Monday, 31 March 2014

PhD funding in Justice, Health & Quality of Life indicators

This is a fantastic PhD opportunity for anyone interested in combining philosophy and epidemiology/ health inequalities empirical research.

The supervisor is Prof. Marcel Verweij, Editor of Public Health Ethics journal.  At Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Find the direct link to job posting here:


PhD Justice, Health and Quality of Life

Published on
March 28, 2014
People in lower socio-economic classes on average have shorter lives and are less healthy than people in higher socio-economic classes and this raises concerns about justice. Indeed, health policies often aspire to improve the health of worse-off groups, or otherwise reduce (socio-economic) health disparities. But if we are interested in reducing health inequalities for reasons of justice, what indicators of health and/or health-related quality of life should we use? In the Netherlands, the average life-expectancy for people in lowest socio-economic groups is 7 years less than for those in the highest class, but health disparities appear much higher (up to 20 years) if more subjective measures of health or quality of life are included.
The core elements of the philosophical PhD study are (a) to clarify the links between various theories of health and quality of life, and (b) to assess the ethical relevance of concepts and measures of health and quality of life from the perspective of theories of health justice. This work interacts with empirical studies that aim to clarify how people in different socio-economic classes conceptualise health. The research program will result in proposals how health and quality of life should be conceptualised and measured in policies that aim to reduce health inequalities. The PhD study is supervised by prof Marcel Verweij.
The PhD student will write a PhD thesis that includes 4 philosophical articles for international peer reviewed journals; collaborate in an interdisciplinary research group and, in that capacity, give input to the empirical substudies in the program; participate in regular activities of the philosophy chair group in Wageningen; and participate in relevant PhD courses of the Netherlands Research School in Philosophy and Wageningen School of Social Sciences.

We ask

You have a master’s degree in philosophy with excellent study results, and you are familiar with normative theories of justice and health. Furthermore, you have the cognitive, communicative and social skills that facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation. For this project, fluency in English is necessary; mastery of Dutch language is desirable but not necessary.

We offer

We offer you fulltime employment (38 hours a week) for 18 months with a possible extension of 30 months after positive evaluation. The gross salary is € 2.083,- per month in the first year and increases to € 2.664,- per month in the fourth year. (based on fulltime employment). In addition, we offer a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.

Starting date: 1st July, 2014

You will be appointed at the Philosophy Group, part of CPT (Communication, Philosophy and Technology) within Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University. The group’s work focuses on public health ethics, philosophy of life science and technology, and animal ethics. We cooperate with a variety of groups in the Netherlands and abroad.

More information

Additional information can be obtained from:
prof. dr. Marcel Verweij (tel.: +31(0)317484310)

How to apply
You can apply till 20 april 2014. Please don't email directly to the person mentioned above, but use the website to apply and upload your CV, references and short motivation letter.

We are
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

We are

The Philosophy group offers a position for a PhD student. This PhD project is part of an interdisciplinary research program “Socio-economic inequalities in health and quality of life” that combines philosophical and epidemiological studies. The program involves close cooperation between Wageningen University and the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam (Karien Stronks, professor of Public Health).

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