Researchers from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy (Ghent University, Belgium) are actively seeking a PhD candidate for the project “FiREwORK trial – self-management with footwear combined with exercise therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: a phase II randomized controlled trial”.

In this clinical project, we will investigate whether the addition of “unloading” footwear to exercise therapy would be an effective strategy for people with knee osteoarthritis relieving symptoms and/or altering inflammatory or structural disease parameters. This clinical study will combine a broad set of measurements and aims to contribute to optimised non-drug non-surgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis. The candidate will be part of a team consisting of research staff as well as postdoctoral and professorial personnel. The team is multi-disciplinary with experts from physiotherapy and rehabilitation, rheumatology and podiatry.

The department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy is young and dynamic; and located on the Ghent University Hospital Campus (Ghent, Belgium). Ghent University is the highest ranked Belgian University in the Shanghai World Ranking with a top 30 position amongst European institutions and top 100 worldwide.


  • You assist the team in the day-to-day coordination of the project.
  • You are responsible for data collection, database management and blinded analysis of study data;
  • You present study results at national/international conferences or symposia.
  • You are responsible for the writing, and successful defence, of a doctoral dissertation at Ghent University where you will strive for excellence in research and publication of findings in quality peer-reviewed journals.
  • You contribute (to a limited extent) to teaching, research and community engagement activities within the department.


  • A four-year full-time (100%) PhD student position as a bursary funded by the Research Foundation of Flanders;
  • A competitive salary for doctoral students as set out by the Flemish Government;
  • A challenging, versatile and carefully designed project;
  • A dynamic, multi-disciplinary and ambitious research team with a wide international network;
  • Expertise, state-of-the-art research infrastructure and user training;
  • A four-year Doctoral Training Program at Ghent University (http://www.ugent.be/doctoralschools) .
  • An opportunity to earn the highest academic degree (Doctor in Health Sciences) from Ghent University.

Profile of the candidate

  • You hold a master degree in Physiotherapy, Kinesiology, Movement Sciences, Podiatry, Medicine, or equivalent;
  • You are highly motivated to conduct research with the ultimate aim to earn a doctoral degree from Ghent University, after 4 years at project completion;
  • You are highly intrinsically motivated and interested in the project’s topic;
  • You have achieved very good to excellent study grades, as evident from university transcripts;
  • You are committed to ethical and scientific integrity as well as working according to study protocol;
  • You are fluent in (scientific) English and Dutch, both written and verbally;
  • You have excellent problem solving skills, take initiative and are able to follow through detailed projects effectively and timely;
  • You are a team player and are able to work efficiently in multi-disciplinary team as well as independently;
  • You are flexible, patient, curious, diligent and stress-resilient;
  • Experience with statistical software is a plus;
  • Experience with clinical trials or clinical research is a plus, yet not strictly necessary;
  • Clinical experience with osteoarthritis patients is a plus, yet not strictly necessary;
  • Experience with gait analysis, medical imaging or pain neurophysiology is a plus, yet not strictly necessary;
  • You are open to learning new investigative methods and are committed to quality data collection.

How to apply

Send your candidacy by email to Professor Patrick Calders () and Dr Ans Van Ginckel () by April 15th, 2018. Your application should include one pdf file with:

  • A 1 page personal statement in English and Dutch;
  • Your CV, including an overview of your university degrees/study results;
  • A copy of relevant degrees;
  • A NARIC certificate if you obtained your degree outside of the European Union;
  • 2 references;

Potentially eligible candidates will be invited for an interview on April 24th, 2018 as from 13.30u at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences – Ghent University Hospital Campus – B3 –Entry 46 – Corneel Heymanslaan 10 – 9000 Gent – Belgium.

Last application date: Apr 15, 2018





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