Postdoc Researcher ‘The missing link’

We, the burn centers of the Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam, the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk and the Martini Hospital in Groningen, work together as Burn Care Netherlands. Together we are responsible for the care and treatment of patients with severe burns. Thanks to our intensive collaboration, we provide top clinical care, realize leading scientific research and offer high-quality education at a national and international level.

The project ‘The missing link’:

Financing has recently become available for a unique and transcending project. The aim of the project is to link clinical clinimetrics (such as scar measurements) to laboratory research and to mathematical models in order to better predict the course of wound and scar healing and to tailor treatments more effectively.

After the burns have healed, the scars remain. Patients can suffer from this throughout their lives. We measure the quality of the scars using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (the POSAS), a Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM). The POSAS developed in the Netherlands is now used worldwide for scar measurements (see also The POSAS was also the first scar scale to include patient opinion. The burn centers have a joint registration system in which a lot of data is collected, including about scars (POSAS) and quality of life. In addition, a lot of laboratory research is done to better understand why and how a scar arises and how this can be influenced.

In order to better map the complex processes that play a role in scar formation after a burn, input from the clinic is needed at patient level. We are increasingly understanding that skin recovery after burns is influenced by a complex interplay of a wide variety of factors. These can be factors at the cellular level up to societal and social factors. The science that deals with this, complexity science, a still young science, helps to better understand these systems and factors (see article in appendix 1). We want to link the outcome measures of the clinic with the data from the laboratories and thus arrive at (mathematical) models so that we try to predict the scar quality and development of the scar over time.


As a Postdoc researcher you will start by elaborating the project plan ‘The Missing Link’. You are responsible for the design and implementation of the project activities in which the outcome measures of the patient (in particular the POSAS) are linked to data from basic research: ‘the missing link’. You therefore have an important pivotal function between doctors and researchers in the clinic, the laboratory, data scientists and mathematicians and physicists who are involved in this project.

Your duties include:

  • converting POSAS patient scores into clinimetric values ​​and helping to translate these for the mathematician for the mathematical models to be built (years 1 and 2);
  • testing mathematical models (in collaboration with mathematician) and using the results to guide new cell biology research (year 2);
  • balancing the three pillars; clinical outcomes, cell biological tests and mathematical models in a network, in which models are self-learning: the results of research per pillar are used to make improvements to the models (years 3 and 4);
  • coordinating the POSAS studies and thinking about follow-up studies. In due course you will also (co-)supervise a junior researcher who will make the POSAS scar scale available to children.

Job requirements and profile

You are an enthusiastic researcher and have a PhD. You are interested in various disciplines, including clinimetrics (including PROMs), and find it interesting to use insights from one discipline and apply them to another. You enjoy working with people from all kinds of different backgrounds, and you can switch quickly. You find it interesting to work with data and can work independently, and you enjoy alternating this with coordinating tasks in which you work together with patients, healthcare providers and researchers. You work closely with the project coordinator outcomes registration, postdoc researcher systems biology, and the other researchers and care providers in burn care.

Our offer

We offer a contract for an initial 1 year (0.6 – 1.0 FTE FTE), with the intention of extending until the end of the project (3 years). Scaling is done in accordance with the collective labor agreement for hospitals, depending on education and experience (maximum gross salary € 4,755 per month with a full-time appointment (= 36 hours/week) excluding 13th month, 5.5 weeks of leave and a good pension scheme from Zorg en Welzijn ). In addition, we offer you the opportunity to further develop through various courses.

Inform and apply

For more information you can email or call:

Dr. Carine van Schie, manager of care innovation and research at the Dutch Burns Foundation. tel. 06 46738562, e-mail [email protected] or Dr. Lotte van Dammen, Burns Outcomes Registration coordinator ([email protected]) or Prof. dr. Dr. Paul van Zuijlen, head of the Burn Center, plastic surgeon Red Cross hospital (via Patricia Thiele, ‘Patricia Thiele – Hoek’ [email protected])


Send your application to Wilga Hoek of P&O via email to: [email protected] before Tuesday 13 December 2022. We look forward to your response.


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