decline in performance. This decline can be measured during for instance motor or cognitive tasks and strongly affects a person’s sense of fatigue.
Studying fatigue and fatigability across different patient groups provides a unique approach to further our understanding of fatigue and fatigability. Although the pathophysiological mechanisms fundamental to these illnesses differ, similarities between mechanisms and manifestations of fatigue may exist and will help us to understand the mechanisms underlying fatigue. Among techniques to be used will be nerve and cortical brain stimulation, electromyographical recordings, functional MRI, (sub)maximal exercise tests and various behavioral measurements (force measures, motor learning, reaction times).
The successful candidate has obtained a MSc degree in biology, human movement sciences, medical or biomedical sciences and has a strong interest in human neuroscience and physiology. The successful candidate has a good command of English (oral and written), can work independently, is able to manage all aspects of this PhD project, and possesses good communication skills (indicated by the proven ability to write scientific papers and deliver presentations).
Conditions of employment
We offer a 4 year PhD position for 1 fte (36 hours a week), with a go/no-go decision after 12 months. 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 (4th) 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).
Section of Molecular Neurobiology
Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems
How to apply
Full applications including a motivation letter, your CV and at least two contacts for reference letters will receive full consideration. Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 31 October 2021.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.
For more information about this vacancy you may contact:
Dr. Inge Zijdewind