PhD - Designing and evaluating personalised lifestyle interventions (1,0 fte)

Research / Academic

We are recruiting a PhD candidate to join our multidisciplinary team of experts for a project to improve the design and evaluation of lifestyle interventions by focusing on individuals’ specific needs and preferences in different phases of their life. While individual differences in circumstances and life goals are important for successful take-up and outcomes of lifestyle interventions, they are often not considered when designing and evaluating interventions. We aim to develop a generalized approach to systematically design and evaluate lifestyle interventions in accordance with individual differences and preferences. Such a systematic approach aims to increase the uptake of lifestyle interventions, especially among vulnerable groups, who have been proven hard to reach.


In this project, you will develop a general framework that identifies 1) the barriers and facilitators for the uptake of individuals-based interventions, 2) predicts the uptake of lifestyle intervention across different subgroups, and 3) quantifies the effects on wellbeing of such interventions. The project consists of four stages:

  • Based on a systematic literature review, you will develop a conceptual framework that describes how different factors in different groups influence the uptake of lifestyle interventions.
  • By semi-structured interviews or focus groups barriers and facilitators will be explored in different groups of individuals.
  • Elicitation of individual preferences for different types of interventions, using discrete choice experiments. This allows you to quantify the tradeoffs between different types of interventions, predict the uptake of different interventions across different types/groups of individuals, and quantify effects on welfare.
  • Application of the framework on existing or ongoing interventions. By using observational data, such as population wide administrative data and cohort studies like the Rotterdam Study you will apply the developed framework to evaluate the uptake and health and wellbeing outcomes across different groups and provide recommendations to improve the design of ongoing interventions.


This project is part of the Flagship ALIVE (A Life course and Individual-based View on Lifestyle to Enhance Health) which is funded through Convergence, a collaboration between the Erasmus University, the Erasmus MC, and the TU Delft. As a member of this multidisciplinary project, you will collaborate with leading experts and fellow PhD students from all three institutions on a major research project focused on lifestyle interventions and their impact on health.

ALIVE is part of the Convergence theme Health & Technology. In Convergence, TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC have joined forces. The urgent and complex societal challenges of our time ask for fundamentally new forms of cooperation, whereby the boundaries between institutes and disciplines are crossed to create new perspectives and solutions. ALIVE is one of the ten Flagship funded within the Convergence theme of Health and Technology, in which we are creating new frameworks that promote scientific discoveries and technological innovation in the field of health and healthcare.


You will be supervised by Dr. Bram Wouterse, associate professor at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, and Dr. Dieuwke Schiphof, assistant professor at the Erasmus MC. You will be based at the Health Economics research group at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management. This group is nationally and internationally leading in the field of health economics. You will spend part of your time at the Department of General Practice of the Erasmus MC. The Department of General Practice consists of a mix of physicians and researchers who work together. The research of the department is mainly about musculoskeletal disorders in general practice, and is a center of excellence for osteoarthritis research.


You are expected to have a master’s degree in (health) economics, health sciences or another relevant master’s degree. The position ideally requires experience with both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Moreover, you have excellent English communication and writing skills. As datasets are in Dutch and conducting interviews might be part of the research, Dutch speaking candidates are preferred.

We facilitate part-time remote work but also expect that you come to campus on a regular basis. This helps to build close ties with the research groups and the rest of the ALIVE project.

Salary Benefits:

An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

The start date of this position is 1 September 2023 and you will be based at the Campus Woudestein - Rotterdam, located at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). The position is for 1 fte. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 2.770 to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month on a fulltime basis, in accordance with PhD of the CAO-NU. In addition, we offer an 8% holiday allowance, an end-of-year payment of 8.3%, and a very generous paid leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave, fully paid extended birth leave for partners, a personal career budget, work-life balance coaches, discounted collective health insurance, and more. As an employee, you can also use EUR facilities such as the University library and receive a discount on subscriptions for the Erasmus sports center.

Erasmus University Rotterdam offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on payroll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with the nearby universities of Delft and Leiden.

Erasmus University Rotterdam aspires to be an equitable and inclusive community. We nurture an open culture, where everyone is supported to fulfill their full potential. We see inclusivity of talent as the basis of our successes, and the diversity of perspectives and people as a highly valued outcome. EUR provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship, or any other aspect which makes them unique. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.

Work Hours:

40 hours per week


Burgemeester Oudlaan 50