PHD Position in Health Technology Assessment

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Public Health and Primary Care

As successful candidate, you will conduct PhD research under the supervision of Professors Jan Verbakel and Jeroen Luyten. You will be part of a research team collaborating in a national multicentre prospective trial (ARON study) on antibiotic prescribing rate in acutely ill children across Belgium. You will study theory and methods of health technology assessment, process evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis and apply these to the concrete intervention. You will play an active role in the research team, participate in the organisation of the ARON trial, organise and take part in workshops, conferences, public events and other activities. You will be based at the EPI-Centre, part of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the KU Leuven, an interdisciplinary centre aiming to perform research on the impact of innovations in public health and primary care. The staff members of this centre publish their work in international peer reviewed journals, participate in national and international research projects, and support other academic and professional organizations.


Children become ill quite often, mainly caused by infections, most of which can be managed safely in the community without the need for antibiotics. However, many children are prescribed antibiotics which contributes to antimicrobial resistance and reinforces health-seeking behaviour. We aim to strengthen the assessment of acutely ill children in primary care, by introducing an evidence-based decision support system that can help GPs decide when to withhold antibiotic treatment. We will describe and evaluate how the intervention has impacted GP behaviour and their decision-making. EPI-Centre recruits a doctoral student to perform a health technology assessment (HTA) including cost-effectiveness analysis and perform a process evaluation of this intervention.The findings of this study could change the practice of GPs and might be of great interest to parents and childcare providers.


We are looking for:

-        an ambitious, intellectually motivated doctoral candidate,

-        who is interested in health economics, health technology assessment and clinical effectiveness trials,

-        who is strong in both qualitative and quantitative scientific research,

-        who is proactive and able to work independently in a multidisciplinary context,

-        who graduated with (at least) distinction with a university master's degree,

-        who preferably has a master's degree in a relevant discipline: medicine, economics (or related social science disciplines), but profiles from other disciplines (biomedical sciences, psychology, rehabilitation studies,…) may certainly also be suitable.

-        Sufficient level of English speaking and writing skills

-        Highly motivated to communicate about this research at international level (by scientific publications and oral presentations on conferences)


-        A full-time position, initially for 1 year but extendable to 4 years after positive evaluation.  The researcher is enrolled in a PhD program whereby PhD tuition fee is paid by project.

-        A monthly salary of about 2000€/month, excluding various additional extralegal benefits

-        The researcher is supervised and guided by experts in this field.

-        A challenging and exciting working environment at the most innovative university in Europe.

-        An international network for collaboration with UGent, UAntwerpen, VUB, ULiege, UCLouvain, University of Oxford, University of Utrecht, London School of Economics.

-        Possibilities to teach.

-        An office between other doctoral students at the Leuven EPI-Centre.

-        A budget for a computer, training and participation in international conferences.

-        Various opportunities for professional development (KULeuven Career Center, a wide range of specific courses, etc.).

More information about working at KULeuven can be found here: 


For more information please contact Mrs. Tine De Burghgraeve, tel.: +32 16 37 72 76, mail: or Prof. dr. Jan Verbakel, tel.: +32 16 37 72 86, mail:

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

You can apply for this job no later than July 20, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: July 20, 2020
  • Tags: Maatschappelijke gezondheidszorg en eerstelijnszorg