PhD student neuropsychological rehabilitation for pediatric brain tumors – Partanen group

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 with optimal quality of life. The center brings together the best possible care and scientific research, creating a unique interdisciplinary institute for pediatric oncology in Europe.

Partanen research group

Children who experience cancer may develop neuropsychological impairments during or after treatment—this may include changes in cognition, behavior, or social-emotional functioning that have significant impacts on daily life. With our research, we aim to improve the early identification and intervention of these impairments, using a combination of neuropsychological and biological approaches. Our current research team includes 2 post-docs, 4 PhD students, 2 master students, 2 research assistants and a coordinator.

Research project

Children with brain tumors have lower quality of life and greater neuropsychological problems when compared to other pediatric oncology groups. Therefore, effective interventions are required to help improve the functioning of these children and adolescents. Some examples of previous interventions have included computerized training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or pharmaceutical approaches, which can improve cognitive functioning but may not generalize to daily tasks and there are differences in outcome due to the complex needs of children with brain tumors. In this project, we will examine the effectiveness of a neuropsychological rehabilitation program using a randomized control trial. Children who have completed treatment for a brain tumor and their families will be invited to complete neuropsychological rehabilitation sessions, using an individualized and family-based approach. This study will be embedded within the Princess Máxima Center and our standard clinical follow-up for children with brain tumors (called Brain CARE). The results from the study will provide knowledge about how to target neuropsychological interventions on an individual level, and will ultimately help to improve daily functioning and quality of life in this vulnerable group of children. This study is funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF).

The position

We are looking for a PhD student with experience and interest in neuropsychology or clinical psychology and acquired brain injuries. In the first year, tasks will include literature review, finalizing study protocols, and study setup and coordination. Following this, the PhD student will assist with recruiting patients/families, collecting clinical and neuropsychological data, assisting with neuropsychological rehabilitation sessions, completing analyses, preparing presentations, and writing papers. You will be part of a research team that works closely with our care and research colleagues, including neuropsychologists, health care psychologists, rehabilitation physicians, and medical doctors.


  • Master’s or equivalent degree in neuropsychology, clinical psychology, or a related field
  • Psychodiagnostics training (BAPD or LOGO declaration)
  • Experience with clinical research
  • Knowledge of acquired brain injury
  • Experience with (neuro)psychological assessment or intervention
  • Experience with children and medical settings are an asset
  • Critical thinker and eager to learn
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills (in both English and Dutch; Dutch speakers are a requirement for working with patients and families)
  • Ability to work collaboratively and contribute to multi-disciplinary team

Working at Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology  

  • Appointment for 32-36 hours per week
  • Appointment for 1 year, which may be extended to 4 years based on progress
  • Start date July 2023
  • Position is classified in FWG 45 in accordance with the collective labour agreement ‘cao algemene ziekenhuizen’. This includes 8,33% gross monthly salary holiday allowance and 8,33 % end-of-year bonus.

Apply for this position?

You can apply for this position by pressing the apply button on this screen. We would like to receive a letter of motivation and your CV before 31 March 2023. Interviews will occur in April and May.

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

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

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