PhD candidate: Big data approaches in occupational health (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
36 to 40
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Application deadline: 

Job description

Interested in applying advanced data science to occupational health? Then a PhD position within the large EU-EPHOR project might be just for you. We are offering an exciting PhD position embedded in EPHOR. This project will lay the groundwork for evidence-based prevention of workers health risks using large-scale data approaches. This PhD project will focus on the adaptation, development and application of data interpretation methods, specifically for multiple exposure outcome modelling, exposure-time-response modelling, and hierarchical Bayesian analyses. 

As a PhD candidate you will work on applying and evaluating the state-of-the-art methods to (inter)national databases within the EPHOR pooled occupational cohorts including millions of workers. In addition to the partners within EPHOR, you will collaborate closely with PhD candidates within the other Exposome projects coordinated by Professor Vermeulen. You will publish the findings as papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These papers will form the basis of your PhD thesis.


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who has a completed Master's degree in environmental science, epidemiology or a related discipline and has a strong interest in epidemiology, environment and health. Our new colleague is a motivated and collaborative team member, communicative and resourceful, open for collaboration across scientific fields, and has the ambition to contribute to scientific progress as well as to perform socially relevant research. The candidate should be able to work independently and have excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.


This is an appointment of 1.0 FTE for the duration of 1 year. In case of a good perfomance an extension of 3 years is possible. The gross salary starts with €2,325 per month in the first year and increases to €2,972 per month in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment. 

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of terms of employment, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme. More information on working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. In addition, the faculty provides specialist clinical care in the largest academic veterinary hospital in Europe. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1.500 students.

The PhD position will be supervised by two groups. IRAS is an inter-faculty research institute within the Faculties Veterinary Medicine, and Medicine of Utrecht University. Its mission is to provide education and research on the human and environmental health risks of exposure to potentially harmful agents in the environment where research takes place within the domains of Toxicology, Environmental Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health.

TNO is an independent research organization. TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. The Research group RAPID consists of 50 experts (toxicologists, epidemiologists, chemists, occupational hygienists, data scientists, bio- and toxico-informaticians) who work in multidisciplinary projects on the assessment of health risks due to exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals via the (occupational-) environment, food or drugs. Based on scientific knowledge, RAPID works on the development of tools, models, and methods to predict these potential risks accurately and efficiently.

This project is supervised by Professor R.C.H. Vermeulen, Dr A. Pronk, and Dr S. Peters.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr. Susan Peters (researcher), via


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below. 

Due to the coronavirus, interviews will be conducted by video calling and not in person.

The application deadline is 1 September 2020.