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Message posted on 16/03/2018

Postdoctoral researcher "Responsible Innovation and biomarker technology” Radboud University, the Netherlands

Job description postdoctoral researcher (4y) Responsible Innovation and
Biomarker Technology
Bridging the gap between the development of biomarker technology and needs
and wishes of users is a 4 year NWO-MVI funded project and involves a
public-private consortium of healthcare companies, clinicians, a law firm,
patient organization and scientists.
While expectations on the use of biomarker testing for early diagnostics,
patient stratification and more personalized therapies are high and rising,
not much is known yet about how healthcare professionals and patients use and
value biomarker testing in real life medical practices, and which ethical,
legal and societal issues are emerging, regarding e.g. biobank governance,
liability and patient involvement.
Building upon a socio-constructivist approach to science and technology
development, empirical ethics, and using qualitative empirical research
methods, this project aims to establish a socially robust use of biomarker
technology. It aims to do so in the broader context of increasing datafication
and use of algorithms in healthcare.
This project employs two postdocs. One with a focus on social science,
primarily focusing on biomarker technology in oncology, and the other with a
focus on empirical ethics, primarily focusing on biomarker technology in
psychiatry. This vacancy addresses the first: to lead the social science part
of this project.
What we expect from you
PhD in science and technology studies, sociology, political sciences, policy
sciences, innovation studies, biomedical sciences or related field
Proven affinity with understanding and analyzing socio-political dimensions
of scientific and corporate innovation practices and decision making processes
(e.g. which topics require public debate according to natural scientists and
companies? What are enabling and constraining conditions to include needs and
values of end-users in innovation trajectories?)
Affinity and experience with (constructive or interactive) technology
assessment is highly welcomed
Proven record of scholarly output in e.g. science and technology studies,
public engagement studies, sociology, innovation studies, political science or
Proven understanding of digitalization and datafication of healthcare,
governance, and biomedical innovation trajectories
Ability to work pro-actively and effectively in an interdisciplinary research
Ability to work adequately with our private and public consortium partners
and set up research activities with them
Proven ability to conduct qualitative research (e.g. skills in interviewing,
focus group research, discourse analysis)
Communication skills, excellent written and verbal English, and preferably
Main responsibilities and duties
Plan and coordinate multistakeholder consortium meetings
Deliver the tasks and deliverables of the work packages of the project
Discourse analysis of e.g. policy reports, corporate programs, scientific
articles, patient websites, newspapers, and social media outlets, as well as
semi-structured in-depth interviews with technology developers and (end) users
in order to analyze expectations and values regarding biomarker technologies
To analyse which and how values, norms and responsibilities regarding e.g.
good care, responsibility and privacy are inscribed into existing biomarker
pilot studies or protocols, via document analysis of e.g. informed consent
forms, information leaflets, websites, and on-site observations in clinical
practice (e.g. patient consultations and staff meetings) (WP2).
Explore how patients and healthcare professionals experience biomarker tests
in real life medical practices, including the moral dilemmas they experience,
via in-depth (group) interviews (WP3)
Design and facilitate interactive multistakeholder workshops with the aim to
develop responsible design principles for the further development and
embedding of biomarker tests in healthcare (WP4)
To write and publish peer-reviewed academic publications
To write and disseminate outcomes of this project for e.g. policy audiences
and patient groups
Work environment
The mission of the Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) of the Faculty of
Science at Radboud University is to analyse, assess and improve the societal
embedding of new developments in science and technology. We do so through
research, education and societal outreach, and work to better understand how
society is shaping science and vice versa. This postdoc project is part of a
public private consortium consisting of ErasmusMC, department of moleculair
medicine, Novartis, Janssen R&D, MDX Health, Radboud Biobank, BG Lawyers and
CHDR Leiden.
What we have to offer
Employer: Radboud University, the Netherlands
employment: 0.7 fte for four years
Starting date: to be discussed, but preferably 1-6-2018
Salary scale in accordance with postdoc level Collective Labour Agreement
Dutch Universities
In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year
* you will be appointed for an initial 12 months. After a positive evaluation,
the contract will be extended for the remainder period
Are you interested?
Please send:
-a letter of application with your motivation and how the project will benefit
of your experience and knowledge
-a full CV
-a one or two page document on the challenges of developing and implementing
biomarker technology in healthcare, in particular oncology, and what kind of
theory and methodologies you would choose to investigate these challenges.
Deadline for applications: April 9th 2018 at midnight (CET). Email the
application to:
Interviews are provisionally scheduled in week 17 (23-26 april 2018).
More information on the project can be obtained from project leader Lotte
Krabbenborg via
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