Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN Early Stage Researcher | DISTINCT ‘Photoactivity’ (full time/36hrs per week) Psychiatrie

Placed on: 
Amsterdam UMC, Universitair Medische Centra, Locatie VUmc

Do you have a strong interest in dementia and technology and do you want to support Dutch people with dementia by doing research in a nursing home setting? Did you study or work outside the Netherlands in the past 3 years and are you fluent in Dutch? Then you may be the candidate we are looking for!


  • 36 hours
  • Salary : Marktconform
  • temporary contract


Your challenge

As from December 2019, we have a vacancy for an early stage researcher in a project for Evaluation of the effectiveness of a person-centred touch-screen based photo-activity on the social health and well-being of people with moderate to advanced dementia.

Your main tasks and responsibilities in this project are:

  • To assist in recruitment of persons with dementia and their carers;
  • To conduct the data collection in collaboration with master and/or bachelor students;
  • To process and to analyse the data;
  • To write scientific papers, professional publications and a factsheet;
  • To present the study and results at (international) scientific and public meetings;
  • To collaborate with other researchers in DISTINCT and our department.

As early stage researcher you work in close collaboration with the postdoc (Dr. Petra Boersma), senior researcher (Dr. Teake Ettema) and the head of the research group (Prof. Rose-Marie Dröes) and second supervisor (Prof. Max Stek).

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic early stage researcher with a strong interest in dementia and technology based psychosocial research. You are pro-active and precise, have interpersonal skills, talents for organising, and you can work without direct supervision. You are also able to manage your own workload and meet deadlines.

The Marie Curie admission requirements require the succesful applicant to satisfy at least the following requirements to be eligible for the project:

  • Must not already hold a PhD;
  • Must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career;
  • Must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) within the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to their recruitment.

In addition, you meet the following requirements and experience:

  • Excellent communication skills in English and Dutch, both written and verbal;
  • We prefer a research master’s degree in the field of health or human interaction combined with technology. Candidates with a (research) master’s degree in (clinical or neuro) psychology or gerontology, health sciences, nursing sciences or related field are also welcome to apply. In addition, the master education had a strong element of research methods, including quantitative (and qualitative) methods and experience with SPSS;
  • Experience in writing (international) publication(s);
  • Ability to produce scientific outputs for publication in peer reviewed journals;
  • Familiar with digital applications to tablet systems;
  • The ability to engage people who are not confident with IT and tablets;
  • You are willing to travel to attend secondments, training and academic events;
  • You have the ability to work within an internationally diverse team and to attain with the requirements of the funder.

Your work environment

At the Department of Psychiatry of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc in Amsterdam, one of the research groups focusses on Care and support in dementia (head Prof. dr. Rose-Marie Dröes). This research includes the development, evaluation and implementation of psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their caregivers. One specific type of interventions studied are ICT interventions. The research of the group Care and Support in Dementia is embedded in the Amsterdam Public Health Research institute (research programme Mental Health) and is conducted in collaboration with the Alzheimer Center, department of Neurology, and Center for elderly care medicine of VUmc. For individual research projects collaboration is sought with relevant external institutes and organizations. Our research programme offers interesting, innovative and challenging work within a collegial working environment.

The photo-activity project
The project is being pursued in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network ‘DISTINCT‘ (Dementia Intersectorial Strategy for Training and Innovation Network for Current Technology). The overarching research goal of the DISTINCT project is to improve the usability of technology in dementia care by evaluating its effectiveness and implementation issues in relation to social health. The DISTINCT-ITN comprises of ten world-leading research organisations plus IDES, an enterprise for technology, research and care, as well as nine partner organisations including Alzheimer Europe, Alzheimer’s Disease International, the World Occupational Therapists Federation, two other major universities and three other enterprises. A total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be hosted across the network. DISTINCT works with INTERDEM Academy, a large international collaboration enabling training and development opportunities for all grades of researcher from PhD students to senior academics to develop capacity for future research in dementia care.
The photo-activity project will be carried out in collaboration with Inholland University of applied sciences in Amsterdam in care homes and nursing homes in different regions of the Netherlands.

Research has shown that viewing art on a touch screen tablet can positively influence the well-being of people with dementia and their caregivers The visual artist Laurence Aëgerter developed an art-based photographic intervention, which can be used by formal and informal caregivers in the communication with people with advanced dementia. For every person with dementia a sample of photos related to their premorbid interests and photos that express positive emotions are collected and used in a communication activity. The usability and effect of the photo-activity intervention was successfully pilot tested in a previous study with positive impacts of mood and social interaction. In the present study a tablet version of the photo activity will be developed and a randomised controlled trial will be conducted into the feasibility and effectiveness of the intervention in people with moderate to advanced dementia living in nursing homes. Implementation issues will also be investigated by means of a process analysis.

We offer

Salary Scale -: marktconform gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

Successful candidates will receive an attractive base-salary in accordance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, for 36 months. The exact (net) salary depends on the EU-defined country correction factor, and on local tax regulations (for additional information see EU MSCA website).

Fellows will also benefit from a mobility allowance. In addition a family (if applicable) allowance (an additional financial allowance paid with the salary) is on offer :to fellows with a spouse &/or child/children at time of recruitment. Successful applicants are eligible for parental leave in keeping with Amsterdam UMC standard employment policy.

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (a declaration of good behaviour).

If you don’t have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you need a residence permit in the Netherlands. We will help you with the application for this. You can find information on the general conditions here: general conditions.

Information and application

Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Prof. dr. Rose-Marie Dröes, via telephone number +31 20 788 5454.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at 020 444 5635.

You can apply till 16 December 2019 by using the apply button.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.

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