Vacature: Postdoc ‘Societal resilience determination in pandemics’

Deze vacature is aangedragen door het Radboudumc.

About the position
36 hours per week
2 years, with opportunities for extension depending on the project progress
Salary scale 10
Fulltime: min € 2911 – max € 4615 gross per month
Deadline: 15 October 2021

Job description
As the future of medicine and society is determined by complex, interdisciplinary problems, we offer you the challenge to work at the frontier of relevant research with complexity science methods fitting these challenges. In case you are the person who feels personally addressed by this job-description, we offer you a co-leading researcher position in this ambitious and inspiring research project.

Are you as intrigued as we are by this possibility to study and improve societal resilience and overall management in future pandemics and in interdisciplinary application of modern methods of epidemiology, management science, computational modeling, and in bridging the gap between science and (de)central policy making? Do you want to create impact by applying your research skills in an urgently needed complexity science project, as future pandemic-like crises are likely to re-occur? Are you interested in research on the interacting societal domains of health care, finances and education, characterized by their complexity, uncertainty and interactions between decentralized and centralized decision making? Do you consider it a challenge to work in a multidisciplinary, interfaculty environment?

The project
During the COVID-19 crisis, pandemic management proved highly complex by strongly interacting centralized and decentralized decision making combined with having multiple incommensurate goals (physical/mental health, economy, etc.). This unavoidably resulted in uncertainty about health care effects and lowering societal resilience. In this NWO funded project we will apply complexity science methods to create an improved, more resilient management strategy, in four directly linked work packages (WP):

WP 1: Building an overarching COVID-19 Causal Loop Diagram.
WP 2: System Dynamic Modelling for Decentralized Interventions.
WP 3: Centralized Modelling of national COVID-19 intervention scenarios.
WP 4: Adaptive Policy Management support by Simulated Stress Tests.

Together this should result in the development and proof-of-principle testing of adaptive pandemic management to improve handling uncertain and multi-domain effects by having policy makers participate in group model building and pandemic simulations. For each of the four work packages we offer a two year post-doc position, in which you will closely collaborate in applying complexity science tools to improve management for policy- and decision makers who also will participate as stakeholders. The project is supervised by a highly interdisciplinary study group with scientists from complexity science, medical microbiology, management, and computational science.

This position entails WP 1. You will be appointed at Radboudumc and you will also have the role of project leader. The postdocs for WP 2 and 3 will be appointed at Radboud University and University of Amsterdam, respectively. The postdocs for WP 1 and 4 will be appointed at Radboudumc. WP 4 can also be a policy maker with well-trained analytic capacities, not a post-doc per se.

Tasks and responsibilities
Resilience analyses via time series/modeling.
Co-development of causal loop diagrams (CLD).
Survey building, spread and analyses.
Large database coupling and research.
Interaction analysis.

The tasks are described in detail in the research proposal which is available on request. The study will produce both interdisciplinary scientific papers and translational contributions for stakeholder policy makers and decentral and central policy making bodies and institutes.

The Radboud university medical center’s key strength is medical life-sciences and clinical practice, with an impressive infrastructure comprising state-of-the-art technology platforms and (translational) research facilities. The Radboudumc is therefore uniquely positioned in the emerging Euregio and Dutch healthcare infrastructure to play a leading role in the new healthcare paradigm of prediction, prevention and personalized medicine. The Radboudumc focuses on scientific health challenges of today, with an eye on emerging diseases of the future.

There is more and more emphasis on complexity science to address the big societal problems at Radboud University, Radboudumc and University of Amsterdam. This project will be supervised interdisciplinary and by close collaboration between the faculties.

Supervisors involved are:

  • Prof Heiman Wertheim, chair Medical Microbiology Dept, Radboudumc.
  • Prof Marcel Olde Rikkert, geriatrician/ Radboud University Interfaculty Complexity Science Hub, Radboudumc.
  • Prof Etiënne Rouwette, management sciences, Radboud University.
  • Dr Hubert Korzilius, UHD management sciences, Radboud University.
  • Prof Vincent Marchau, management sciences, Radboud University, TU Delft.
  • Dr Rick Quax, tenured researcher University of Amsterdam/IAS.

We offer an excellent research team with high level past performance. Tenure track possibilities may become optional depending on the candidate’s stage of career. You will participate in the Institute of Advanced Studies (Amsterdam) and the Radboud Interfaculty Complexity Science Hub. You will have a direct connection to application practices and COVID-19 outcomes-related data sets.

Radboud university medical center is a university medical center for patient care, scientific research, and education in Nijmegen. Radboud university medical center strives to be at the forefront of shaping the healthcare of the future. We do this in a person-centered and innovative way, and in close collaboration with our network. We want to have a significant impact on healthcare. We want to improve with each passing day, continuously working towards better healthcare, research, and education. And gaining a better understanding of how diseases arise and how we can prevent, treat, and cure them, day in and day out. This way, every patient always receives the best healthcare, now and in the future. Because that is why we do what we do.

We are looking for a Postdoc with a PhD degree in clinical epidemiology, or linked interdisciplinary sciences. In addition to your high level of English, we will only consider candidates that also speak and write Dutch fluently (level B2), because of the close relation with policymakers and having to study also Dutch (meta data) databases. You have experience with the multivariate analyses of time series. You are ambitious and passionate to aim for interdisciplinary overarching scientific and societal goals, and eager to use these methods in developing new insights on adaptive pandemic management.

In addition, you possess the skills below:

  • Facilitated modelling (e.g. anticipating, handling conflict, explaining, providing feedback)
  • Survey techniques.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • Project management and leadership skills and experience.
  • Communicate and collaborate interdisciplinary to bridge the different scientific fields.
  • Flourish in a team that wants to translate research models directly into policy making.
  • Project management skills, flexibility, proactive behavior and excellent academic writing skills.

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof Marcel Olde Rikkert, geriatrician/ Radboud University Interfaculty Complexity Science Hub. 

Datum plaatsing: 13 oktober 2021