PhD student Person-centred care for people with overweight or obesity (1.0 fte). 


To effectively address the pressing societal challenges regarding health and health care, broad interdisciplinary collaborations are needed. Intensifying collaborations between disciplines and institutions can help to bring the required innovative solutions to preserve and improve the health and wellbeing of current and future generations. This aim lies at the heart of the convergence between the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Erasmus MC and the Technical University of Delft.

As a leading, multi-disciplinary institute, aiming to have a positive impact on the future of health and healthcare, nationally and internationally, through research and education, the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) will fund 6 PhD positions in relation to this convergence. All PhD students will work in an interdisciplinary environment, in collaboration with Erasmus MC and TU Delft. They will contribute on a broad range of topics related to the societal challenges ahead, including on the issues of value-based health care, artificial intelligence in health care and person-centred prevention of obesity.

This PhD position is a collaboration between ESHPM and Erasmus MC.

Project description

Overweight and obesity are complex health problems which require a person-centred approach in which social care and health care work closely together to support all patients’ needs. Partnerschap Overgewicht Nederland (PON) is working on a national integrated person-centred approach to effectively combat overweight and obesity in the Netherlands. A new role will be created to connect all involved health and social care professionals called the ‘central care coordinator’. Rotterdam will be one of the front-runners in the development and implementation of this approach. Other municipalities in the Netherlands will follow. An already ongoing research project looks at effectiveness in terms of weight loss. The main goal of this PhD project is to conduct a thorough process evaluation. Currently, there is a lack of research investigating underlying mechanisms that are supportive or hamper an integrated person-centred approach. The research questions that will be answered are:

  • Is the implemented integrated approach truly person-centred?
  • What is the role of the central care coordinator?
  • What is needed to successfully connect health and social care professionals?
  • What is needed to make the integrated approach really work? What are the crucial success- and failing factors?
  • What can we learn from the frontrunners to successfully enrol this approach throughout the Netherlands?  


The successful applicant for this position is expected to have a master’s degree in the social sciences (e.g., sociology, social psychology), health sciences or research methods. A good statistical background and experience with quantitative research is essential; an interest or experience with qualitative methods is an advantage. Applicants must have excellent speaking and writing skills in Dutch and English and have a strong motivation for teaching and research within the particular field. Computer skills should include SPSS, SAS, R or similar statistical software.

Conditions of employment

We offer an appointment as PhD student for a period of 1.5 year, which will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years if the candidate performs well. Remuneration will be according to the PhD scales set by the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU), and will range from € 2.395 per month in the first year to € 3.061 per month in the fourth year (gross amounts, in case of fulltime employment). The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include a holiday allowance of 8.0%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and up to 41 days paid time off. Substantial tax benefits apply to non-Dutch citizens, conditional on permission granted by the Dutch Tax Office. Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract. Fulltime is considered to be 38 hours per week. The starting date will be determined together with the candidate.


The Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is a research university with a strong international orientation and a pronounced social focus, both in its education and research activities. On the lively, modern campus, more than 28.000 students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition. Our more than 2700 scientists and employees work together with all our students to solve challenges faced by global society, drawing their inspiration from the consistently dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. The academic education offered at our faculties is intensive, engaging and strongly focused on practical application. We increasingly perform our research in multidisciplinary teams, which are closely interwoven with international networks. In terms of research impact and the quality of its degree programmes, EUR can compete with the foremost universities in Europe, which is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. Erasmus University Rotterdam’s key values are daring, curiosity, social involvement, breaking new ground and striving for success. More information can be found on

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is responsible for a bachelor and four master programs on policy and management in healthcare, which serve 1000 students. In addition, research is being done on three major research themes: ‘competition and regulation in healthcare’, ‘quality and efficiency in healthcare’ and ‘healthcare management’. ESHPM has about 175 employees. The position offered is within the department of Socio-Medical Sciences. The department of Socio-Medical Sciences within ESHPM addresses socio-medical themes such as patients’ experiences, quality of care, and the accessibility and use of (health) care services. Other topics addressed include the consequences of care provision and care reform for health and well-being of vulnerable groups (including vulnerable elderly, older migrants, youth with chronic conditions, people with an intellectual disability, the chronically ill, and low socioeconomic status groups).

Additional information

For additional information you can contact dr. Jane Murray Cramm (email Qualified applicants should send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details of two references by email to:, please mention ‘PhD vacancy Person-centred care for people with overweight or obesity’. The deadline for application is August 10.

Research team

Prof. dr. Liesbeth van Rossum, internist, endocrinoloog Erasmus MC, voorzitter Partnerschap Overgewicht Nederland
Dr. Jane Murray Cramm ESHPM
Prof. dr. Anna Petra Nieboer ESHPM
Dr. Karen Freijer, algemeen manager Partnerschap Overgewicht Nederland
Drs. Claudia Bolleurs, projectmanager Partnerschap Overgewicht Nederland


Dr. Jane Murray Cramm (ESHPM), Prof. dr. Anna Petra Nieboer (ESHPM) & Prof. dr. Liesbeth van Rossum (Erasmus MC).

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