Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2021/01216
Apply to: September 26 2021
Education: University
Employment: Temporary position
Full-time/Part-time: 32 - 36 hours

Sex and gender have a fundamental impact on virtually all major causes of death and disability. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death for both women and men worldwide, yet there are important differences. While CHD rates are higher in men, several modifiable risk factors have stronger adverse effects in women. Also, women often receive different treatments for CHD than men, which is not reflected in current guidelines.

We are looking for two PhD-candidates to unravel why there are sex differences in risk factor effects and treatment. One PhD-candidate will develop and apply novel genetic epidemiological techniques (i.e. Mendelian Randomisation) to uncover the causality of sex differences in CHD risk factor associations. The other PhD-candidate will develop and apply innovative approaches in large electronic health record databases to disentangle whether treatment differences are medically justified or reflect suboptimal treatment. The research will be embedded in a global research and implementation programme on sex differences in cardiovascular disease, also involving experts in Australia and the United Kingdom. With their research, the PhD-candidates will determine to what extent sex differences in CHD are biologically inevitable and to what extent they are explained by potentially avoidable gaps in clinical practice or medical guidelines.

In addition to your research, you will spend about 10% of your time on teaching activities. The initial duration of employment is 1 year. After a positive evaluation, the employment will be extended with 2 years. You will get the opportunity to follow a postgraduate master program in epidemiology.


The PhD-positions are situated within the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Julius Global Health, and the focus area Circulatory Health of the UMC Utrecht. The Julius Center is one of the 10 divisions within the UMC Utrecht and has distinguished itself through high-quality (clinical) epidemiologic research and education. Julius Global Health is embedded in the Julius Center and aims to promote health and equity in health through high-quality epidemiological and public health research and education. The focus area Circulatory Health is a cross-divisionary program within the UMC Utrecht that brings together cardiovascular investigators, clinicians, and to collectively reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease worldwide.


We are seeking for enthusiastic candidates that meet the following requirements:

  • A completed MSc degree (or similar) in medicine, epidemiology, data science, (bio)statistics, health sciences, or a related field
  • Excellent analytical skills and experience in handling complex databases and advanced data analytics (preferably in R)
  • Experience or interest in research on cardiovascular disease and/or health equity
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both in writing and speaking
  • Creative and pro-active, with good collaborative skills and a sound academic attitude

We believe in the power of a diverse team in which there is room for different skills, expertise, and social and cultural backgrounds. We invite you to respond to this vacancy.

The maximum salary for this position (32 - 36 hours) is € 3.196,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Sanne Peters, Associate Professor, phone number: +31 6 20 24 68 55, e‑mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.


No suitable vacancies?