PhD-student / FLASH proton therapy

Fulltime 36 hours | WO

Are you interested in a PhD in which you will make a substantial contribution to the development of FLASH proton therapy to a more full-blown proton therapy treatment modality for clinical studies and future routine patient treatments? Do you want to work in a multidisciplinary team of physicists, medical physicists and clinicians and aspire to contribute to improved cancer treatments with cutting edge technology in a clinical setting? Then HollandPTC is looking for you!

Job description

You will focus on the development of FLASH-PT therapy treatment planning with FLASH-compatible Bragg peak beams. To this end – and in close collaboration with the HollandPTC physics research group – you will experimentally characterize such beams, as well as other relevant machine characteristics and fluctuations together with another PhD student who will be working at TU Delft on this project. A beam model will be made, validated and used in dedicated FLASH-compatible clinical research treatment planning software.

Explorative treatment studies will be executed in collaboration with the PhD student working at LUMC on clinical expertise and the PhD student working at Erasmus MC on optimization methods. The impact of patient motion and machine fluctuation will be mitigated through the development of motion and machine robust treatment planning strategies.

Your primary location will be HollandPTC.

About HollandPTC

HollandPTC is an independent outpatient center for proton therapy. We are located in Delft where we work with a team of about 100 colleagues in healthcare, physics, research & development and operations. Research of the HollandPTC R&D consortium focuses on proving the benefit of proton therapy and to further improve its efficacy. There is a variety of topics within the fields of biology, physics & technology and clinical research where we, together with our partners, focus our research on. At HollandPTC we feature high-end research facilities to meet our research goals and to enable collaboration on different fields.

Work environment

Within the HollandPTC consortium, consisting of Erasmus MC, LUMC and TU Delft, a large multidisciplinary research project on FLASH proton therapy (FLASH-PT) is about to start. When irradiating tissues with (ultra) high dose-rates, i.e., FLASH radiotherapy, a differential response between healthy and cancerous tissue is observed, where the radiosensitivity in healthy tissue was reduced compared to the tumor. Due to their physical properties, proton beams can more accurately target the tumor, compared to conventional radiotherapy, resulting in better sparing of surrounding healthy tissue. FLASH-PT, aiming to combine the physical advantages of proton therapy (PT) with those of FLASH, is a promising new direction in radiotherapy. The improved healthy tissue sparing is expected to reduce treatment side effects and enable higher tumor doses, when necessary, both to the benefit of patients. Furthermore, the fast delivery will reduce the impact of motion and may significantly shorten treatment times.

This research project will significantly contribute to making FLASH proton therapy clinically available at HollandPTC. This consortium-wide project with four PhD students at Erasmus MC, LUMC, TU Delft and HollandPTC, who will be working on different clinical and medical physics research questions.

The research project covers the implementation of FLASH-PT treatments with respiratory gating, the generation of effective FLASH-PT treatment plans and the optimization thereof, as well as experimental verification of FLASH proton beam delivery during treatment.

Qualifications and skills

  • You are a highly motivated candidate with a master’s degree in Technical Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, or a related discipline.
  • You are motivated to pursue a 4 year research project in the Medical Physics field.
  • You have affinity with experimental physics work. In addition, you have experience with scripting, and you are interested in mathematical modeling.
  • As you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team, good communication skills are essential. You are ambitious, result-driven and an excellent team player. Excellent technical skills as well as academic writing and presentation skills in English are required.
  • You are enthusiastic when solving a problem via programming (Matlab, Python, and C/C++).
  • Knowledge of the Dutch language is preferred.

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct (VOG in Dutch) is a condition for the appointment.

What do we offer?

We offer you a temporary position for 4 years. Your gross monthly salary will be €2,789,- in the 1st year and increases to €3.538,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). A 4% Collective Labour Agreement pay raise starting November 2023. Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an allowance for travel expenses of € 0.21 per kilometer.

Are you our new PhD-student?

Then respond quickly and in any case before June 21. If we come across good candidates earlier we will start discussions with them. Send your motivation letter and resume to Mischa Hoogeman and Steven Habraken via and add that it concerns the vacancy PhD student.

Contact for the position

For more information about this position, please contact, Mischa Hoogeman, Professor/Head of Medical Physics and R&D HollandPTC (+31 6 24851534) or Habraken, Steven, Head of Medical Physics LUMC