PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences - Rehabilitation in persons with Multiple Sclerosis and walking related fatigability

University of Hasselt


July 11, 2021


The Rehabilitation Sciences of Hasselt University seeks a (m/f/x) PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences - Rehabilitation in persons with

Multiple Sclerosis and walking related fatigability

Background Within the context of expanding the research of the REVAL Rehabilitation Research group of Hasselt University, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences wishes to inform about a vacant PhD position (100%) in the multi-dimensional evaluation and rehabilitation in persons with Multiple Sclerosis and walking related fatigability. You will be part of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences at UHasselt. This faculty organizes an educational program consisting of a 3-year academic bachelor and a 2-year academic master program within Rehabilitation Sciences and Kinesitherapy. This program has approximately 850 students. The faculty also provides education in the inter-university Master's in Occupational Therapy Sciences. Within the faculty, REVAL ACADEMY organizes interdisciplinary continuing education courses aimed at professionals in healthcare and rehabilitation. The proposed research will be conducted within the rehabilitation research group REVAL. REVAL is an interdisciplinary and translational research group which performs research in the domains of pediatric, neurologic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, biomechanics, health psychology, mental health care and rehabilitation of internal diseases. Within the perspective of a "civic university" the RELAB platform facilitates the provision of evidence based advice to individuals with a functioning problem and professionals within the healthcare sector as well as to companies. This PhD is done in collaboration with (inter)national rehabilitation centers.

Job content Persons with Multiple Sclerosis often present motor and cognitive impairments leading to dual task difficulty, besides experiencing fatigue. All of these impact walking capacity, which is normally an automatized activity without the need for conscious cognitive control. In the recent years, the research group often in collaboration with the National MS center in Melsbroek and Noorderhart in Pelt, has specifically investigated walking related fatigability. This phenomenon is characterized by slowing down during walking and can be caused by neural drive dysfunction towards motor commands, reduced cognitive attention and/or muscle fatigue. This research project aims to perform a multidimensional evaluation of walking dysfunction by means of a combination of biomechanical (using the GRAIL system) analyses of balance and gait, conducting measurements of attention (behavioural, neural activity using fNIRS) as well as evaluating (perceived) changes in performance and energy levels during functional tasks and in daily life (using sensors, mHealth). In addition, the project aims to investigate the effects of various interventions (such as strength, balance, cognitive training or combinations) on walking capacity and performance, along with biomechanical, cognitive and neural aspects. Profile

  • You have a Master in Rehabilitation Sciences, human movement sciences (or equivalent) Final-year students are (likewise) encouraged to apply.

  • You obtained good academic results.

  • You have a strong affinity with neurological rehabilitation.
  • Experience with the target population in a clinical setting or in research is a plus.
  • Scientific achievements are an added value.
  • You have knowledge on the design, execution and analysis of experimental research.
  • Experience in biomechanical, cognitive, or neural control are of additional value.
  • You have strong problem-solving skills, flexibility, organisational capacity and stress resistance.
  • You have strong oral and written communication skills, and are fluent in Dutch (or can show that reaching ERK level C1 is feasible on short term) and English.
  • You actively contribute to a positive working atmosphere, and make connections between different domains and people (teaching assistants, PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, professors).
  • Offer You will be appointed and paid as PhD student. Position for 2 years. After positive evaluation one time extendable with 2 years. Positon at Hasselt University.

    Selection procedure You can only apply online up to and including 23 June 2021. The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file and an interview. A presentation or assignment is a possibility. The interviews are scheduled for the first half of July 2021. Further information Prof. dr. Peter FEYS, +32-11-292123, Prof. dr. Pieter MEYNS, +32-11-269395,

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