Job posting: PhD Scholarship at DTU on Healthcare Design for Collaborative Care

DTU Management Engineering invites applicants for a 3-year PhD position on “Design for Patient Engagement and Collaborative-Care” starting ideally on November 1st 2017 or as close as possible thereafter in 2017. The project will be based in the Engineering Systems Division under the supervision of Professor Anja Maier. The project is part of the division’s research within healthcare systems design.

Project partners include ATAH ApS - Cardio.Care and the project will be conducted in close interaction with Frederiksberg and Bispebjerg hospitals, with Trifork, and also be part of the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (, co-funding the project. CACHET is an interdisciplinary research center spanning the technical and health sciences and consists of a unique academic network of researcher working together on the design, realisation, evaluation, and implementation of personal health technology. Cardio.Care is currently refining the development of an IT-platform that is at this stage supporting the management of hypertensive patients through computer-aided decision-making for clinicians (ATAH Solution: Algorithm for the Treatment of Arterial Hypertension). The company is today looking forward to expanding its offer by co-creating a transparent, interconnected solution for collaborative care between hypertensive patients, cardiologists, general practitioners and specialised nurses.

The main objective of this PhD project is to co-create, develop, and test a conceptual framework supporting the design of collaborative care models. This foundational framework will then be used for evolving the existing ATAH solution into a collaborative-care IT platform for care in hypertension. This will involve conceptually extending the design of the current web application and most importantly conceptualising, prototype designing, and supporting the implementation of a mobile patient-app for enhanced patient engagement in hypertensive therapy and for improved collaboration with healthcare practitioners on management of hypertension that can be extended to other chronic diseases.

More generally, the project will be looking at what design can offer to develop solutions for collaborative care, fostering the vision of a healthcare model where patients are prominent contributors to their own health and care management. Collaborative care aims at promoting patient accountability, patient engagement, and sustained collaboration between patients and physicians, e.g. by engaging patients as integral, active members of the care team. This approach is gaining interest as chronic diseases represent a major and still growing burden, especially against the background of an ageing society and limited healthcare budgets. Novel collaborative care models have recently been enabled by progress in technology, especially using ICT, which make it possible to recover and share health information of various types with unprecedented ease and pervasiveness as well as to analyse, monitor and co-create an environment conducive to patients learning about their conditions and the impact of their behaviours on their health status.

Your passion is design, health and care, human behaviour and technology? This position is for you.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project is situated at the intersection of design, information and communication technologies (ICT), and human behaviour. It will be carried out in collaboration with the above mentioned clinical research centres in the Copenhagen area.

Research activities will revolve around the design, implementation and release of a mobile-application coupled to a web-application with the aim of supporting a collaborative care model for hypertensive patients in Denmark. The PhD candidate will in particular be responsible for conceptualising, developing, and implementing a framework addressing collaborative-care requirements of the solution. Scientific focus will especially be on systemic solutions for behavioural change via the promotion of shared-decision making, patient apprenticeship, and personalisation for healthcare improvement.

The methods used are expected to primarily involve literature review, observation studies, interviews, experiments, UX and scenario prototyping, surveys and other methods might also be applied, either individually or in combination. Preparations and involvement in clinical trials might also be included in the study design.

Candidates should have a master's degree preferably in design engineering, healthcare systems design, behaviour change, design communication, health IT, digital health, medicine and technology, biomedical engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in the DTU Management Engineering PhD School Programme. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies at DTU, please see the DTU PhD Guide. The candidate will also benefit from a hospital-based co-adviser from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at Copenhagen University.

The assessment of applicants will be made by Professor Anja Maier.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The position will be based in the Engineering Systems Division at DTU Management Engineering in Lyngby, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Anja Maier, or tel.: +45 4525 6045.

You can read more about the Engineering Systems Division on and about Copenhagen Center for Health Technology on

Please submit your online application no later than August 15th 2017. Interviews will be held on a rolling basis throughout the application period. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. Here you'll get to the online application form:

The complete PDF file must include:

A letter motivating the application, including your research activities and ideas for the research project (cover letter, max 3 pages)
Curriculum vitae
Grade transcripts and copies of your original BSc/MSc diploma, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their official translation into English
Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Two reference contacts who may be contacted by the assessment committee
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Engineering Systems division is growing fast and is characterised by a vibrant and supportive research environment with engaged staff and strong research collaborations with leading universities and industry worldwide. Our research focuses on understanding and improving the ways in which engineering systems are designed, managed, and operated throughout their life cycles. Our research spans the boundaries of 1. interdisciplinary engineering design (e.g. product design and development; systems engineering), 2. engineering project, program and portfolio management, and 3. related policy, public engagement and strategic processes.

DTU Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimisation of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models and methods. Through our research and teaching we ensure an innovative, competitive and sustainable organisation and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 340 employees; including an academic staff of 190 and more than 70 PhD students. More than 20 % of our employees are from abroad and in all 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.