PhD position in Health Technolgy for the prediction and monitoring of decubitus ulcer

The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), in Odense invites applications for a fully-funded position as PhD fellow in Health informatics and technology. The position is available starting 1st of January 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The application deadline is 1st of November 2020.

SDU Health Informatics and Technology (HIT) strive to develop novel and ready to deploy technical solutions in a transdisciplinary manner. SDU HIT has a large portfolio of transdisciplinary projects involving numerous partners from healthcare, academia, industry and network organizations.

Project description
The candidate will work on Techniques for the Prediction and monitoring of Decubitus ulcer. Suffering from decubitus ulcer is one of the most common side-effects among bedridden patients in hospitals and homecare. However, patients suffering from decubitus ulcer do not only have a high risk to develop open wounds, but also to fall ill with secondary diseases such as pneumonia. The prevalence of decubitus ulcer has been increasing during the last years, leading to a dramatic increase of therapy costs for payers in health care. A high number of cases would be avoidable as common triggers for a decubitus ulcer are a lack of movement of the patient causing humidity of the skin and also an incorrect distribution of pressure in the bedding of the patient. The state of the art for pressure ulcer assessment has limited access to deep tissue properties and is utterly subjective.

Literature provides a solid foundation that Infrared Thermography (IRT) and Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) of body areas with early pressure ulcers (stage I and stage II) carry information on deep tissues that are invisible to clinicians. Therefore, IRT and BIS will be utilized to provide an objective assessment of wound healing of a pressure ulcer as well as to detect the early development of pressure ulcers. Furthermore, the risk of developing decubitus ulcer can be significantly reduced by monitoring the respective tissue area at risk by sensor technology. A specialized band-aid will be equipped with sensors for the measurement of pressure, pressure localization, humidity, bioimpedance and skin perfusion.

What we offer
The PhD fellow will be part of a trans-disciplinary team dedicated to developing health technology that improves the treatment, safety and/or comfort of patients and citizens 

We offer a challenging and innovative position, in an international, stimulating and highly interdisciplinary environment that forge new research by crossing the traditionally separate domains of engineering-, health- and humanistic research, for the benefit of the users and society as a whole.

The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute is an internationally recognized research department with strong research units in robotics, drones, artificial intelligence, software engineering, energy informatics, and health informatics and technology.

SDU HIT possess various competences including embedded systems, participatory design, acoustics, innovation management, software engineering, and data analytics. These competences are currently being deployed in areas such as training robots, audiology, telemedicine/eHealth/mHealth, clinical decision support, and healthcare ecosystem modeling.

Denmark is known to be a great place to live and work. There is a high quality of life in and around Odense, and at SDU we value a well-functioning work-life balance. More information about the benefits may be found here.

What we expect
You have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) in Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, computer engineering or similar, where: 

You have formal qualifications in two or more of the following fields: 

  • Image processing
  • Optoelectronics
  • Electronic circuit development and testing
  • Embedded systems
  • Signal processing
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Bioimpedance Analysis
Furthermore, the candidate must have the following qualifications:
  • Interest in close trans-disciplinary collaboration with PhD fellows and senior researchers that investigate Life Science in order to merge these perspectives into your own work.
  • Interest in participating in developing and testing concepts and equipment in clinical studies.
Knowledge, experience and skills in the following – or related – topics will be considered benefits:
  • Control theory
  • Physiology
  • Matlab, Python, numPy
  • Mobile app programming
As a PhD student you are expected to communicate scientific results in English (written and spoken) and to communicate clearly with project participants in either English or Danish.

Contact information
Further information about this position is available from Associate Professor Daniel Teichmann at email: date@mmmi.sdu.dk. 

If you experience technical problems you must contact support-sdujob@sdu.dk.  

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- EURO per month incl. supplements).

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the Head of the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here. 

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process. Shortlisting may be used. 

Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and How to apply before applying.

The application must be in English and must include - the required forms must be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information.
  • A short PhD research proposal featuring: title, aim/objective, background, expected contribution, proposed methodology, work plan, bibliography (maximum five pages including references). Upload in the field called “Other relevant material”.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both original and translated into English.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, if any. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, if available. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication. 
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


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