PhD student – Huitema Group

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht focuses on providing pediatric oncology care, conducting pediatric oncology research and training professionals. It is a center that is not only unique in the Netherlands, but also in Europe. Intensive collaboration is needed to be a leading international center of excellence. Groundbreaking and passionate are the keywords that determine the culture and appearance of the Princess Máxima Center. We go further than others have gone before, and we do that with heart and soul.

Research project

The research is part of a large international project (Interfant-21) that aims to improve survival and reduce side effects in infants with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The study is being conducted in hospitals in 28 different countries. You will investigate the pharmacokinetic profile of important cytostatics that are used in the treatment of babies with ALL. You also look at the influences of the child’s development on the pharmacokinetics. The program NONMEM will be used for pharmacokinetic profiling.

This is a 4-year PhD project that is subsidized by ZonMW within the ‘Good Use of Medicines’ (GGG) program aimed at a more effective, safer and more efficient use of existing drugs. With the results of this study, we expect to be able to dose chemotherapy more accurately, so that babies with leukemia have a better chance of survival.


We are looking for an enterprising and flexible PhD candidate who is eager to learn, has good organizational skills and excellent communication skills. You are creative and think in solutions. For this project you will organize everything regarding blood sampling, data recording and logistics and you are the contact person for the participating research centers. You have affinity with reporting scientific findings.

The uniqueness and strength of the Princess Máxima Center is the integration of care and research. As a PhD candidate you work in a very dynamic environment and you play an important role in the connection between research, pharmacy, the drug analysis lab and the clinic. You are advanced in English speaking and writing and work well together with many different disciplines; (hospital) pharmacists, hemato-oncologists, researchers, analysts and international colleagues.


  • Master of Science degree in Pharmacy, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences or another relevant field
  • Experience in research(internship) on a pharmacological topic
  • Demonstrated interest in pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapy in pediatrics
  • Advanced in English speaking and writing
  • Experience with NONMEM and pharmacokinetic profiling is recommended
  • You have the ability to lead multiple projects simultaneously and to prioritize.
  • You work innovatively and can work well together with other specialism.

Research (Huitema Group), Drug Analysis Lab and Pharmacy department

More than 30 independent groups conduct research into childhood cancer in the research department. Together, these groups cover a broad spectrum of expertise, tumor types and technologies. The Huitema group is focused on precision dosing of anticancer agents and supportive care used in anticancer treatment in pediatric oncology. The aim is to give each child the most suitable drug in the correct dose. To achieve this, pharmacological research is carried out in (early phase) clinical and translational studies.

In our Drug Analysis Lab, we are especially focused on drug assays for all children in the Princess Maxima Center. The lab is close to the pharmacy, research and diagnostics lab fora n optimal integration.  With this lab, we are building up more knowledge and expertise initiate and support drug research for research groups in the Máxima. In the longer term, we will also perform therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for care purposes. We use LC-MSMS equipment to measure with high sensitivity and precision.

All care for children with regard to the use of medication at home and here in the center, is provided by the pharmacy of the Princess Máxima Center. Our pharmacy team consists of ten (hospital) pharmacists, two team leaders, approximately 70 pharmacy assistants and 30 pharmacy employees. There is a close collaboration between the pharmacy and other practitioners at the Princess Máxima Center. Due to the short lines of communication within the center it is possible to coordinate the drug treatment and the information that must be given with the pediatric oncologist.

What do we offer

  • A challenging position within a unique pediatric oncology center in the Netherlands and Europe and in a team with high ambitions in the field of care, training and research.
  • This is a temporary appointment of 1 year with a possibility for extension to a 4-year PhD trajectory.
  • Gross monthly salary based on FWG 45 for a full working week of 36 hours. The terms of employment are in accordance with the CAO Algemene ziekenhuizen.
  • On top of your salary you will receive 8.33% holiday allowance (in May) and 8.33% end-of-year bonus (in December).

Contact and apply

Send your motivation letter and CV online via the orange button “apply now” on this page before August 31, 2022. Interviews will occur in September.

For more information you can contact us:

More information about the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology can be found at:

Website Huitema Group:

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