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PhD student on improving high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer diagnosis and prognosis by digital pathology

Early Stage Researcher position in European Marie Skłodowska Curie Action European Training Network CLARIFY - Improving high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer diagnosis and prognosis by digital pathology.
  • Research & Education
  • 36 hours
  • Urology

  • Closing date 18-02-2020
  • 05.18.20.TS

Job description

The Department of Urology offers an exciting position for a PhD student within the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network CLARIFY (CLoud ARtificial Intelligence For pathologY). CLARIFY is an innovative, multinational, multi-sectorial, and multidisciplinary research and training program that links two highly differentiated specialties: engineering and medicine, with a focus on digital pathology. Our department is one of the nine host institutions.

Your research project:
As Early Stage Researcher 10 (ESR10), you will carry out the project entitled "Improving high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer diagnosis and prognosis by digital pathology". The research objectives are to improve diagnosis and prediction of response to treatment (BCG) in high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (HR-NMIBC) patients by studying the histopathological patterns of HR-NMIBC by image analysis together with clinicopathological biomarkers. You will:

  • Generate an annotated database of HR-NMBC patients including BCG-responders and BCG non-responders in order to improve, by artificial intelligence, precision and reproducibility of this classification.
  • Define the requirements of an image analysis system which permits an effective classification of BCG-responders and BCG non-responders.
  • Analyze the clinical significance of the new morphological patterns automatically identified by deep learning algorithms which are differentially present among both patient subgroups.

Your fellow ESRs 1-9 mainly focus on development and implementation of deep learning networks based on extraction of tumor histological features. These algorithms are then used for image analysis in specific bladder tumors by you (ESR10) and in breast (ESR11) and skin (ESR12) tumors to improve diagnosis and prognosis.

You will have your main workplace at Erasmus MC, but mandatory secondments at different partner institutions are also required. Secondments are planned at the Stavanger University Hospital (Norway) in month 17-21 for WSI digitalization work flow and digital pathology diagnosis research training, at Tyris Software (Spain) in month 30-31 for usability and validation of clinical applications research training, and at INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute (Spain) in month 32-33 for image-based diagnosis of spitzoid melanocytic lesions research training.

Work environment

You will be part of our international Urology and Pathology team embedded within the Academic Center of Excellence of Urogenital Tumors at Erasmus MC. You will collaborate closely with scientists from the Departments of Urology and Pathology both on the non-clinical and clinical side as we have a strong translational focus at our departments. You will become a member of the Erasmus MC Postgraduate school Molecular Medicine and will be given the opportunity to compile your own individual program. Obligatory courses are Biostatistics and Research Methods, Biomedical English Writing and Research Integrity.

Qualifications and skills

We are looking for a medical doctor or biomedical scientist with a strong interest in (Digital) Pathology, Urology, Image Processing, and Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, we are interested in people with: 

  • Strong motivation and potential for research within the field. • Fluent oral and written English.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Preferentially a background in Pathology/ Urology.

Applicants must have completed Medical school or must have a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences or other relevant disciplines, and at the date of recruitment must comply with the following conditions:

  • Be in the first four years of the research career and not have a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited. Master students who finish the master in 2019-2020 could apply for CLARIFY positions if they include a letter of commitment to ensure the master’s conclusion in 2019-2020 and their enrollment in a PhD program in 2020-2021. The breach of this commitment will be grounds for contract termination.
  • Not have resided in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etcetera) in The Netherlands.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.422 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.103,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). For the first three years, your salary may be topped up to meet the regulations of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions for Early Stage Researchers regarding living, mobility and family allowances. The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Tahlita Zuiverloon, Urologist, e-mail: For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06. If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

No agencies please.

Erasmus MC

Pioneering, pushing boundaries and leading: in healthcare, education and research

Our roots lie in Rotterdam, a city and port of international standing. We are the most innovative university medical center in the Netherlands and one of the world’s leading centers of scientific research. With passion and dedication we are committed to achieve a healthy population and pursuing excellence in healthcare through research and teaching. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques. A working environment that gets the best out of people.

Learn more about our ambitions