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PhD candidate: Modelling urban environmental risk factors in Exposome-NL, a large Dutch Exposome research programme (1.0 FTE)

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    Utrecht University
    Medical sciences
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    04/07/2020 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Utrecht


Have you always been wondering how our environment effects our health? And do you like dealing with complex data problems? Then the gravity programme on the Exposome might be the research programme for you.
PhD project “Modelling urban environmental risk factors in Exposome-NL, a large Dutch Exposome research programme”. We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative Researcher to strengthen our research group. You will be working in a multi-center study funded by the prestigious Zwaartekracht programme of the Dutch research funding organization NWO. Exposome-NL is a 10-year research programme of multiple Dutch universities, coordinated by Prof Vermeulen (IRAS, Utrecht University). The environment we live in has a significant impact on our health, explaining an estimated 70% of the non-communicable chronic disease burden. As our environment is modifiable, this provides a huge potential for disease prevention. A large number of environmental stressors may jointly affect our health. Leading scientists in Europe and the USA have formalized this perspective as the Exposome concept: the sum of all non-genetic drivers of health and diseases. Interacting with the genome, it defines individual health at different stages throughout the life course. Supported by recent developments in sensor technology, satellite observations, smartphone technology and data sciences, now is the time to move Exposome research from concept to practice. EXPANSE will apply the Exposome concept to the Urban Setting, specifically the complex interplay between the built social, physico-chemical food, and lifestyle environment.

As a PhD student you will be responsible for developing tools to characterize the external Exposome for the Netherlands in close collaboration with other national partners. You will generate environmental exposure surfaces that will be linked to ongoing Dutch health studies. Examples include air pollution, noise, heat, green space and walkability of the environment. Your challenge will be to develop fine spatial scale models on the scale of the Netherlands, that can be applied in nationwide cohort studies of millions of subjects for multiple years to allow life-course health analyses. You will integrate time activity data to improve individual exposure assessment for selected exposures. You will collaborate closely with several Phd students within the Gravitation programme and with international partners from a large European Exposome project, also coordinated by Prof Vermeulen. You will publish the findings as papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These papers will form the basis of your PhD thesis.

More Information


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for one year. In case of a good performance, extending the employment is one of the possibilities. The gross salary ranges between €2,325 in the first year and €2,972 in the fourth year (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Selection process

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please click on the ‘apply’ button below and include a letter of motivation (in which the title of the project ‘Modelling urban environmental risk factors in Exposome-NL, a large Dutch Exposome research programme' is clearly stated), a curriculum vitae and contact details of at least two references.

Due to the coronavirus, interviews will be conducted by video calling and not in person.

Additional comments

For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr Gerard Hoek (Associate Professor), via g.hoek@uu.nl. Please do not send your application to this address.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

We are looking for a colleague who has a completed Master's degree in environmental science, geos-, or science or a related discipline with a strong interest in environment and health. Our new colleague is a teammate, open to collaboration across scientific fields, and has the ambition to contribute to scientific progress as well as to perform socially relevant research. The candidate should be able to work independently and have good verbal and written communication skills in English and preferably Dutch.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Utrecht University
3512 JE
Domplein 29

EURAXESS offer ID: 532021
Posting organisation offer ID: 292473


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