[Corpora-List] PhD vacancy Modelling and Explaining Personalised Cancer Treatment Data (Tilburg University)

E.J. Krahmer E.J.Krahmer at uvt.nl
Mon May 15 11:01:11 CEST 2017

[ apologies for multiple postings ]

We are looking for a new and enthusiastic colleague for a PhD project on


Project description

After a cancer diagnosis, oncologists are obliged to inform patients about the chances of a favourable effect (e.g., long-term survival) and the risks of adverse effects (e.g., death, side-effects) of treatment options. Only with full understanding, can patients participate in a shared decision making process with their doctor to provide informed consent about treatment.

However, oncologists face difficulties in how to inform a patient adequately and humanely. Decision making hinges on data and statistics, which are not easy to access and understand for patients. Similarly, oncologists make use of general clinical guidelines and prediction models that support treatment decisions, but, again, are difficult to tailor to and make understandable for individual patients.

Nevertheless, patients want to be involved in decision making, raising the question how treatment data can best be modelled and presented to individual patients. The aim of this project is to analyse the data of millions of Dutch cancer patients with innovative data science techniques, determining what the pros and cons of different treatment options are for individual patients, and automatically presenting individualised predictions, with the aim of facilitating shared decision making for the best possible treatment option.

The position is in the Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication<https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/ticc/> (TiCC), one of five centers of excellence at Tilburg University<https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/>. TiCC combines two strong research programs: Creative Computing (CC), including research in Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics, and Intelligent Systems, and Language, Communication and Cognition (LCC), including research in Cognitive Science, Professional Communication and Discourse Studies. TiCC offers a home to more than 100 researchers, including over 30 PhD students.

The project is a collaboration between TiCC, the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences <https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/about/schools/socialsciences/> (TSB) and The Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization <https://www.iknl.nl/over-iknl/about-iknl> (IKNL), and is affiliated with the Data Science Center Tilburg<https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/data-science-center/> (DSC/t). The successful applicant is expected to spend one day per week at IKNL (Eindhoven) to foster collaboration.

Supervisors are prof.dr. Emiel Krahmer (TiCC), prof.dr. Steffen Pauws (TiCC & Philips Research) and prof.dr. Lonneke van der Poll-Franse (TSB & IKNL).

Your tasks

You will study the development of individualised treatment prediction models based on data from the Netherlands Cancer Registry<https://www.iknl.nl/over-iknl/about-iknl/what> (NCR) and the PROFILES<https://www.profilesregistry.nl/Home> registry. In addition, you will study how to explain individualised treatment information to patients via automatically generated textual and visual reports, for which a demonstration system will be developed and evaluated with doctors and patients. Your findings will be reported in publications, which form the basis of your PhD thesis.

Your profile

For the position we seek a candidate with a (research) master in a relevant area, including, but not limited to: (clinical) data science, medical statistics, health science, epidemiology, (bio)informatics, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, natural language processing or information presentation & visualisation.

The applicant is a motivated researcher who has a strong interest in patient care, health communication and pathology, and who is comfortable with working in a multidisciplinary research team. You have strong statistical and programming/scripting skills, an excellent command of English and good professional communication skills.

Proven experience with modelling health data or (automatic) medical information presentation for patients is considered an advantage.


For more information on the position, please contact prof.dr. Emiel Krahmer (E.J.Krahmer at uvt.nl<mailto:E.J.Krahmer at uvt.nl>). A longer description of the project is available upon request.

What we offer

Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers and offers very good fringe benefits (it is one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands), such as an options model for terms and conditions of employment and excellent reimbursement of moving expenses. The collective labor agreement of Tilburg University applies. The selected candidates will start with a contract for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for the remaining three years. It is also possible to work 80% instead of fulltime.

Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The Faculty will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation. The PhD candidates will be ranked in the Dutch university job ranking system (UFO) as a PhD-student (promovendus) with a starting fulltime salary of € 2.191 gross per month in the first year, up to € 2.801 the fourth year. The selected candidate is expected to have written a PhD thesis, which may be based on articles, by the end of the contract.


Applications should include: - cover letter, - Curriculum Vitae, - copy of the university marks (grade list), - names of two references.

Applications should be sent before the application deadline of June 18, 2017. Interviews are expected to be held on June 30, 2017. Applicants who expect to graduate in the summer of 2017 are also invited to apply.

The only way to apply is online by following this link: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/about/organization/working-at/


Emiel Krahmer Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)

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