PhD Fellowship Economics, Business Administration or Health Economics

September 05 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Abbott - St. Jude Medical in Brussels, Belgium, invites applications for a


funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “IQCE - Improving Quality of Care in Europe” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission.

IQCE is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and UK.

The successful candidate will be enrolled on the IQCE programme leading to a PhD and will work on the project

"Improving efficiency of care by use of medical technology"

You will need to hold a higher (Masters) degree in economics, health economics or in a quantitative subject and have strong quantitative skills, ideally with experience of working with large datasets. You will also need to meet the mobility, English language and early career requirements of the programme which are detailed below.

You will receive an attractive salary (confirmed on appointment) in accordance with the regulations for early stage researchers. You will have guaranteed PhD funding for 36 months. In addition you will benefit from continuing education as a part of IQCE, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences (


IQCE is a collaboration between the University of Hamburg, Bocconi University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, University of Southern Denmark, University of York and St. Jude Medical

The aim of the programme is to improve the quality and performance of European health care systems and involves training  a total of 15 PhDs fellows appointed. Each PhD will focus on one of six dimensions of health care quality as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO): effectiveness; safety; efficiency; access; equitability; and acceptability. The programme provides extensive opportunities for traveling and cultural exchange. Please find more detailed information at

The IQCE programme provides a structured PhD programme offered by the participating universities. In total, you will attend 10 courses in addition to several soft skill courses as well as joint research workshops and conferences. You will also have the opportunity to complete academic and non-academic secondments. Academic secondments to partner universities are intended to foster a closer exchange of ideas among PhDs. For this PhD fellowship the Department of Health England, is a non-academic partner and will offer the opportunity of a secondment to work with professional health economics analysts. (please see for details).


Quality of care is also directly related to the use of innovative medical technology. To assess whether the uptake, i.e. diffusion, of new technology will contribute to increase efficiency of care, European claims data will be analysed in the area of heart diseases. Although fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a reasonably known technology that determines whether the use of stents is beneficial for patients or not, its use differs very much across EU health care systems. It is thus the first aim of the dissertation to analyse how financial incentives impact the diffusion of medical technology using the example of FFR. Second, when potential hurdles for diffusion can be addressed, a technology needs to show that it is effective in increasing quality of care. Using the example of Cardiomems (Implantable Sensor for Patient Monitoring), a new technology that measures the pulmonary artery (PA) pressure and thereby allows Patient Monitoring and therapy adjustments for Heart Failure Patients, the dissertation will focus on analysing the impact of Cardiomems on hospitalisation and mortality trying to determine whether RCT results from a US setting also transfer into real-world effectiveness in EU health care system. The project will show how to demonstrate whether new technology improves quality of care in a real-world setting and how to overcome hurdles for the diffusion of innovative medical technology 

Host: Abbott St. Jude Medical Brussels, Belgium

Eligibility criteria

Before you apply please ensure you meet the following criteria for IQCE.  You must:

  • Hold a recognized master's degree in economics, health economics, business administration or other related subjects. You must have a high-quality master's degree or an equivalent academic degree from an internationally recognized university.

  • Be an early-stage researcher. At the time of employment you must be in the first four years (or full-time equivalent) of your research career. This is measured from the date you obtained a degree which formally entitles you to embark on PhD, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the UK

  • Meet conditions of international mobility of researchers: At the time of employment you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium for more than 12 months in total during the last 3 years. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to understand and express yourself in both written and oral English anguage to a sufficiently advanced extent to fully benefit from the network training. Recognized English language certificates (TOEFL, IELTS) must be submitted along with your application.

The program starts Sept/October 2017.

We are looking forward to receiving your application online today!

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess