The Department Methodology and Statistics at Maastricht University has a vacancy for a Ph.D. student in Statistics within the Research School CAPHRI of the Maastricht University Medical Centre



Deadline for application: 1 September 2019


Job description

The candidate will develop statistical state-space models within the Bayesian framework to analyse multivariate intensive longitudinal data. Intensive longitudinal data become very common nowadays. They are produced for example by electronic devices such as activity trackers. Statistical methods still lag behind these technological innovations. In particular, this research project aims at developing new statistical models to study 1) the dynamic evolution of several variables with intensive measurements measured at the same time with emphasis on the dynamic evolution of the correlation between these variables (e.g. heart rate and activity intensity) and 2) the reliability and validity of devices producing intensive longitudinal data when used in real conditions. The development of these new models involves mathematical derivations to approximate the posterior distribution of the model parameters, simulating data to study the model properties and developing a software package to fit the models. The explosion of intensive longitudinal data in many research fields such as medicine and psychology promises a great future for the developed methods.



Graduated with a MSc in Statistics, Psychometrics, Biometrics, Econometrics

Good mathematical and computer programming skills

Good writing and expressional skills in the English language



The Department of your place of employment is the Department of Methodology and Statistics of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of the Maastricht University Medical Center, in Maastricht, the Netherlands. This Department works closely together with the dept. of Methodology and Statistics of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) under a common leadership. Together, these two departments consist of about 20 staff members from PhD student to Professor, and provide the statistics education in five different Bachelor programs and various master and PhD courses in the two aforementioned faculties. The research is mainly carried out within the School CAPHRI and concentrates on multilevel/mixed and mixture models for longitudinal data, optimal designs and sample sizes, missing data, and Bayesian statistics for intensive and high-dimensional data. Further, the Department offers statistical consulting and advanced data analyses to researchers from other departments.


Additional information

For the content and methods of this project:
Dr. Sophie Vanbelle, Dept. Methodology and Statistics FHML,

Tel. 00 31 (0)43 3882277, Email:

For general information:
Prof.dr. Gerard van Breukelen, Chair, Department Methodology and Statistics FHML and FPN,
Tel. 00 31 (0)43 3882258 or 3884001, Email: