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Researcher (2 years)

Current demographic trends indicate that by the year 2020 almost 1 in 5 of the European population will be aged 65 and over and the number of people over 85 will triple by 2050.  Although ...

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De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2709 - € 2840 per maand


Current demographic trends indicate that by the year 2020 almost 1 in 5 of the European population will be aged 65 and over and the number of people over 85 will triple by 2050. Although life expectancy is increasing by 2 years per decade, the period of life spent in good health is not keeping pace and most Europeans spend their last decade in poor health. Consequently, the need to understand the factors influencing health in old age and develop and validate interventions and health policies to ensure more of our older adults achieve healthy and active ageing, has never been more urgent and is a cross-cutting research priority in Europe. However, to date there has been little attempt to pool resources and identify underlying common age-related pathways and interacting variables that predispose to pathology, and represent targets for intervention and policy change. This Research Fellow is based in Work Package 1: Standardisation, in the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network – PANINI (Physical Activity and Nutrition INfluences In ageing).

This post/studentship will focus on standardisation and data sharing, by coordinating standardised gold standard measures of physical function and nutrition to apply across the PANINI network. It will also innovate by allowing comparability between interventions by using the same baseline and outcome measures. The researcher will develop the shared project database and conduct data analysis on this to determine and compare the physical activity and nutritional profiles of older adults within a range of settings and frailty levels (pre-surgical patients, outpatients, frail care-home residents, supported housing residents and community dwelling adults) at baseline, and post-interventions, as well as across several European countries.
During this post, the candidate will have the option to register for a one year MSc by Research at the University of Birmingham. Candidates should preferably have a strong undergraduate/MSc in epidemiology or statistical analysis or least a strong epidemiological background in nutrition, movement science or medicine and an interest in developing skills within a multi-disciplinary approach to healthy ageing research. Experience in research analysis is a pre-requisite.


• A completed undergraduate degree in the field of epidemiology, nutrition, movement science or medicine;
• Strong analytical and numerical skills;
• Good data management knowledge;
• Good writing skills;
• Good command of the English Language (mandatory);
• Good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.


The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2709,00 gross per month in the first year (salary scale 10:1) up to € 2840,00 in the second year (salary scale 10:2) based on a full-time employment. Expected starting date of employment: ASAP 2018.

You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at www.workingatvu.nl like:
• Remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance
• A minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
• Generous contribution commuting allowance based on public transport;
• Discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
• Participation in Individual Choices model;
• A wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.

Additional information

Post is fixed-term funded until December 2019. This post will initially be based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, then move to Birmingham, UK.

The appointment will be initially for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended until 31 December 2019.

Candidates should send a brief statement of research interests (up to 2 pages), and a curriculum vitae to Prof Andrea Maier and Prof Anna Whittaker via email, with the subject "PANINI Research Fellow, and the vacancy number" .

For additional information please contact: Prof. Dr. Andrea Maier, Dr. Carel Meskers or Prof. Anna C. Whittaker.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is a leading, innovative and growing university that is at the heart of society and actively contributes to new developments in teaching and research. Our university has ten faculties, and provides work for over 4,500 staff and scientific education for more than 23,000 students.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences (FBM) at VU University Amsterdam is unique in the wide field of behavioural and health sciences for combining the disciplines of psychology, education theory and human movement sciences. The faculty contributes to a better understanding of the way behaviour and movement are caused and can be influenced so as to promote physical and mental health and improve performance.