3-Year Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Healthcare Systems Design at Technical University of Denmark (DTU)


The Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Healthcare Systems Design will be part of the research division of Engineering Systems, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), north of Copenhagen. The division is growing fast and is characterised by collegial, energetic staff and strong research collaborations with leading universities and industry worldwide.

Our research focuses on understanding and improving the ways in which complex sociotechnical engineering systems are designed, managed, and operated throughout their life cycles. Our research spans the boundaries of 1. interdisciplinary engineering design, 2. engineering project, program and portfolio management, and 3. related policy, public engagement and strategic processes. By focusing on the themes of complexity, human behaviour, and uncertainty, we develop understanding, knowledge, methods and tools for public and private organisations to be more effective in the design, construction and operation of large-scale socio-technical engineering systems. Examples include applications in healthcare (e.g. development and integration of transformative technologies) or energy generation and distribution (e.g. design of industry cooperation networks). We believe that good design can deliver widespread benefits to society’s challenges of health and wellbeing in the 21st century.

The Post-Doctoral Research Associate will be working in healthcare systems research at the intersection of design, technology, human behaviour, and health research. He/she will take a leading role in driving the research in healthcare system design forward, by engaging in the relationship between design and wellbeing, by bringing a systems perspective to health and care services, and thus by designing for life. 

Keywords include healthcare systems design, healthcare design, design for behaviour change, personalised health technologies, collaborative care, healthcare innovation, eHealth, Digital Health, healthcare analytics, behaviour monitoring, user-friendly and accurate visualisation of healthcare data. 

Responsibilities and tasks

Technology is transforming healthcare. We are moving from centralised hospital care towards a more distributed connected care model that is widely accessible, personalised and collaborative. Mobile health applications and wearable sensing are empowering patients (and healthy users) to track and manage their own health, wellbeing and lifestyles. Data from medical and health/welfare technology can help care providers to understand and visualize trends, broadening their focus from diagnosis and treatment to prediction and prevention. The healthcare data landscape in Denmark is rich and accessibility for researchers among the best in the world.

The Post-Doctoral Research Associate is interested in leveraging technology both in the ways we conduct healthcare research and in the ways design can help to develop, adapt, and integrate technology and mobile health solutions into healthcare. The Post-Doc will have the opportunity to work in close connection with and build on ongoing university-hospital collaborative research on the adaptation and implementation of technology in cognitive rehabilitation, for active ageing, and for chronic disease management, with the long-term vision of improving the design of health care systems for connected and collaborative care.

Overall, our healthcare research takes an engineering systems design perspective to integrate people, processes, and technology for more effective, personalised, collaborative, connected, and sustainable healthcare delivery and -improvement. We are motivated by the opportunities offered through the accelerating pace of technological innovation to ease the increasing burden of chronic disease. With a human-centric focus, we study how innovative technology and processes may be woven into existing health and care systems to improve treatment as well as early diagnosis and prevention. Our objectives are to develop conceptual design frameworks for healthcare improvement and to apply these frameworks to the real-life health and care challenges of our society, be it in the general population or in patient groups via collaborations with clinicians. Our ambitions are to provide both better and more cost-effective health care. In particular, all of our current projects aim to push the boundaries of how the interaction between people and novel Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), mobile-, and wearable technologies can help re-model care practices, especially in the fields of mental health, elderly care and active ageing, and hypertension.

One of our projects is exploring how wearables might be adapted to match the needs and capabilities of the dementia care network, how technologies and data might be used to understand patient behaviour and support clinical research, and how these findings can reinforce or rethink current care practices. Another of our initiative is related to the Stanford Medicine X Precision Research Challenge, for which we have been selected as one six finalists worldwide and enabled us to pursue a pilot study with more than 50 elderly participants enrolled. Another project explores how personalisation, patient apprenticeship/situated learning, and shared-decision making between patient and providers may promote behavioural change in hypertensive patients towards their increased engagement in therapy. The project will develop a conceptual healthcare design framework applied to the design, implementation and field trial of an ICT-solution for collaborative hypertensive care.

Specific tasks include the dissemination of knowledge in the form of peer-reviewed journal and conference contributions and the focus on acquisition of research funding for the group. 

The Post-Doc will be working with partners from academic, health and industrial sectors. In particular, researchers from the Engineering Systems Division are active members of the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (cachet.dk), connecting with researchers from other DTU Departments, health researchers from the Copenhagen University, representatives from the Municipality of Copenhagen and the Capital Region, neuropsychologists, doctors, nurses, patient organisations, caregivers and patients, and many more. The Post-Doctoral Research Associate will enter and continue to build health and care research and industry relationships across DTU, Denmark, and worldwide.


Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent. 

The interdisciplinary nature of the project means that applicants from a broad range of technical backgrounds will be considered. Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) a PhD degree, preferably in design, design engineering, engineering, computer or systems science, health sciences, computational social science, etc. Preference will be given to those candidates with a high level of English (and also Danish language skills) who can demonstrate an aptitude for conceptual and empirical work, modelling and programming, and the confidence to network within academic, public, and commercial organisations.

Further qualifications include: 

Excellent scientific dissemination skills and passion for writing.

Excellent communication skills, fluent written and oral English; Danish language capability is a plus. 

Outstanding in analysis and synthesis. 

Well-versed in interaction with manifold stakeholders in academia, public healthcare institutions, patients, funding bodies, industry, design- and service consultancies 

Ability to work under deadlines with a result-driven attitude. 

Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills. 

Knowledge in academic writing in a popular language. 

Passion for and mastery of visual communication design, graphic design, multimedia is a plus.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The position is full-time, with a fixed term of three years. 

The employment period starts from 3 September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The workplace will be at DTU Lyngby Campus, Building 424.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Professor Anja Maier; email: amai@dtu.dk or tel.: +45 4525 6045.

You can read more about the Engineering Systems Division on www.es.man.dtu.dk


Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 8 June 2018 (local time). 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. The file must include: 

A letter motivating the application (cover letter)

Curriculum vitae (CV)

List of publications

A brief description of your own research activities and ideas for future research in the field (max 3 pages)

Two reference contacts

Copies of your original (B.Sc, M.Sc, and Ph.D.) diplomas, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their official translation into English

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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


DTU Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization 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 organization 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 68 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 11,000 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.

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