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PhD student (1.0 FTE) "Personalized rewards of lifestyle changes in cardiovascular diseases"

21-594 10036
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
16 november 2021
3 december 2021 Vacature gesloten

As part of the NWO program “Enduring Rewards: Maintaining a lifestyle change by eHealth-supported dynamic personalized incentives”, the Institute of Psychology of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden University in collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Centre and the TU Delft has an opening for a

PhD student (1.0 FTE) "Personalized rewards of lifestyle changes in cardiovascular diseases"

Vacancy number 21-594 10036

Project description

Recent large-scale population research showed that healthy lifestyle extends lifetime by six years and delays the onset of chronic diseases by nine years. Multiple interventions are available to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle which are successful in motivating people to initiate a behavioural change (BC) but often fail keep people aboard and maintain their change. The present project investigates and evaluates how design can support motivation for a BC maintenance. To reach this aim we will investigate four strategies of personalisation of motivating incentives: 1) Adapt incentive–type, -quantity, and –moment to BC stage; 2) Introduce personal health feedback as motivator; 3) Personalise incentives to user’s engagement profile; and 4) Change system-initiated incentives into user-initiated incentives.

The Enduring Rewards project will work on three existing behavioural change programs. One of these programs is the Box Program as part of the Cardiology department of the LUMC. The Box is a eHealth program that aims to facilitate recovery after cardiac events. Patients are provided at home with a box containing devices that facilitate telemonitoring and telecare. Long-term motivation for patients to maintain using the Box is key for successful prevention of a next CVD event.

The PhD will research and design means to foster this motivation at an individual user/ patient level. The PhD activities will involve co-creation with target group, literature research on long-term motivation, iteratively test and develop behavioural maintenance modules for the Box, including an evaluation study.

The PhD in the Enduring Rewards project will work in a team of psychologists (LU), cardiologists (LUMC), and design research (TUD), together with game design- and eHealth-companies). The PhD will closely collaborate with other PhD self-management projects of the participating departments, including the Benefit-for-all program (www.benefitforall.nl).

Key responsibilities

  • You will be responsible for conducting different studies of this PhD project in the project group of the BOX projects;
  • You will write scientific, peer-reviewed publications, resulting in a PhD thesis.

Selection criteria

  • A Master or equivalent degree in a relevant field, including (health, medical or biological) psychology, health sciences, design and/or related discipline to the project;
  • High affinity with the research area of creating personalized incentives for effective health behavior change in cardiovascular diseases;
  • Ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary setting;
  • Social and organizational competencies;
  • Excellent communication and writing skills;
  • Affinity and/or experience with co-creation as well as working with behavioural change projects and the target group;
  • Substantial knowledge of statistical methods and high analytical skills;
  • Since the research will be performed in the Dutch context, the candidate needs to speak and write Dutch fluently.

Our organisation

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences conducts high-quality research and offers a broad and disciplinary educational programme, focused on increasing our understanding of current developments in society. The faculty consists of five institutes: Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology, Education and Child Studies, Political Science and Psychology. The faculty has approximately 7,000 students and 850 staff members. For more information, please visit the website https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/social-behavioural-sciences. 

Diversity and inclusion are cherished as core values at Leiden University. At the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences too we strive to create a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment, in which everyone – no matter who they are or what they do – can feel at home and develop their talents.
Terms and conditions

The appointment is for a period of one year with an extension of three years after a positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Salary range from €2,434.00 to  3,111.00 gross per month on a full-time basis (PhD scale, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme.
 Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at information can be found at the website.

For further information about our unit and its teaching and research activities, please visit our
 website. Inquiries may be addressed to Andrea Evers or Veronica Janssen. Telephone 071 527 63627, e-mail a.evers@fsw.leidenuniv.nl and vjanssen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl .


Please submit online your application no later than 12/03/2021 via the blue button in our application system.

Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents:

  • A Curriculum Vitae;
  • The names and contact information for two references (no letters);
  •  Copies of your academic transcripts (or Dutch; cijferlijst).

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated

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