Research Assistant & PhD in Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging

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 3 PhD students, 3 master students, 2 research assistants and a data scientist, research nurse, and coordinator.

Research project

Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome (CMS) is a devastating outcome for about 25% of children after posterior fossa tumor surgery. These children have reduced speech, ataxia, and emotional-behavioral problems that severely impact their long-term functioning. However, there is large variability within and between CMS and non-CMS patients, suggesting that there is a spectrum rather than dichotomization of deficits. In this international study, we aim to examine clinical and neuroradiological (MRI) predictors of neuropsychological outcome in children with posterior fossa tumors. This project will be an add-on to the Nordic CMS study, which is an international study being conducted in European countries.

Tasks and responsibilities 

We are looking for a research assistant/junior researcher with experience and interest in neuroimaging or neuropsychology. In the first year, tasks will include literature review, finalizing study protocols, and study setup and coordination with our national and international colleagues. After the first year, there are possibilities to complete a PhD on this same topic, given progress and interest of the applicant. Tasks will include recruiting patients/families, collecting clinical or neuropsychological data, completing advanced MRI 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, neuroradiologists, and neurosurgeons, which will be essential for this multi-disciplinary project. 

Your skills

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in psychology, neuroscience, imaging sciences, or a related field
  • Critical thinker and eager to learn
  • Experience with project management
  • Ability to work collaboratively and contribute to multi-disciplinary team
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Proficiency in Dutch is an asset, but not required

We offer

  • Appointment for 32-36 hours per week
  • Appointment for 1 year, which may be extended based on progress and interest
  • Start date as soon as possible
  • 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.

Contact and application

Send your motivation letter and CV online via the orange button “solliciteer direct” on this page before 19-August-2022. Interviews will occur in September.

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

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