PhD candidate 'Computational modeling of in vivo cartilage loading – The LoaD project'

Job description

We are looking for a motivated and talented PhD candidate to participate in the LoaD project. The recently funded NWA consortium ‘LoaD’ performs multidisciplinary research to investigate what healthy loading is for people with osteoarthritis. The research has a broad range, from molecule to patient, and combines clinical, biomechanical, cell biological and engineering studies. The consortium consists of 5 Dutch Medical Centers, 3 Dutch Universities of Technology, 2 Universities of Applied Sciences (physical therapy), and 17 (inter)national companies, research institutes and societal partners.

At Radboudumc, the PhD project will focus on biomechanics of the knee joint, and on cartilage loading during activities of daily living. You will collaborate with consortium partners that will provide you with input from patient measurements, and partners that rely on your input for research at the tissue- and cell level. You will use data from motion capture experiments, musculoskeletal modeling, and medical imaging, and apply this to finite element models of the knee joint to determine the cartilage loads in the knee joint. By comparing patients with and without progressive osteoarthritis you will investigate the effect of joint loading on cartilage degeneration in the individual patient. You will automate large parts of the computational workflow to enable the analysis of a large number of individuals, to facilitate population-based analyses and to investigate the effect of specific patient parameters.

Taks and responsibilities The PhD student will:

  • Develop and perform scientific research in the field of orthopaedics, biomechanics, and image processing.
  • Generate and analyze data, write scientific publications, and present findings at scientific meetings. 
  • Participate in educational responsibilities of the department.
  • Work in an international team with other students and scientists to discuss, plans and perform research in a stimulating environment.
  • Complete the project with a scientific dissertation. 


The Orthopaedic Research Lab (ORL) of the Radboudumc performs fundamental and applied research in the field of orthopaedics. Our multidisciplinary team consists of engineers, biomedical scientists, physicians, and technical physicians. The goal of orthopedic surgery is to reconstruct deformities and defects of the musculoskeletal system. Our research focuses on the external loads applied to the musculoskeletal system, and how these loads influence the reconstructions.

Radboudumc Welcome to Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), where scientific breakthroughs are born through the curiosity and passion of our collaborating researchers in a vibrant environment. We believe trust and excitement are crucial elements to achieving our goals, and we approach our research as teams and with the utmost rigor to make a significant impact on health and healthcare. Our researchers are driven by their fascination with the biological, psychological, and sociological mechanisms underlying health and healthcare. They collaborate with partners from all over the world to improve health outcomes for all. Radboudumc unites patient care, research, education, and corporate learning, which allows us to approach our mission to shape the health and healthcare of the future in an innovative and person-centered way.Our ambition is to lead the way in the pursuit of prevention, sustainability, meaningful care. We believe that through our research, we can significantly improve the health and well-being of society. Join us on our mission to make a difference in healthcare. Become a part of our community of gifted researchers, professionals or patient partners who are dedicated to making a real impact on population health and healthcare. 

Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.Read more about our strategy and what working at Radboud university medical center means. Our colleagues would be happy to tell you about it. #weareradboudumc


You have a MSc in biomedical or (bio)mechanical engineering, biomedical sciences, technical medicine, or a closely related discipline. Moreover you have: 

  • Independent and well-structured working style.
  • Strong motivation to succeed in scientific research.
  • Experience or affinity with finite element modelling.
  • Well-developed social skills directed to work in a team.

Terms of employment

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.

  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.789 and € 3.536 (scale 10A ) based on full-time employment. 
  • From 1 November 2023 the wages will increase by 4%.
  • An annual vacation allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.

  In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC.

Application procedure

Will you make a difference for our patients?We would appreciate it if you would take this into account.

What else can you expect?

When you begin employment, we will request a certificate of conduct (VOG) and, depending on the position, you may be screened. You do not need to do anything for this; we will inform you later.    Radboud university medical center is an employer that welcomes everyone. Every colleague brings valuable experience, expertise, and creativity. We believe in the benefits of a diverse and inclusive organization. #weareradboudumc

Read more about our application procedure or take a look at the frequently asked questions.    We are recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. We only accept applications directly from the applicants themselves, but intermediaries are welcome to share our vacancies in their networks.​


Any questions? Please contact Dennis Janssen, associate professor. Use the Apply button to submit your application.