PhD student Improving colorectal cancer screening

Do you want to inform policy makers on how to further improve the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program? Are you interested in health-economic modeling? Than we are looking for you!

The project

Colorectal cancer poses a major health burden in the Netherlands. To reduce this burden, a national colorectal cancer screening program has been implemented in 2014. While this screening program has successfully reduced the number of colorectal cancer cases, there is still room for improvement. Health economic models that simulate the natural history of colorectal cancer can be used to evaluate many different improvements to the current screening program in terms of health benefits, patient burden and costs. Results of these evaluations provide critical insights for policy makers to decide which improvement is most promising for implementation.

As a PhD student, you will work on the ASCCA project, under supervision of Prof. Veerle Coupé and Dr. Marjolein Greuter, aiming to optimize colorectal cancer screening in the Netherlands. In this project, you will use an existing health-economic model, the ASCCA model, to perform several evaluations in which different options to further improve the Dutch screening program will be compared. Besides that, you will work on external validation of the ASCCA model against registries and clinical studies as well as on an evaluation of model uncertainty.

We are looking for a PhD student who can work systematically, is solution-oriented, is able to work in a multi-disciplinary team and has an interest in guiding health policy decisions.

About your role

As a PhD student, your main tasks are:

  • To perform several evaluations with a health-economic model (ASCCA model) to gain insight in how to improve the current colorectal cancer screening program.
  • To externally validate the ASCCA model against observed data.
  • To study and address uncertainty in the ASCCA model.
  • To publish your research findings in biomedical, health-economic, and/or epidemiological journals.
  • To write a PhD thesis for defense at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • To assist in teaching activities in biostatistics courses for medical students.

About you

We are searching for an enthusiastic PhD student with the following expertise:

  • MSc degree in health sciences, biomedical sciences, applied statistics, econometrics, medicine, medical informatics or related field
  • Experience with statistical software, preferably R statistics. Experience with programming languages such as C++ or Python is beneficial.Good communication skills and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, gastroenterologists, biostatisticians, biologists and pathologists.

More details and how to apply