PhD student “Neuroimaging outcomes in pediatric brain tumor”

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology is a new research hospital concentrating healthcare, research, and education with regard to cancer in children in a single location in Utrecht. The institute aims to provide the highest level of care for all children with cancer and has the ambition to cure all children of cancer and significantly reduce unwanted side effects. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe. The Princess Máxima Center has excellent research facilities, including access to 3T and 7T MRI scanners at the University Medical Center Utrecht.  

Research project

Children who experience cancer may develop neurocognitive impairments after treatment. Our group focuses on the early identification and intervention of cognitive impairments using a combination of neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures. These studies will ultimately help to prevent further neuropsychological difficulties in patients and survivors of cancer.

We are looking for a PhD student with interest in neuropsychology and neuroimaging. It has been hypothesized that neurocognitive deficits arise from white matter insult, particularly after cranial radiation treatment. Problems with sleep or stress may also lead to functional or structural deficits in the brain, however, associations between sleep, stress, and neuroimaging outcomes have not been investigated systematically. This project will use MRI to examine functional and structural changes in pediatric brain tumor patients, which will provide further insight into the neurobiological substrates of cognitive deficits in our survivors.

Tasks and responsibilities

The PhD student will be involved with collecting MRI data, developing automated analysis pipelines, learning advanced MRI analytical techniques, preparing presentations, writing research papers, and contributing to grants and new proposals. Opportunities to conduct neuropsychological testing and/or develop MRI sequences, protocols, or equipment are possible.

Your skills

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in psychology, medicine, imaging sciences, or a related field
  • Experience and interest with clinical research
  • Experience with programming languages, MRI imaging techniques, and statistics
  • Excellent English communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and contribute to multi-disciplinary team

We offer

A PhD position with a total duration of 4 years (full-time, 36 hours). The initial contract is one year, after which performance will be evaluated and the contract may be extended for three more years. Gross monthly salary will depend on experience and background, starting in scale 45 with 8,33% gross monthly salary holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus. The Princess Máxima Center operates according to the collective labour agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’.

Apply for this position?

You can apply for this position until 15-April-2020 (by pressing the orange button “Solliciteer direct” on this page).
Potential candidates will be invited for interviews in May 2020.

Contact and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Marita Partanen,

Detailed information about the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology can also be found at

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Solliciteer direct

Help jij onze missie verder te brengen?

Wij zoeken gedreven Kinderverpleegkundigen met díe specifieke drive en unieke spirit die ons centrum zo kenmerken. Natuurlijk neem jij de vakkennis mee die nodig is om dit bijzondere werk te kunnen doen.

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