PhD candidate Food allergy monitoring, analysis and communication – Maastricht University (UM) – Venlo

  • Venlo

Maastricht University (UM)

With the increasing intake of plant-based and alternative proteins, new food allergies may develop. Will you join our multidisciplinary project to investigate food allergy monitoring?

Job Description
A key element of improving food supply sustainability is the introduction of novel protein-based foods such as insects and new types of meat and dairy substitutes. The shift towards consuming more plant-based and alternative proteins however also gives rise to uncertainties related to the safety of such products: are these new protein sources suitable to be consumed by allergic consumers and how does their intake affect the development of new food allergies? In the project ‘Monitoring the Safe Introduction of Novel Foods’ (MoSIN), we will study the development and monitoring of food allergies to novel foods. As a PhD candidate in this NWO project, you will study the complexities of food allergy monitoring and communication. You will work towards two key objectives: (i) you will study the principle of monitoring adverse reactions to foods – focused on allergenicity – and you will use the obtained results to develop and implement a monitoring system; and (ii) you will study the provision of newly obtained safety information through improved labelling and communication strategies within the food system. You will employ different qualitative methods to study these objectives, including focus groups, semi-structured interviews and case-study approaches. By collaborating with experts from various disciplines and with different food system stakeholders in this project, you’ll contribute to the creation of a robust framework that protects consumers, supports healthcare providers and regulators, and facilitates compliance with food safety regulations.

Candidates will be judged on the basis of the requirements outlined below. We are looking for a PhD-candidate with the following qualifications. You have:

  • Successfully completed a master’s degree in health sciences, human nutrition, public health, biology, public policy, regulatory affairs, sociology, or other relevant fields;
  • Strong affinity for food sciences and food policy;
  • A solid understanding of research designs and relevant qualitative analyses, as demonstrated in education (and work) so far;
  • Strong analytical capacity;
  • A real researcher’s mentality: open-minded, curious, enthusiastic, inquisitive and accurate;
  • Strong communication skills in English (fluent at C1 level), including scientific English writing and presenting, and you have the ambition to share research outside of regular scholarly activities (such as writing publications);
  • Preferably a good command of Dutch (for foreign applicants: the intention to reach proficiency in Dutch within a short period of time);
  • Strong project management skills;
  • And you are a team player who enjoys working in a multidisciplinary, international and growing team.
  • What we offer
    As a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university of the Netherlands, located in Venlo. In addition, we offer you:

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as ‘acknowledge and appreciate’.
  • The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply.

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