PhD: Validation of AI software for imaging biomarkers in heart and lung disease

36 hours a week
€2495 - €3050

Closing date: November 15

Posted on

Project background

Lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease, the so-called Big-3, are expected to cause most deaths by 2050. Early detection and prevention are crucial to lower the disease burden. Innovative low-dose computed tomography (CT) scanning allows assessment of early Big-3 imaging biomarkers. A challenge to establishing a Big-3 screening program is the lack of automated and standardized B3 imaging biomarkers. Within B3CARE (funded by ZonMW and industry partners), large-scale imaging projects in different populations are combined into an imaging data biobank. New AI-based software can automatically determine Big-3 imaging biomarkers, but validation is essential for clinical application. Within the B3CARE project, there is a close collaboration of University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) with University of Twente (UT) and with industry partners.

Job description

In this PhD project, you will use a imaging data biobank for validation and standardization of novel AI-based software for Big-3 imaging biomarkers. We are looking for a PhD student with strong affinity to data science and the clinical field (preferably with imaging). You will design an image data framework for validation for AI software, using available image data and metadata. You will harmonize collected data, generate well-annotated representative benchmark datasets and subsequently test AI-based software solutions in order to increase the TRL of the software. In consultation with supervisors, the PhD student can choose the Big-3 imaging biomarkers to be validated.

You will be part of a dynamic, multidisciplinary research team from UMCG including other (PhD) students, technical medicine graduates, image analysis researchers, and clinical researchers. You will be supervised by experts in their respective fields. Validation of AI-based image analysis approaches are done in close collaboration with industry partners. You will be registered within the Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Groningen where you graduate from the University of Groningen, Faculty of Medicine.

Work environment
The University Medical Centre Groningen, located in the center of Groningen, is one of the Netherlands’ eight university medical centers and the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands. It has an ambitious, dynamic, international environment with state-of-the-art facilities. More than 13.000 employees provide patient care, are involved in medical education and perform cutting-edge scientific research, focused on healthy ageing. Data science and large-scale studies, such as LifeLines/ImaLife, are important focal points in Groningen.

Your profile

  • A Master’s degree in Technical Medicine, Biomedical Technology, Computer/Data science or related field.
  • Experience with medical imaging, image processing and/or machine learning is desirable
  • Excellent communication skills in English; knowledge of Dutch is an advantage.
  • You are flexible.
  • You are able to work independently and arrange your time efficiently.
  • You are available to start the PhD project on short notice (before the end of 2020).

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What do we offer

You will be appointed in a fulltime PhD position (36 hours) for a maximum period of 3 years.

  • Salary according to the Dutch scale for PhD project research. Salary is € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 3.050,- gross per month in the last year.
  • Excellent benefits, including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. The terms of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centers (CAO-UMC).
  • Minimum of 23 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

More information
For more information about this vacancy please contact:

  • prof.dr. Rozemarijn Vliegenthart, radiologist, e-mail address: (please do not use e-mail address for applications)


For questions about the position

If you have any questions about the job position, we would love to hear from you. Do not hesitate to contact us.

How to apply

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 15 November 2020.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.


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Vera Heijnen
Vera Heijnen Team Recruitment