PhD student | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network Fellowship
‘Advancing temporal physical behaviour data analysis’ (36 hrs/week)


The LABDA project

LABDA (Learning Network for Advanced Behavioural Data Analysis) is an EU-funded MSCA Doctoral Network that brings together leading researchers in advanced movement behaviour data analysis at the intersection of data science, method development, epidemiology, public health, and wearable technology to train a new generation of creative and innovative public health researchers via training-through-research. The main aims of LABDA are to establish novel methods for advanced 24/7 movement behaviour data analysis of sensor-based data, examine the added value of advanced behavioural data analysis and multi-modal data for predicting health risk and facilitate the use and interpretability of the advanced methods for application in science, policy, and society. Via training-through-research projects, 13 doctoral fellows will contribute to reaching these aims. Together, they will develop a joint taxonomy to enable interoperability and data harmonisation. Results will be combined in an open-source LABDA toolbox of advanced analysis methods, including a decision tree to guide researchers and other users to the optimal method for their (research) question. The open-source toolbox of advanced analysis methods will lead to optimised, tailored public health recommendations and improved personal wearable feedback concerning 24/7 movement behaviour.

What will you do

As a PhD student in the project ‘Temporal data analysis of 24/7 human movement behaviour and value for health’, your challenge is to develop methods for temporal analysis of human behaviour amongst others, compare temporal analysis techniques in their ability to detect change points in behaviour; explore data-driven techniques to identify subgroups with similar temporal behaviour patterns; and assess the complementary, discriminatory and predictive value of temporal data analysis techniques beyond volume-based analyses.

Your tasks

Your specific responsibilities will be to:

  • Design methods for temporal data analysis of 24-hour movement behaviour;
  • Generate and test predictive modelling programs;
  • Report on findings by publishing scientific articles, resulting in a dissertation;
  • Present findings at (inter)national meetings/conferences;
  • Contribute to the LABDA toolbox of advanced analysis methods for sensor-based behavioural data;
  • Contribute to educational activities of the department and within the consortium.
  • What do we expect

    We are looking for an ambitious PhD candidate with the following requirements:

  • Master’s degree in a data-oriented topic such as mathematics, statistics, or machine learning;
  • Experience with statistical analyses of time series and/or multi-modal data;
  • Proficient in at least one programming language (e.g., in R, Python, MATLAB);
  • Preference to work in an interdisciplinary, collaborative, inclusive environment;
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills and fluent in English;
  • Affinity with youth and health.
  • To be eligible, applicants need to fulfil the MSCA basic requirements:

  • All researchers recruited in a Doctoral Network must be doctoral candidates, i.e., not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment;
  • Doctoral candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention should be considered.
  • Your working environment

    You will be hosted at the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Department of Public and Occupational Health, in the research group Child and Adolescent Public health Research and Innovation (led by Prof. Dr. Mai Chin A Paw). Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment in which developing one`s talents and skills is encouraged. We offer ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training, and a place to grow! For more information see

    As part of the project, you will go on secondments, described in the training section of this website to:

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway): to exchange knowledge on time-series techniques and collaborate to explore techniques on their data while learning about their specific research context and challenges for time series analysis (collaborator dr Bach);
  • Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (the Netherlands): to focus on the translation of their research insights around temporal data patterns to public health (collaborator dr Picavet);
  • SENS Innovation ApS (Denmark): to explore how their commercial services/products can be better tailored to the latest insights around temporal data analysis (collaborator dr Lykkegaard);
  • What we offer

  • PhD students (Onderzoeker in Opleiding) are placed in scale 21, with a fulltime gross salary. The starting salary is € 2.789,- and increases to € 3.536,- in the fourth year.
    In addition, we offer:
  • Additional benefits include an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay.
  • The opportunity to follow further training and development.
  • Pension is accrued at the ABP. VUmc contributes a large part of the premium (70%).
  • In addition to excellent accessibility by public transport, we reimburse 75% of your OV travel costs (commuting costs).
  • Scientific advice from internationally recognised experts.
  • Access to a broad network of innovative enterprises and organisations.
  • Employement conditions

  • We offer an initial contract for 12 months that can be extended (after evaluation) for another 36 months.
  • Fellows will also benefit from a living, mobility, and family allowance (if already married). The mobility and family allowances are fixed amounts, regardless of the country of recruitment, and may be taxable depending on the country where the researcher is recruited. Successful applicants are eligible for parental leave per Amsterdam UMC's standard employment policy.
  • For Dutch citizens, it is mandatory to provide a VOG (a declaration of good behaviour).
  • If you don’t have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you need a residence permit in the Netherlands. We will help you with the application for this. You can find information on the general conditions here: general conditions.
  • For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.

    Further information

    For more information about the research group and working environment, you can visit the following websites:

  • For more information about this position, you can contact prof. dr. Mai Chin A Paw ( or dr. Wessel van Wieringen (

    How to Apply?

    1. Read the whole text about the vacancy and prepare your CV and motivation letter accordingly.
    2. We are taking the motivation letter very seriously. In the letter, try to impress us with the relevancy of your education and professional experience (if any) to the position. Moreover, we appreciate it if you could write about what and how you can contribute to the project.
    3. Send your CV and motivation letter to with the subject "Ph.D. Application for position 4."