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PhD Stipend in Healthcare Operations – Establishing data basis and analytics for surgery planning and control (915-21079)

At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Materials and Production a PhD stipend is available within the general research programme "Healthcare Operations". The stipend is open for appointment from 1 November 2021 or soon hereafter. Department of Materials and Production (MP) has a wide-ranging research and educational environment at Aalborg University. The Department's mission is to meet future demand for new materials and production systems by directing the whole value chain from basic material understanding, materials' applications in mechanical constructions, industrial production and management. The department has several strong, international and innovative research groups which comprise everything from basic science to strategic and applicable research. The activities encompass research as well as education within materials, mechanics, physics, production technique, and industrial management and innovation. Benefitting the industry and additional collaborators several innovative and unconventional collaborations have been and are being developed through interdisciplinary co-operations. Thereby, as an employee at the Department you will become a part of an international research environment, where focus is on innovation, knowledge sharing/building and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Job description

This PhD position is supported financially by the Department of Materials and Production, Center of Industrial Production (CIP). CIP are comprising of 12 senior researchers and 15 PhD students. Its objective, among other things, is to study Operations Management in the industrial and services industries. A new and growing research area is Healthcare Operations which is also supported through a collaboration with Aalborg University Hospital.

This research focuses, among others, on establishing data fundaments (through exploiting the existing and identifying new data sources) and analytics as a basis for surgery planning and control of resources and capacities. A cross organizational perspective is expected (e.g. through the involvement of related departments/functions/staff, such as bio-chemical laboratory, radiology, anaesteciology, secretarial and surgical staff and patients). The ultimate goal is improvement of the operational performance  along with reduction of waiting times in the patient flow. Several aspects contribute to underutilization of surgery capacity:  Scheduling done based on accumulated tacit knowledge and, sometimes, incomplete information, uncertain estimates of surgery durations, hospital policies, poor data quality in management information systems. Literature introduces various models for surgery duration modelling and estimation, and for surgery planning and scheduling. The goal of the PhD project is to contribute to operational performance and positive employee and patient outcomes by combining or developing new analytics approaches, taking into account the numerous data sources that exist in a modern healthcare setting. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Aalborg University Hospital.

The application for the position should contain a project proposal specifying research idea and motivation, brief outline of relevant theoretical background, and suggestions for scientific methodology, considering the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques such as Deep Learning and Machine Learning, but also thoughts on collection and validation of data and challenges, and how to implement new models to the benefit of the hospital.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated:

  • Application of mixed methods combining qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Prior experience with application of data science, operations research or operations management concepts in a health care setting.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment as an independent researcher.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in Danish and English.

The application must be written English.

Further information concerning the scientific aspects can be obtained from Professor John Johansen by e-mail jj@mp.aau.dk

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms Ruth Klitte, The Doctoral School at The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email: rk@adm.aau.dk,  phone: +45 9940 7993.

For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: www.phd.engineering.aau.dk 

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

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