Aug 17, 2010

PhD Researcher 'Heterogeneity in studies with discrete-time survival endpoints'

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences carries out relevant scientific
research of a very high quality and provides challenging academic teaching in the fields of human behaviour and society. The faculty¹s research and teaching contribute to a critical reflection on society, human behaviour and their interconnection. More than 5,650 students follow a broad range of undergraduate and graduate (academic and research) programmes, set up by a collaboration of five departments:

Interdisciplinary Social Science, Sociology, Methodology and Statistics, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, and Psychology. As a result of the faculty¹s wide variety of programmes and innovative and groundbreaking research, some 750 staff members have ample opportunity to benefit from each other¹s knowledge and expertise.

The Department of Methodology and Statistics participates in the Interuniversity
Graduate School of Psychometrics and Sociometrics (IOPS). It is the largest department in its field in the Netherlands. It has many excellent researchers, its own MSc program "Methods and Statistics of Social and Behavioural Sciences" and a large amount of external funding. The quality of this department was rated as excellent by Quality Insurance Netherlands Universities.

The department has a vacancy for a PhD Researcher 'Heterogeneity in studies with discrete-time survival endpoints: implications for optimal designs and statistical power analysis' (1,0 fte)

Job description

This project is funded by a VIDI grant from the Netherlands¹ Organization for
Scientific Research (NWO). The PhD student will spend time on doing research,
following mathematics and statistics courses of IOPS and other institutes, and
spend about 10% of the time on teaching courses at the BSc level. The PhD student will be supervised by Dr M. Moerbeek.

The aim of trials on event occurrence is to study if and when a particular event, such as onset of daily smoking or entry into parenthood, occurs. The timing of events may be in thin and precise units or in coarser intervals. In the second case one does not know the exact timing of the event; one only knows that it occurred within a particular time interval. Such discrete-time survival data are typically analyzed on basis of a generalized linear model, such as a logistic regression model.

The main research question in any trial is whether an experimental treatment differs from a control with respect some outcome variable. As many covariates or background variables, such as age and socio-economic status, may have an effect on the outcome they should be measured and included in the statistical model. Ignoring such variables may result in biased estimates of the treatment effect estimator and hence incorrect conclusions with respect to the effect of treatment.

The aim of this project is to investigate to what extent such biases occur and how they can be corrected for in the statistical model. We will also focus on the optimal design of trials with covariates and discrete-time survival data. The PhD student will write papers in international scientific journals, contribute to international conferences and write a PhD thesis.


MSc in applied statistics, biometrics, biostatistics, econometrics,
psychometrics or a related field with a solid background in applied statistics.
Applicants should be familiar with the generalised linear model, matrix algebra,
research designs and have some experience with computer programming.
The applicant communicates easily in English, both verbally and in writing.

Terms of employment

We offer a temporary fulltime position of a year with -at good performance- the
prospect of an extension with a maximum of three years (in total 4 years fulltime). The salary starts with € 2,042.- gross per month in the first year and increases to € 2,612.- gross per month in the fourth year of employment at fulltime appointment (Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) . The salary is supplemented with an annual holiday pay of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, we offer good fringe benefits and a high-quality training program for PhD students. More information about our employment conditions can be found on our website.

The starting date is January 2011.

Further details

Are you interested? For additional information about this position, please contact ms. Dr M. Moerbeek (supervisor) , phone (+31) 30 253 1450, email: M.Moerbeek@uu. nl, website:

How to apply

Please send your written application, with motivation, curriculum vitae, list of
courses and grades and contact information of two referees before August 25th, 2010 and specifying vacancy number 691021.

Applications can be emailed to: PenO.FSW@uu. nl or be sent to:
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Personnel Department, attn. Mr. M.
Azdoufal, P.O Box 80140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Please quote 10 Academic Resources Daily in your application to this opportunity!

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