VACANCY for PhD researcher UPLIFT-BC project

June 18, 2021

Fulltime (100%) joint-PhD researcher for the UPLIFT-BC research project: Identifying prognostic variables for persistent UPper LImb dysFuncTions after Breast Cancer treatment: body functions, personal and environmental factors according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disease and Health (ICF) -at the KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

About the research group

The project is a collaboration between the department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the KU Leuven (Prof. An De Groef, Prof. Nele Devoogdt and Prof. Dieter Van Assche), the Multidisciplinary Breast Center of the University Hospital Leuven (Prof. Ann Smeets) and the department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof. Liesbet De Baets).

About the project

Decreased upper limb (UL) function is common after breast cancer treatment and has a tremendous impact on a woman's quality of life. Since survival rates are increasing, it is essential to identify these factors which contribute to persistent UL dysfunctions during and after breast cancer treatment. This project plans a prospective cohort study to determine the prognostic value of body functions and structures, personal factors and environmental factors according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disease and Health (ICF) at different time points after breast cancer surgery for persistent UL dysfunction in breast cancer survivors. This knowledge is a crucial step in the development of a sound prediction model for persistent UL dysfunctions and a prospective care pathway for clinical practice.

Your profile

  • You have a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Master of Science in Medicine or a Master in Science degree in the field of health care or will obtain this degree before October 2021.
  • You are highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative individual to join our team.
  • You are interested in scientific research and motivated to start a PhD. You have already built up a good study and internship curriculum.
  • You enjoy working with patients in collaboration with a team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and researchers.
  • You are Dutch-speaking, fluent in English and have good communication skills. 
  • You have organizational skills, are accurate and eager to learn.
  • You have a flexible attitude

We offer

  • A dynamic research group with international expertise in the field pain neuroscience and clinical oncological (after)care that will guide you in this project.
  • A creative environment with a study team, post-doctoral researchers, doctors and supervisors to carry out data collection and scientific tasks.
  • Contractual appointment in a PhD fellowship status for a period of 2 years, renewable with 2 years upon positive evaluation
  • You will take on limited tasks of teaching and research support.

Starting date: Autumn 2021 (based on availability)

Submit a motivated application with CV by e-mail to and no later than 1 August 2021. We invite suitable candidates for (online) selection interviews on 17 August 2021 in the morning.