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PhD-candidate Patient and public involvement and engagement in RSV research

We are looking for a PhD student to study epistemic practices in patient and public involvement (PPIE) in research on acute childhood infections.

Dit ga je doen
There is a rapidly growing interest in patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in health research. However, there is very little published work on PPIE in health research on acute conditions. Also, there are few, if any, groups, representing people who have experienced acute viral infections. At UMC Utrecht, large-scale research into respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is being carried out. It involves not only doctors, researchers, and students, but also patients, who are represented on the RSV Patient Advisory Board (PAB). Currently, maternal and infant immunization to protect infants against RSV infection are introduced globally.

ReSViNET is a unique foundation led by UMC Utrecht. ReSViNET Foundation is the international leading non-profit organisation committed to reducing the global burdens of RSV infection, officially founded in 2018, and hosts the RSV Patient Advisory Board (PAB). Today, there is a Dutch Patient Advisory Board consisting of 8 parents and an International Patient Advisory Board consisting of 7 parents.

This PhD focuses on the uniqueness of the ReSViNET PAB in PPIE: exploring the knowledge patients bring to health research on RSV, how this knowledge contribution changes over time, and how patients obtain legitimacy within the medically oriented ReSViNET foundation. You will study patient participation in RSV research in close collaboration with patients and relatives.

You will write a PhD thesis (based on scientific publications) on epistemic (e.g. knowledge contribution, obtaining epistemic authority) and relational practices in PPIE in health research exploring the impact of the temporary nature of the health condition under study.

During your project you will regularly present and share knowledge of PPIE in the RSV field during various meetings. In addition, you will work on your professional development, for example by attending courses at the Graduate School of Life Sciences; you will also contribute to the Medical Humanities courses at the Faculty of Medicine.

Hier ga je werken
Our interdisciplinary department Bioethics & Health Humanities is a group consisting of full, associate and assistant professors and PhD students. Together we perform research, teach, and advise on a variety of topics in the fields of bioethics, history of medicine, narrative medicine, health law and patient and public involvement. You will work closely with the ReSViNET Foundation and will be supervised by prof. Astrid Janssens (patient and public participation) and prof. Louis Bont (paediatrician and chairman of ReSViNET).

Dit neem je mee
  • You have a master's degree in psychology, sociology, (bio)ethics, philosophy, health sciences, medical anthropology or science and technology studies.
  • You have experience with patient and public involvement, as someone with lived experience of a certain health condition or caring for someone with a (former) health condition, such as RSV infection.
  • You are excited about working at the crossroads of patient and public involvement and engagement, medicine, ethics, and philosophy.
  • You communicate effectively and enjoy sharing knowledge with diverse audiences using different formats (for example: presentations, social media).
  • Experience with qualitative empirical research methods is highly valued.
  • You have proficient oral and writing skills in Dutch and English or are willing to develop your language skills within the first year of your PhD.
  • You thrive in an international, multidisciplinary environment.

Please include in your application: a motivation letter in which you explain your interest in the position, Curriculum Vitae and when applicable, an overview of past and current research (publications) and teaching activities. We encourage applicants to include in their CV examples of non-academic dissemination of research (e.g. blog, infographics, videos) and non-academic teaching activities (for example workshops for patients or members of the community).

The deadline for submission is 4th July. Interviews will take place on Monday 15th of July 2024. The appointment will be for a total of 48 months. The initial appointment will be for a period of 12 months, which will be extended upon a positive evaluation.


Astrid Janssens
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