job offer

Job offer: PhD Student Ghent University

Jan Vandecasteele

PhD Student — Ghent University (

Radiotherapy is a central pillar of multidisciplinary cancer care. Proton therapy (PT) is an advanced radiotherapy technology, yet entailing higher investment and operational costs, warranting a cost-effective implementation. To select patients benefitting most from PT, a model-based approach can be applied, using prediction models of toxicity, i.e., normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) models. In thoracic cancers, the rapid evolution of state-of-the-art treatments however leads to a systematic underperformance of the available NTCP models. This calls for the development of innovative models allowing to continuously and prospectively learn from information gathered from every patient.
The aim of this PhD project is to perform the health economic assessment, associated to the innovative NTCP model framework that will be developed, with the ultimate aim to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of PT compared to the standard photon beam radiotherapy (XT), by balancing the costs to the outcomes in locally-advanced non-small cell lung and esophageal cancer.
The programme will include different work packages:

  • Defining PT and XT treatment costs, using Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing
  • Developing a model for cost-effectiveness calculation of PT versus XT in thoracic malignancies
  • Integration of the cost and economic evaluation models in the NTCP framework
  • Simulating different scenarios of informed patient selection for PT

As a doctoral researcher, you will be responsible for the development, implementation, analysis and reporting of this work package. Your research results will contribute to the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of medicine and health sciences, in a close collaboration between the departments of Structure and Repair, Public Health and Primary Care (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) and Accounting, Corporate Finance & Taxation (Faculty of Economics and Business administration) at UGent, together with the collaborators from medicine and health sciences at KU Leuven.
Our offer:

  • A full-time contract, with the aim to start on December 1st 2023
  • A PhD scholarship of 48 months (after positive evaluation after the 1st year – 1y + 3y)
  • An individual research training trajectory (including a wide range of courses)
  • A challenging and inspiring work environment
  • An ambitious project with important societal consequences
  • Supervision of experienced scientists of different scientific background