PhD candidate

At least 80% of premature heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes could be prevented through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and the avoidance of tobacco products (WHO, 2005). Hence, health risks can be ...

22 dagen geleden


's-Gravendijkwal, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 36 uur
€ 2279 - € 2919 per maand


At least 80% of premature heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes could be prevented through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and the avoidance of tobacco products (WHO, 2005). Hence, health risks can be substantially reduced by living healthy lives and by participating in screening and vaccination programs. Yet many people fail to do so. Why?

It is widely recognized in Public Health, Social Psychology, and Economics that individuals do not always behave according to what is considered optimal. In Social Psychology scholars emphasize the role of personality traits such as low self-efficacy, and environmental factors such as social norms and access barriers, to explain why individuals cannot translate intentions into behavioural actions. In behavioural economics, the deviations from optimality are usually explained by behavioural biases such as probability weighting and myopic decision making. For example, individuals may misperceive their health risks due to cognitive limitations. A multitude of possible explanations is available across different disciplines, but a comprehensive understanding is lacking. Strong synergies are expected from a multidisciplinary approach.

The goal of this project is to identify the most promising incentives to induce healthy behaviour, and to translate these into feasible ideas for innovative prevention programs. This project is organized in three parts: (1) develop hypotheses from social psychology and economic theories to understand (un)healthy behaviour and prevention; (2) empirically test the hypotheses using observational data and small scale lab experiments; and, (3) design pilot field experiments to incentivize healthy behaviour and prevention.


The candidate is expected to have a (research) master degree in Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Social Psychology or a related field, experience with statistical software (Stata, R, or similar programs), and excellent communication and writing skills in English.

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct is a condition for the appointment.


The contract duration is 4 years, and the candidate will be based at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, under the supervision of Professor Johan Mackenbach (Department of Public Health) and Dr. Hans van Kippersluis (Health Economics). Active collaboration is expected with the Erasmus School of Economics, and with clinical departments of Erasmus MC and the public health service of Rotterdam.
The gross monthly salary is € 2.279,- in the 1st year and increases to € 2.919,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Johan Mackenbach, Head of Department, phone number: (+31)(0) 10 703 8460 or e-mail

Please respond by using the apply button.


A healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education. This is what Erasmus MC stands for. Conducting groundbreaking work, pushing boundaries and leading the way. In research, education, and healthcare. We are practical people with a high level of expertise, working hard to improve and renew the healthcare of today and the public health of tomorrow.

The Department of Public Health is a large research-oriented department which has a multidisciplinary staff and a strong international reputation for research in the field of the determinants of population health. The appointed researcher will work in a multidisciplinary research group as part of a university-wide initiative aiming to improve the underpinnings of health policy.


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