PhD position: Data Science and Medication Adherence

This job offer has expired

    Université Claude Bernard Lyon1
    Computer scienceOther
    Pharmacological sciencesClinical pharmacology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    23/06/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Lyon

The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and the Health Services and Performance Research laboratory (HESPER; EA7425) in Lyon, France, invite applications for a three-year PhD position on the use of electronic healthcare data for estimating patterns of medication use for research and clinical decision making support.


The project


Adherence to medication is a key behaviour in managing chronic conditions, and difficult to sustain long-term. Giving feedback on medication use has been proven effective in managing adherence, yet implementation in routine care remains a challenge. Data on medication prescription and dispensation are collected automatically in routine care and commonly used to estimate adherence in research contexts. For this purpose, we developed AdhereR, an R package for computation of adherence to medication and visualisation of medication histories (www.adherer.eu). These data also become increasingly available for use in routine primary care and may be used for feedback to patients and healthcare professionals for clinical decision making and behaviour change support within the consultation. These new developments open up the possibility to integrate AdhereR into routine care and develop transparent adherence algorithms for both research and clinical practice.

For this purpose, adherence algorithms and visualisations need to be tailored to different clinical areas, data characteristics, and use patterns. The position advertised here will involve the development and validation of such algorithms and plots, using a mixed methods approach. First, a qualitative Delphi consensus study will be performed to reach expert consensus on clinically-meaningful visualisations and estimates, based on examples of medication histories from routine care data discussed within an interdisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers with expertise in adherence and/or the target clinical area. Second, validation of (alternative) algorithms will be performed on datasets representative of the target population, and results shared with expert group. Usability tests will be performed with healthcare providers and patients to inform the selection of appropriate user-interface characteristics and develop training materials. These will be further implemented and evaluated in routine care as part of wider projects. Three clinical areas (epilepsy, asthma, chronic pain) have been selected for initial work within an ongoing primary care-focused project. Further applications may be required in different clinical contexts within other collaboration projects.


The PhD will be hired by the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and hosted by the laboratory Health Services and Performance Research (HESPER) in Lyon, France, will be directly supervised/mentored by Alexandra Dima and co-supervised by Dan Dediu (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France), within the “Variation, Change, Complexity” (V2C) project, funded by an IDEXLYON Fellowship Grant from the Université de Lyon. It may involve co-supervision/co-mentorship with other centers in France and abroad, in particular with Dr. Samuel Allemann (University of Basel, Switzerland). The pay is on a standardised scale (around 1400 euro/month net), the position is covered by the French employment law (including healthcare), and equipment, travel and publication costs will be covered by the project. The place of work will be HESPER (Université Lyon 1, Rockefeller Campus), French is the language of general communication in the workplace, and English is sometimes used for scientific meetings and seminars (thus, a working knowledge of French is an advantage). You can find additional information on working in Lyon as a foreign scientist on the “Espace ULYS” website: http://www.espace-ulys.fr/en.

Selection process

Please submit your application, consisting of a CV, a short letter of intention, a summary of your master thesis (and/or a link to the full thesis if possible), and the contact details of two potential referees (e-mail and telephone number; please do not send letters of support) as a single PDF file to Alexandra Dima, alexandra.dima@univ-lyon1.fr, mentioning “V2C-PHD2” in the e-mail subject. We encourage applications from female candidates and other under-represented groups.

Additional comments

About Us

Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University provides teaching for 45,000 students a year in the fields of health, science and technology (https://www.univ-lyon1.fr/en/). It is part of the most important French University site outside the Paris region. Having established a strong intellectual reputation throughout the world, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University is continually pushing the boundaries of knowledge and promoting education through research. The University has 65 state-funded research units and is committed to more than 80 European Union projects. The Health Services and Performance Research Laboratory (HeSPeR, https://www.hesper.fr/en/) is located in the Rockefeller area of ​​the Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University. HeSPeR ambition is to advance the knowledge on healthcare services by investigating their performance in terms of quality, safety, efficiency and accessibility for patients. The laboratory is a highly dynamic international environment composed by an interdisciplinary team including researchers in public health, medical and surgical specialties, as well as social sciences.

Offer Requirements

    Pharmacological sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    Mathematics: Master Degree or equivalent
    Computer science: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Basic


We are looking for a talented and motivated master graduate in public health, pharmacy, epidemiology, statistics, data science or similar scientific fields with a strong quantitative background. A solid programming experience is a major advantage, but at a minimum we require foundations of programming and a willingness to quickly reach a level of expert programming in R. Familiarity with managing large and complex datasets is an advantage, in particular concerning electronic healthcare records and/or longitudinal analysis. Experience in medication adherence research, health behaviour change, patient trajectories, and/or patient-provider communication is a plus. A good track record of working independently and creatively is highly valued, as are team work and communication, analytical and project management skills. An excellent command of English (speaking and writing) is required. 

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Claude Bernard Lyon1
8 avenue Rockefeller

EURAXESS offer ID: 405203


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