PhD project: Power in Interprofessional Education (IPE): Exploring the landscape


Obstetrie & Gynaecologie

Working Enviroment

We offer a stimulating working environment that nurtures interdisciplinary and international collaboration. The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands and one of the most important medical knowledge institutes in the country. It has a supportive research environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, professional development, and networking. The present research project is carried out at the Wenckebach Institute for Education and Training and the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It will be part of the research group on Interprofessional Education (IPE) within the Lifelong Learning, Education and Assessment Research Network (LEARN) program of the UMCG Graduate School of Medical Sciences. The Wenckebach Institute organizes and supports all education and training that takes place in the UMCG. Evidence-based education development is one of the main responsibilities of the institute, with a 20-year-tradition in medical education research as its spearhead. This research has been impactful in areas such as assessment, inter-professional education, self-regulated learning, and professional identity development. The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is committed to education of professionals that are prepared for a future landscape of interprofessional practice. The department is well rooted in clinical care, medical education and research.

Job description

Interprofessional Education (IPE) takes place when students from different professions learn about, from and with each other. It is widely regarded as an innovative strategy in Health Professions Education (HPE) and aims to prepare students for a future career within their professional Community of Practice, able to navigate a complex Landscape of Practice (LoP) where patient care increasingly requires different professionals to collaborate. The current healthcare system is traditionally hierarchical and endowed with power structures that have developed within an historical context. These existing power structures define how students from different professions are positioned within the landscape. In turn, this constrained positionality prevents the reshape of the (hidden) rules of interprofessional collaboration, impeding a cultural renewal towards a more democratic collaboration. As current developments in healthcare and healthcare may require a redistribution of power, these constrains can function as barriers to enacting the change the healthcare system needs, such as adopting patient-centered care. The purpose of the present PhD position is to investigate the reciprocal relationship between power and IPE.

Research Project Description
This research explores the reciprocal relationship between power and IPE through a critical theory lens. As a first step, we aim to map the current discourse on power in the field of IPE. In order to investigate power and IPE in practice, we will study how power structures relate to aspects such as boundary crossing, multi membership and cross professional feedback in IPE activities situated in the Netherlands and abroad . The research utilizes qualitative methods such as discourse analysis, thematic analysis, and grounded theory. The expected impact includes an improved understanding of the mechanisms by how power structures impact IPE and conversely how current IPE reinforces existing power structures in HPE. Findings can initiate new studies on how IPE can challenge existing power structures in order to improve preparation of students to navigate a future landscape of practice.


Master’s degree in social sciences (preferably psychology or educational sciences). Candidates holding a different master’s degree combined with a Bachelor’s degree in medicine, psychology, or other social sciences will also be considered.
The ideal candidate:
- Can show knowledge of, and preferably also experience with, research methodologies used in social and behavioral sciences
- Is curious about Interprofessional Education, Collaboration and Power
- Is familiar with the concepts of critical theory
- Can show an interest in, or direct experience with, medical education;
- Is a strong communicator, and can enthuse students to take part in scientific research;
- Is a team player who can also work independently;
- Is proficient in English, and preferably also in Dutch;
- Is not afraid of challenging existing thought frameworks.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2.901,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 3.611,- (scale Pro) gross per month in the last year (4th), based on a full-time appointment. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.It concerns a full-time appointment (36 h/week) for a period of four years to be concluded with a PhD examination. After one year, the performance of the candidate will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the coming three years.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. This may mean that you must have built up sufficient protection against Hepatitis B before you can be appointed. If necessary, the UMCG will provide the vaccination.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:

Dr. Marco Versluis telefoonnummer 06 5525 6044
Marco de Carvalho Filho telefoonnummer 06 2564 7213

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 10 December 2023. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form