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Anuncio "PhD student position at Vrije Universiteit Brussel"
martes, 17 noviembre 2020

PhD student position at Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Domain: Biostatistics
Degree: PhD in medical sciences
Topic: Data exploration and critical assessment through Shiny

Abstract: Model building is a challenging step prior to the statistical analysis. Many automatic methods like the lasso allows compromising between over- and underfit but such algorithms are black box and offer little to no insight to the researcher. Descriptive statistics wherein data is critically assessed is often lacking or simply overlooked leading to incorrect methodologies used rendering incorrect research conclusions.

This PhD research aims at enhancing descriptive statistics by visualisation of data in a way where it helps researchers to critically assess data to improve model-building and statistical methodology selection. The Shiny app serves as a feedback loop to guide researchers. It may assess the impact of user-specified choices e.g. choices in mixed models w.r.t. random effects. The goal is not to automate the process but to aid the research in the scientific thinking towards methodological choices.

Profile: We are looking for a motivated PhD student in a four year PhD program. The ideal candidate holds a strong statistical background with programming skills or interest. Knowledge in R is not needed but is of course an asset. The candidate holds a Master degree wherein statistics and quantitative analysis takes a central position.

Hiring: The candidate obtains a position as PhD student in the “Biostatistics research group” situated in the Brussels Health Campus, Brussels, Belgium under the supervision of Prof. Kurt Barbe and Dr. Lara Stas.

How to apply: Please send a motivation letter, CV and transcript of your study results to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Additional information:
1. A PhD researcher becomes a contracted public servant (without tenure) which is annually renewed in a 1+1+2 regime. In order to obtain the degree, one needs to become a PhD student for which tuition must be paid of around 500 EUR per year.
2. Salary is depending on the personal details of the applicant in the neighborhood of 1,800 EUR monthly (minus the yearly tuition). The living expenses is estimated at 10,000 euro per year in the Brussels capital region. For EU-citizenship one also obtains retirement rights which is transferable to other EU-member states. The PhD scholarship is tax-free and monthly transferred to a bank account. The bank account must be Belgian and in EUR.
3. Health insurance in Belgium is mandatory. For foreigners the private insurance market must be used as the public insurances are only for nationals. For young singles this is around 110 EUR annually. This consists of the basic mandatory health insurance and to obtain access to the healthcare system. The private insurances are not more expensive than the public insurances as the private companies like to compete with the public providers. In fact the private insurances offer more than the public insurances to attract national citizens from the public providers organized by the government.
4. From the second year onwards, the university offers a hospitalization insurance for the university hospital which renders treatment in the university hospital virtually free of cost. This is immediately settled with the scholarship. During the first year this can be obtained on the private market which is for a young person not higher than 10 EUR monthly.
5. The university offers free public transport within the capital region. It is possible to obtain free public transport in other regions beyond the capital if the candidate is living outside of the capital region.
6. Breakfast and lunch can be obtained at campus. Dinner is not served by the campus facilities. Housing can be obtained on campus in the campus dorms. In that circumstance the housing is shared which typically provides private sleeping quarters but shared bathrooms/kitchens. Most PhD students however rent on the housing market. Near the university there are many apartments. We can assist to find housing and also our department secretary can assist if information is needed or if language is posing limitations. Brussels is a bi-lingual region where the official languages are French and Dutch. French is the most dominant language spoken by 75% over 25% Dutch speakers. Outside of the capital region the Dutch language is most dominant. Since Brussels is the de facto EU-capital English is used as a non-official third language. Most public administration centers serve in English on request.