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PhD on Digital Twin in Healthcare for Brain Perfusion and Metabolism

Posted 13 May 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
17 Jun 2024 00:00

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The Computational Science Lab at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a PhD Research Position with goal to develop a Digital Twin in Healthcare for Brain Perfusion and Metabolism, and apply it to study details of perfusion and infarction of brain tissue under pathologic conditions (e.g. in an acute ischemic stroke, or after a ruptured cerebral aneurism). This position situates within a vibrant research group that maintains a broad scientific collaboration network, including several clinical institutes, experimental groups, and supercomputing centers across Europe.

What are you going to do?

Project: Digital Twin in Healthcare for Brain Perfusion and Metabolism

Aim: Building upon earlier computational models for brain perfusion, metabolism, and infarction, you will develop a high-fidelity Digital Twin, that will become a generic modelling and simulation platform to study (patho)physiology of brain perfusion and related processes (metabolism, infarction, oedema, bleeding in the brain, vasospasm, etc.). The Digital Twin will be validated against clinical data, and credibility assessments will be performed. Finally, in collaboration with (clinical) partners, the Digital Twin will be applied to contribute to decision support tools in preventing or treating strokes.

Context: The research is part of Gemini project (, a large international collaboration developing and applying Digital Twin in Healthcare for ischemic and haemorrhagic strokes. In your research you will be collaborating intensively with a number of partners in this project.

Tasks and key responsibilities:

  • You will be developing a versatile plug-and-play HPC-aware simulation tool for brain perfusion, metabolism, and infarction, relying on state-of-the-art software environments (such as e.g. Fenics) and coupling libraries (such as e.g. MUSCLE). Next, you will validate the simulation and apply uncertainty quantification to enhance fidelity and enable patient-specific utilization. You will rely on applying and combining methodologies from computational fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and mathematical optimization.
  • You will collaborate with both local and international partners (this includes clinical, experimental, and computational partners) to maintain the comprehensiveness and applicability of the research.
  • You will participate in academic education based on mutual agreement (assisting in one of our courses or supervising student thesis projects).

What do you have to offer?

The ideal candidate for our PhD Research Position is eager to learn and isn’t afraid to seek help or use resources. They see mistakes as valuable lessons and actively seek feedback and mentorship to grow their skills. With a blend of persistence and openness to learning, they will navigate through the complexities of computational science and medical research, always looking to improve and contribute meaningfully to the core project.

Your experience and profile:

You hold a MSc in Computational Science, Computer Science, Computational Physics, Applied Math, Biomedical Engineering, or related field, and have a strong and proven interest in biomedicine. You have a keen interest in medical simulation research, both in basic understanding of physiology via simulation as well as to applications in a clinical setting.

You are experienced with python and C++ and with software engineering tools and are familiar with version control (git). If needed, you are eager and willing to learn new skills in computational fluid dynamics, numerical methods, or programming.

You have a professional command of written and spoken English (training in academic skills is an advantage).

Familiarity with any of the following is considered an advantage: GPU programming, numerical algorithms, high-performance computing, medical image segmentation, finite element method, biology of brain perfusion.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,770 in the first year to € 3,539 in the last year (scale P). UvA additionally offers an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. The UFO profile PhD Candidate is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

The University of Amsterdam is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. With some 40,000 students, 6,000 staff, 3,000 PhD candidates, and an annual budget of more than 850 million euros, it is also one of Amsterdam’s biggest employers.
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