PhD candidate within the Academic Collaborative Center on Sustainable Care Limburg

PhD candidate within the Academic Collaborative Center on Sustainable Care Limburg at Maastricht UMC+/University Maastricht at the Department of Health Services Research.


Would you like to do your PhD in a project together with partners from various disciplines and in close collaboration with the hospital? Are you interested in the digital care transformation and in being part of a co-creation process in the area of respiratory diseases? For the project 'DACIL' we are looking for a PhD candidate (4 years, 1 fte) who will be closely involved in the development and evaluation of a digital companion that guides COPD patients to diagnose disease deterioration themselves using AI-supported non-invasive and continuous voice monitoring in their home environment.


Job Description
The DACIL project is set up by an interdisciplinary consortium. The project aims to promote the autonomy, independence and self-reliance of people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This is done by providing COPD patients with an artificial intelligence (AI) supported, personalised digital companion used at home that detects disease deterioration by voice and wearables and stimulates and supports a sustainable, positive, and healthy lifestyle to prevent disease deterioration. In DACIL, researchers from different backgrounds (law, medicine, sociology, data science, psychology) join hands together with patients and other relevant parties involved in COPD care. The work of the PhD candidate focuses on the requirements, wishes and expectations of COPD patients (taken into account inclusivity, digital literacy) for the design, usability and feasibility of this personalised digital voice companion. The voice companion includes (1) a function to detect COPD disease deteriorations through voice recognition (and devices) and (2) lifestyle modules to support COPD patients to adapt a healthy lifestyle by personalised support. Within the project, we work closely with data scientists, other research departments within the university and other parties in the Netherlands. The PhD candidate will be supervised by people from the department of Health Promotion at Maastricht University, the Athena institute in Amsterdam and the department of Respiratory Medicine at Maastricht UMC+. The PhD candidate will also be involved in teaching activities within the Digital Technology and Care track within the Bachelor of Health Sciences and the Master of Health and Digital Transformation.

The tasks of the PhD candidate will include supporting the development of the voice companion through Design Thinking and co-creation methodologies, embedding the companion in practice, and conducting usability and feasibility studies. This is close collaboration with a patient advisory group. Qualitative and quantitative research methods will both be used. The research should result in a dissertation. The researcher will be appointed to the Department of Health Services Research at Maastricht University.


We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher with excellent Dutch and English written and oral communication skills, a flexible attitude, perseverance, and resilience. Being able to plan and organize well is a requirement. The researcher should have an affinity for health innovations, find it easy to connect with patients and health professionals and see it as a challenge to develop and evaluate care innovations in an interdisciplinary context. A completed  degree in health sciences, medicine, behavioral science, psychology, social sciences or related field, affinity with the topic of the digital transformation of care and experience with qualitative research methods, and especially with co-creation and design thinking, would fit the profile well.


What we offer
As a PhD  at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale PhD according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 in the first year and €3539,00 gross per month in the fourth year (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow. 
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model. 
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students. 
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'. 

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?


At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM. 

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total. 

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+).  FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+). 

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI)

CAPHRI works towards better health for everyone through innovative solutions for healthcare and public health care. CAPHRI builds bridges between science and society by conducting research with an inclusive and participatory approach. The research focuses on prevention and innovation ranging from public - and primary health care, to person-oriented long-term care. 

Our research has a strong multidisciplinary approach with attention to local, regional and global themes embedded in six research lines: Ageing and Long-Term Care, Creating Value-Based Health Care, Functioning, Participation and Rehabilitation, Health Inequities and Societal Participation, Optimising Patient Care; and Promoting Health and Personalised Care.

Working at CAPHRI means being engaged in an active and inspiring academic setting and making a real contribution to the improvement of care and public health. CAPHRI attracts top scientists from around the world and is known for its comprehensive PhD training programme for young talented scientists.


Your place of employment is the Department of Health Services Research of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University Medical Center, in Maastricht. See also


The mission of the Department of Health Services Research is to improve quality of life, quality and efficiency of chronic care and care of older people. We do this by studying and teaching innovations in a multidisciplinary way addressing the broad spectrum from prevention to palliative care


The Academic Collaborative Center of Sustainable Care Limburg
The Academic Collaborative Center of Sustainable Care Limburg links policy and practice with research and education and brings together different disciplines in the implementation and evaluation of innovative care innovations. The practice-oriented research focuses, among other things, on change processes and signals given by healthcare itself. The ultimate challenge is to search for new care arrangements that contribute to appropriate care in the right place by the right person for the right price (see further 


Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact prof. dr. Marieke Spreeuwenberg at for more information. 

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD candidate? Apply now, no later than 1st of September for this position. The interviews will take place in September.


The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Job Type:  Academic
Faculty/Service Center:  Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Closing date:  1-09-2024
FTE min:  1,0
FTE max:  1,0
Salary min:  €2770,00
Salary max:  €3539,00
ID job:  1144
Job Type:  Academic
Faculty/Service Center:  Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Closing date:  1-09-2024
FTE min:  1,0
FTE max:  1,0
Salary min:  €2770,00
Salary max:  €3539,00
ID job:  1144