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  3. PhD position project “HealthPro: How effective are health programs?” (1.0 FTE)

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PhD position project “HealthPro: How effective are health programs?” (1.0 FTE)

The scientific research that will be conducted in this project is concentrated in the research programme Marketing (http://www.rug.nl/feb/organization/scientific-departments/marketing/). The project is also closely related to the Centre of ...

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Broerstraat, Groningen, Groningen
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2801 per maand


The scientific research that will be conducted in this project is concentrated in the research programme Marketing (www.rug.nl/feb/organization/scientific-departments/marketing/). The project is also closely related to the Centre of Expertise Healthwise (www.rug.nl/healthwise/), which is a cross-departmental expertise centre of FEB (www.rug.nl/feb/). Healthwise generates and disseminates insights in the fields of economics, business and management to stimulate and promote health over the life cycle.

Modern scientific developments have led to a new definition of ‘health’: the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges. This new definition of health fits well with the growing belief that individuals are largely responsible for their own well-being. This development offers valuable opportunities for firms to support individuals to live a healthy life. Health insurance companies could for instance actively engage in activities that support a healthy lifestyle. By doing so, they can contribute to individual’s well-being and reduce the cost of health care, among others.

In this four-year research project, the PhD candidate will study the effect of health programs aimed at stimulating and supporting a healthy lifestyle. Can health programs stimulate permanent behavioral changes? And do these programs contribute to a reduction in the cost of health care? Moreover, do health programs appeal predominantly to people who already live a healthy lifestyle, or do programs like these also appeal to people with less healthy lifestyles? And how can people be stimulated and motivated to become and remain an active participant in these health programs? These are important academic questions that will yield critical insights for practitioners and policy makers interested in supporting healthy lifestyles. To answer these questions, the PhD candidate analyze of data from the health program SamenGezond, offered by Menzis, using advanced econometric techniques and models. Moreover, to test the effectiveness of relevant interventions, including a supporting app (https://samengezond.menzis.nl/app/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv_Oxzv2z1wIVTCrTCh1KrQtLEAAYASABEgKrzfD_BwE) large-scale field experiments will be conducted in collaboration with Menzis (watch this video on SamenGezond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-I1DyBAr78&feature=youtu.be).


We are looking for a candidate with
- a Research Master or Mphil degree, or equivalent in social sciences (e.g. econometrics, economics, health economics, psychology, business, data science)
- excellent quantitative, methodological skills
- interest in the topic of stimulating healthy lifestyles among consumers.


The University of Groningen offers, depending on qualifications and work experience, a gross monthly starting salary of € 2,222 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2,840. In addition there are a 8% holiday allowance and a 8,3% end of year bonus.
The full-time appointment is temporary for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year.

Starting date: Preferably March 1, 2018, but not later than September 1, 2018.

An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

For more information about the vacancy, please send an email to somvacancies@rug.nl

How to apply
If you are interested, we invite you to apply until 18 January 23:59h / before 19 January 2018 Dutch local time. Please click on the "Apply" button below.

The application package consists of the following separate documents:
1. your cv and scan of your passport
2. a motivation letter (1 A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max).
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. other relevant documents
The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

Prof. Tammo Bijmolt (for more information on the project itself)

Prof. Koert van Ittersum (for more information on the project itself)


Faculty of Economics and Business Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditations enable the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programs, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

SOM, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has available one PhD position for the project “HealthPro: How effective are health programs?”