PhD in Operations Research and Machine Learning in Healthcare

at University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Published March 29, 2023
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Economics and Business
Educational level:  Master
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  1 April 2023
Vacancy number:  11140

Are you interested in developing state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, designing new algorithms, and being prepared to take-on impactful problems such as developing a real-life surgery schedule? The section Business Analytics at the Amsterdam Business School (University of Amsterdam) invites applications for a PhD position in Operations Research and Machine Learning. We are looking for talented PhD candidates with the ambition to work and succeed at the highest international academic level.


What are you going to do?

Our project aims to leverage machine learning to develop better decision-support tools to improve healthcare processes. Healthcare is under increasing pressure, and healthcare practitioners cannot possibly oversee the effects of all their decisions. Bad planning and hasty decision-making can lead to unwanted side effects, such as high waiting times for the operating room or overcrowding in the recovery ward. We believe that many of these issues can be avoided by suitably leveraging data in the planning and control of healthcare processes.

Instead of relying on simplifying assumptions to create elegant theoretical models, as used in much of the published research, we aim to develop data-driven models that are usable in practice and compliant with the current privacy regulations. The research will require a blend of data analytics and machine learning, to perform predictive modeling, and operations research, to do the mathematical modeling. A key starting point is to improve surgery scheduling by employing a comprehensive and recent dataset of real-life scenarios. The research will be done in collaboration with hospitals.


You will/tasks:

  • studying and taking classes to improve research skills and deepen one’s understanding of healthcare systems, operations management theory, and IT and management information systems;
  • identifying relevant research questions and translating these into a sound research approach;
  • publishing research results in international academic journals, and presenting them at international conferences;
  • participating in and contributing to departmental research functions, including research seminars and research meetings;
  • teaching-related activities, including undergraduate tutorials and the supervision of MSc and/or BSc thesis projects.


What do we require

  • Master’s degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related discipline;
  • excellent programming skills in one or more of the following languages: R, Python, C, C++, and a strong willingness to develop these skills further;
  • excellent communication, presentation and writing skills;
  • an excellent command of English, ideally with experience in writing for a scientific audience;
  • commitment, perseverance, and a cooperative attitude.


Our offer

The compensation package is competitive at the European level and includes several secondary benefits. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants. To know more about working at the University of Amsterdam, please check this link and

The employment contract will be for three or four years (depending on prior education) with an initial period of 18 months, with an intermediate evaluation after 18 months and a possibility to extend it for 30 months (in total four years). The end-result should be a PhD thesis. An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) conferences.

The gross monthly salary will range from €2,541in the first year to €3,247 (base on 38 hours per week) in the last year. The Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities is applicable.


What else do we offer

  • A function in which your initiative and input are strongly valued.
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues.
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment at the centre of Amsterdam.



About UvA Economics and Business

Education and research at UvA Economics and Business (EB) cover a wide range of fields that includes economics, data science, business administration, business analytics, accountancy, control, econometrics, finance and entrepreneurship. This is organised in 2 Schools: the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) and the Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE). Over 7,000 students are enrolled in our UvA Economics and Business programmes and around 500 employees provide education and support.

Find more information about Economics and Business on

Find more information about the Amsterdam Business School on

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The PhD position is with Dr. Chintan Amrit, and Dr. Alex Kuiper and Prof. Jeroen de Mast within the Section Business Analytics at the Amsterdam Business School (University of Amsterdam). The section of Business Analytics has over 30 employees who do research and teach mainly in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Statistics, Optimization, and Information Systems. The members of the department have published their research in top-tier academic journals, such as Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, OMEGA and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.

Members of the department are also involved in teaching in undergraduate, master, and research master-level programs, as well as in executive education, and uphold strong relationships with industry, business, and healthcare.



Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:


Job application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 1 April 2023.


Applications in pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation including a description of the candidate’s primary research interests and ambitions.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and may be asked to present their (thesis) research work. Shortlisted candidates will also be asked to provide two reference letters.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.