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PhD student Prevention of Injuries in Team sports; Smart Sensor Shorts

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DepartmentCenter for Human Movement Sciences
Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than17 June 2018

Working environment

The Center for Human Movement Sciences (CHMS) fully joined the University Medical Center in 2010, following its 25th anniversary in 2009 at the University of Groningen (RUG). The University of Groningen is currently in or around the top 100 in several influential ranking lists. The CHMS offers a 3-year Bachelor program Human Movement Sciences and two, 2-year master’s in Human Movement Sciences and Sports Sciences to over 600 students. These programs are ranked among the best Dutch programs in their field over the past 5 years (NSE). The Center is 29th on the Shanghai ranking for ‘human movement and sport sciences’ among ~300 universities, offering similar programs. Education and research are intensely connected in the Center, where PhD, master and bachelor students work in an academic learning community and inspiring environment, playing a pivotal role in our research success.

The Center is founder of the research program SMARTmovements as part of the research school SHARE of the UMCG. SMARTmovements adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the scientific study of human movement and its effects on performance, functioning, health, societal participation and quality of life. There are 24 scientific staff, 8 support staff and over 40 PhD candidates. As of 2014, the Center runs a competitive master-PhD program providing opportunities for talented master students to complete a PhD (currently 4 PhD places per year). The Center is penholder of the Sports Sciences Institute Groningen, and the Sports Sciences Innovation Center and plays a strong role in the national research agenda’s. Research output in the form of Q1 publications, grant awards received, and PhD promotions is substantial.

The Center strives to provide high levels of academic training and research to: 1) develop fundamental theory and knowledge in human movement science, 2) provide a high quality teaching programme committed to the education and training of the next generation of human movement and sport scientists and professionals, 3) apply this knowledge to developing novel interventions, treatments, and innovations and improve human motor function in different settings, and 4) contribute to society by disseminating new knowledge, implementing new methods, and by innovating health care, labour, educational and sports practice, and industry.

At least as important as a pleasant working environment is a comfortable living milieu. Groningen is the 6th largest city in the Netherlands. With one in four residents being a student, Groningen is a historical university town in the North with a thriving art and music life, relatively inexpensive housing, peace and space. Residents complete nearly 60% of travel each day by bicycle, a figure high even by the standards of this bike-friendly country.

Job description

The Center for Human Movement Sciences is offering a four-year government-funded PhD studentship in the framework of the NWO project ‘Citius Altius Sanius’.

Muscle injuries constitute more than a third of all time-loss injuries in soccer and field hockey and cause more than a quarter of the total injury absence, with the hamstrings and adductors being the most frequently involved. Despite diverse efforts on prevention of muscle injuries, there is an annual increase of hamstring injuries in professional soccer and hockey. An important reason for this type of injuries is the high muscle stress during explosive actions like sprinting, directional changes, jumping and kicking in modern game-play. However, the currently available monitoring systems are not able to measure the load of the musculo- skeletal system around the hip.
The project aims at developing a system that is able to identify and monitor hip-related muscle stress. We focus on measuring local movements during isolated actions and game-based training by wearing sensor shorts and develop individual (over)load models that can be used to optimize performance and prevent hip-related muscle injuries. Feedback will be provided real-time to the coach or physical trainer for multiple players simultaneously using an app and tablet. For this we will develop smart sensor shorts that can measure movements around the hip, process the data and transmit it to a laptop. Based on individual biomechanical models, a software tool will be developed, which enables the medical and technical staff to monitor the hip-related muscle stress of 10-20 players simultaneously during isolated actions as well as game-based training to guide the training process and signal overload.

The PhD-student will closely work with researchers and professionals from the participating institutes with the goal to perform and publish innovative research in the area of sports and human movement sciences. The PhD-student will work in two locations: one is the University (1-2 days) and the other location is the Football Campus of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (3-4 days) situated in Zeist. In total, 3 PhD students will work together in this project; one full-time PhD student appointed in Groningen (this vacancy), one full-time PhD student appointed in Amsterdam, and one part-time PhD student in Delft.

What do we need

  • a (research) Master's degree in Sport Sciences, Human Movement Sciences, or related disciplines with a background in exercise and/or biomechanics and/or modeling
  • strong analytical skills
  • excellent English and academic writing skills
  • eagerness to publish international articles and write a dissertation
  • excellent organizational and communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • affinity with sports, soccer or field hockey in particular
  • good command of the Dutch language

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Behaviour’ is required.

What do we offer

The Center for Human Movement Sciences is offering a four-year government-funded PhD studentship in the framework of the NWO project ‘Citius Altius Sanius’.

Your salary is € 2.279,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 2.919,- gross per month in the last year (scale PhD). In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and a development budget. The terms of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centers (CAO-UMC).

More information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:
prof. dr. Koen A.P.M. Lemmink, head of the CHMS, telephone +31 (0)6 2564 6586, e-mail: Contact

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 17 June 2018.
Immediately after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.