VACANCY for Research Assistant Lower Limb Lymphedema

June 18, 2021

Part-time (50%, duration 3 years) scientific research assistant for an FWO research project: Improving clinical screening, diagnostic and evaluation tools for lower limb lymphedema at the KU Leuven (in cooperation with Nij Smellinghe Hospital, The Netherlands)

About the project

Lymphedema is a chronic and debilitating disorder characterized by abnormal tissue swelling, adipose deposition and/or fibrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. It can be classified as primary (congenital) or secondary (acquired after for instance cancer treatment) lymphedema. Prevalence estimates suggest that chronic lymphedema of the lower limb(s) is present in 1.4 of 1000 people; this prevalence is probably an underestimate. At present, it is unknown which measurement methods are the most accurate to use for screening (in case of cancer patients), diagnosing or evaluating LLL in clinical practice. In addition, there is an urgent need to validate the currently limited guidelines regarding screening, diagnosing (including severity grading) and evaluating unilateral and bilateral LLL and make them more concrete and unambiguous. To meet these needs, and to encourage an international uniformity regarding the management of LLL, the proposed project aims at developing (based on directly edema-related assessments) a screening, diagnostic and evaluation set for patients with (or at risk for) unilateral or bilateral LLL that can be used in clinical practice.

Your job

  • You will be responsible for the clinical activities (i.e. evaluations/measurements) in patients with lymphedema as well as in healthy controls, as planned for the different aims of the project, at the University Hospitals of Leuven (campus Pellenberg and Gasthuisberg) and occasionally in Nij Smellinghe Hospital (The Netherlands).
  • You will assist in the overall management of the project including support with scientific tasks (e.g. recruitment of/contact with study participants, planning, collecting and management of study data, etc.).
  • You will assist in the organisation of intermittent discussions with the project’s international expert panel (experts from St.-Georges University Hospital & University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust in the UK, Nij Smellinghe Hospital in the Netherlands, University Hospitals of Leuven).

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 a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative individual to join our team.
  • You have an interest in working with patients with lymphedema and have good communication skills.
  • You have an interest for scientific research.
  • You are responsible and able to work independently when needed.
  • You enjoy working with patients in collaboration with a team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and researchers.
  • You have organizational and management skills, you work accurately and are eager to learn.
  • You are fluent in Dutch & English speaking and writing, French is a plus.

We offer

  • A dynamic group consisting of clinicians and researchers with international expertise in the field of lymphology that will guide you in this project.
  • A creative environment with a study team, PhD-researchers, post-doctoral researchers, doctors and supervisors to carry out data collection and scientific as well as clinical tasks; an excellent basis and preparation towards further training or a PhD within this field.

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.