Doctoral Position in Lung Cancer Screening

University of Antwerp Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Department: Molecular -Morphology-Microscopy
Regime Full-time

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The Department mVISION in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of lung cancer screening

In Europe (and in Flanders) there is growing interest in lung cancer screening (LCS) since large randomized controlled trials have shown that LCS with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in high-risk participants can reduce lung cancer-specific mortality. Final data of the randomized Dutch-Belgian NELSON (Nederlands-Leuvens Longkanker Screenings Onderzoek) LCS trial, showed a lung cancer mortality reduction of 24% in men and 33% in women at 10-year follow-up.

To improve lesion detection, computer-aided detection (CAD) algorithms are increasingly being used. Existing CAD systems have a wide performance variability and the current development speed of computerized tools to support reading and classification of lung lesions is so fast that more research in this area is needed. Furthermore, data of the performance of these algorithms on CT-studies using new techniques in the field of dose-reduction (e.g. denoising algorithms, photon-counting CT) is lacking.

With this project, we want to address how computer algorithms for detecting and measuring of lung nodules are performing. The greatest challenge is to develop new test methods in a world with rapidly changing technology - including between others also artificial intelligence. We will mainly focus on the performance of CAD algorithms using low-dose chest CT protocols. The ultimate goal is to find vendor independent targets that ensure small lung nodules can be detected and adequately measured. We will work with anthropomorphic phantoms, mimicking the patient’s chest. In these phantoms, 3D printed simulated lung lesions can be inserted. What is the behavior of different available CAD algorithms? How do they react to radiation dose reduction and more noise in the images? In a next phase, a database consisting of clinical chest CT images will be established and used for further testing of existing CAD algorithms.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of low dose chest CT. The research is situated within a multicenter project, in close collaboration with other PhD students from the department of medical physics at KU Leuven (Prof. dr. ir. Hilde Bosmans) and Ghent University (Prof. dr. ir. Klaus Bacher).
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project.


  • You hold a Master degree in biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, biomedical physics, medicine, or related disciplines.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You are a motivated person, willing to show commitment for a doctoral project, and to apply for an external fellowship (e.g., FWO strategic research fellowships 2023).
  • You are prepared for the interface between physics and medicine.
  • You can communicate fluently in English.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed once for another two-year period.
  • The planned start date is 3 October 2022.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • The PhD project is performed in the Radiology department of the Antwerp University Hospital, located at Campus Drie Eiken, led by Prof. dr. Annemiek Snoeckx (Chest Radiologist). The research will be supervised by Prof. dr. ir. Caro Franck, medical physicist, experienced in CT imaging and artificial intelligence.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 25 September 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter, your academic CV.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. ir. Caro Franck, tel. 03/821.36.13,

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.