Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2019/0624
Apply to: October 7 2019
Education: University
Employment: Temporary position
Full-time/Part-time percentage: 100%

You will work on the development of a new system for mitigating chronic neuropathic pain, using a new electrode implant designed in our group. For some decades now, it has been known that electric stimulation of the dorsal columns in the spinal cord (SCS, spinal cord stimulation) can block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. The current clinical technique based on SCS uses electrodes on a catheter, however, which needs to be placed within the very vulnerable epidural space, leading giving rise to risk of infection or connective tissue formation. Our new approach (SNAP, Safe Neurostimulation Against Pain) is also based on SCS, but uses electrodes that can be placed safely outside the vulnerable epidural space. This, however, requires a multi-electrode configuration with a feedback control mechanism, in order to produce the correct field distribution. This is a challenging but very rewarding project, and integrates elements from Physiology, Anatomy and Technology (electromagnetism), and Mathematical Modelling. The work will consist largely of lab experiments and measurements on in-vitro tissue samples, as well as on post-mortem human remains from the section ward.


The Research Group working on this specific project (SNAP) consists of an enthousiastic multidisciplinary team, consisting of Dr. Bart van Wijck (Anesthesiologist and principal researcher in the field of chronic pain mitigation in the UMC Utrecht), Prof. N. Ramsey (neuroscience, UMC Utrecht), Prof. A. van der Zwan (neurosurgery, UMC Utrecht) and prof. R. Bleys (clinical anatomy, UMC Utrecht). The Principal Investigator, and Project Leader of the SNAP project, is dr. Maurits Konings, who has invented the SNAP method, and has ample experience with mathematical modeling of electric field distributions from electrodes inside tissues. Dr. Konings is assistant professor at the department of Medical Technology and Clinical Physics (MTKF) of the UMC Utrecht. This Department is also home of the Utrecht branch of Pontes Medical, which is a market-oriented research office dedicated to the development, validation, and introduction into the market of new devices in Medical Technology. Together with the Instrumentation facility of Utrecht University, the MTKF has ample rapid prototyping capabilities, using e.g. wire-EDM (electrical discharge machining). With over 1,100 beds and more than 11,000 employees, the University Medical Center Utrecht is one of the largest academic health care centers in the Netherlands. Our aim is to improve. Our patients’ health, but also our students and employees. Whether you are a doctor or a business economist, a researcher or a SAP-specialist: working with us means having a job that matters, access to the best facilities and the opportunity to grow as a professional and contribute towards innovative health care. Scientific research at the UMC Utrecht is rooted in the world around us. We listen to people; the wishes and needs of patients come first. Together with our national and international partners, we invest in innovation and research in order to ensure that our care remains of the highest quality. Focus is pivotal in this, which is why we have concentrated our research in six programs: · Brain · Infection & Immunity · Circulatory Health · Personalized Cancer Care · RM & Stem Cells · Child Health


The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of anatomy and physiology, good mathematical and logical thinking, and a strong interest in surgical devices and surgical skills. Personal qualities like enthusiasm, curiosity, creative thinking, ability to cooperate in a multi-disciplinary team, and motivation, are important. Furthermore, willingness to work extensively with post-mortem human spines, using surgical techniques to insert and test electrode implants, is essential. The position is meant for a candidate that has completed a MSc in Technical Medicine, SUMMA-tech, or a comparable education focussing on clinical aspects of Medical Technology.

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 4.078,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for 2,5 jaar.

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 Mr.Maurits Konings, Wetenschppelijk medewerker, phone number: 088 75 56198, e‑mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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