Netherlands: PhD in student Multi-Criteria Decision Making in Health Care at Erasmus University Rotterdam

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Job description

Cost-effectiveness analysis of health care interventions is widely used to support reimbursement decision making. However, a cost-per-QALY-ratio cannot incorporate all aspects that may be considered relevant for decision making. This limitation becomes particularly apparent when evaluating complex, multifaceted interventions like integrated care programs for heart failure or diabetes, where improved coordination and continuity of care, self-efficacy and self-management capabilities etc. are also relevant for decision-making. It also becomes apparent in the orphan drug discussion, where, amongst others, budget impact, severity of disease, rarity of disease, the limited availability of other treatment options etc. influence reimbursement decision making. Therefore, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is increasingly embraced by health care decision makers as a promising approach to improve consistency in priority setting. MCDA facilitates a systematic trade-off between multiple, and sometimes conflicting, criteria simultaneously, in an explicit, transparent and consistent way. Practical applications in health care priority-setting are limited.

The candidate will start with a detailed review of quantitative MCDA approaches. S/he will design and perform MCDA in two distinct areas of priority setting, namely 1) (orphan-) drugs and 2) integrated care programs for chronic diseases. This will include the recruitment of respondents and discussion of results with policy makers and professional caregivers. The candidate will especially be working on methodological challenges in applying MCDA.


The successful applicant for this position is expected to have a master degree in (health)economics, econometrics, biostatistics, health care policy and management, public health or social sciences, preferably with experience in HTA research. Strong quantitative analytical skills are required. He or she should have good communication and writing skills in Dutch and English and a strong motivation for doing methodological research in the field of HTA. Computer skills should include Excel, SAS, SPSS, or STATA.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position as PhD student at EUR. PhD students will be appointed for a period of 4 years, starting with a temporary contract for 1.5 years followed by a second temporary contract for 2.5 years. Remuneration will be in accordance with the PhD scale set by the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). Fulltime work will pay € 2.062.- before taxes in the first year, going up to € 2.638.- in the fourth year. EUR offers a set end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and there are generous opportunities for additional education.

Contract type: Temporary,


Erasmus University Rotterdam

The expertise of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is concentrated in the fields of  Business Administration,  Economics, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Social Sciences, History, Culture and Communication, and Philosophy. In addition to the initial degree programmes and scientific research, the University offers specific postgraduate study programmes and courses. Erasmus University has around 25,000 students and some 2,500 staff members.


The Institute of Health Policy & Management (iBMG) is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and linked with Erasmus MC and is responsible for several education programmes on policy, management and economics in health care, which serve 750 students. In addition, research is being done on three major research themes: ‘competition and regulation in health care’, ‘quality and efficiency in health care’ and ‘health care management’. iBMG has about 175 employees. A research position is offered within the section of Health Economics/institute for Medical Technology Assessment (GE-iMTA). This section is distinguished by independent and excellent research in health technology assessment (HTA), health economics and health outcomes research.

Additional information

For more information about this position, contact prof.dr. Maureen Rutten (, tel. +31 10 4088696) or dr. Marc Koopmanschap (, tel. 010-4088561.

Qualified applicants should send by mail and email a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three references to: Mrs. Coby Koelemeijer, iBMG/iMTA, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR

The deadline for application is November 13, 2013.

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