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PhD project ‘Towards Accurate Screening And Prevention: improving early risk detection and indicated prevention for PTSD’

Apply before: 8 March 2020
Working time: Day
Working hours: 28 hours per week
Discipline: AMC Medical Research (AMR)

What you are going to do

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student for our recently funded consortium project on early recognition of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) risk after traumatic events. This project ‘Towards Accurate Screening And Prevention: improving early risk detection and indicated prevention for PTSD (2-ASAP)’ aims to develop a sex-specific prognostic screening instrument derived with state-of-the art methodological approaches to accurately predict which recently trauma-exposed individuals are at risk for long-term PTSD. One in 10 Dutch trauma-exposed adults develop lifetime PTSD. Women have an increased risk for PTSD compared to men, which cannot be explained by differential trauma exposure alone. Only the first weeks post-trauma provide a unique window of opportunity for preventive interventions for PTSD, but these interventions are only beneficial if delivered as indicated preventive intervention to individuals at high risk for long-term PTSD. Existing prognostic screening instruments, however, fail to adequately predict long-term PTSD when applied early post-trauma. To improve early recognition of PTSD risk, you will investigate sex-differences in PTSD symptom trajectories and prognostic factors and will be involved in deriving a machine learning-based screening instrument for PTSD risk, using existing data from large (inter)national cohorts as well as newly collected long-term follow-up data and input from experts-by-experience. Furthermore, you will contribute to recruitment and data collection for a new cohort of recent accident and violence victims, to validate the derived screening instrument and investigate promising new predictive domains for PTSD.

What we expect from you

We are looking for a with a (nearly) completed Research Master in psychology, social sciences,  health sciences or related area with a strong motivation to pursue a PhD. You demonstrate an affinity for research into understanding the complex nature of mental health problems, in particular the  adverse psychological consequences of stress and trauma. You have previously worked with cohorts and/or longitudinal datasets. As a person you are socially skilled and have a multidisciplinary and collaborative mindset. Additionally, you are precise and able to organize and structure large projects. Also, you have excellent methodological skills, and are preferably experienced in (Bayesian) latent growth (mixture) modeling and/or supervised machine learning techniques. We are looking for someone with excellent command of the English but preferably also Dutch language, both spoken and written.

Where you are going to work

The PhD project will be performed at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC (Psychiatry Department, Psychotrauma Research Group), in close collaboration with Utrecht University (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Methods and Statistics Department). Within the consortium, you will work within an interdisciplinary team of researchers and mental health professionals from several institutions. The PhD project will be supervised by dr. Mirjam van Zuiden (Amsterdam UMC (AMC), Psychiatry), together with prof. dr. Rens van de Schoot (Utrecht University, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Methods and Statistics Department) and prof. dr. Miranda Olff (Amsterdam UMC (AMC), Psychiatry).

What we offer you 

We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training and a place to grow! Working at AMR means working in an inspiring and professional environment where development is encouraged in every respect.

  • The maximum gross monthly salary based on a 36-hour work week is € 3.103,- (scale OIO CAO UMC).
  • The base salary does not include holiday pay (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%).
  • We offer a contract for 5 years.
  • In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, AMC also has a sufficient number of parking spaces for employees.
  • Pension is accrued at Be Frank.

For an overview of all our other terms of employment, see https://werkenbijamc.nl/arbeidsvoorwaarden-amr/.

Let’s meet 

If you would like to apply directly, please use the ‘apply’ button on this page.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Mirjam van Zuiden (Assistant Professor), via 020 -56 13665  or m.vanzuiden@amsterdamumc.nl. 

Please specifically address the following in your motivation letter:

  1. Why do you want to pursue a PhD in the field of trauma and PTSD;
  2. Which relevant methodological skills do you already have?;
  3. Which methodological skills are less developed and how will you improve these during the project?

The first round of interviews will take place on March 31, 2020. The second round of interviews will take place on April 7, 2020 in the afternoon.

We look forward to meeting you!