Last application date
Dec 20, 2017 09:48
Limited duration
MSc in nutrition, bioscience engineering, biomedical or health-related sciences (or equivalent)
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

Applications are invited for a 2-year doctoral research position, starting in January 2018 and renewable up to a period of max 42 months, to carry out a randomised controlled clinical trial in international nutrition. The study will assess how a fortified, balanced energy-protein food supplement during pregnancy and lactation affects birth outcomes, breastmilk composition, and linear growth of children in the first 6 months of life. The study is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Found, and called “Testing the efficacy of a designed nutritious food supplement for pregnancy on small for gestational age, preterm birth, and low birth weight in Africa (Burkina Faso)”.

The anticipated starting date is 1/2/2018.

You will be part of the Department of Food Safety and Food Quality (from 1/1/2018 Food Technology, Safety and Health), at Ghent University, Belgium ( You will report to the principal investigator (Prof. Dr. Patrick Kolsteren), and the trial coordinator and collaborate closely with other PhD students and the local team in Africa. You will take part in the implementation of the trial,capacity building of the team in Burkina Faso, and participate in quality control and data analysis of the study. You will take part in regular fieldwork missions in Africa between 2018 and 2021.

You will be expected to carry out both independent and joint research, and to disseminate research findings via publication in international peer-reviewed journals, to participate in conferences and popularization for a wider audience and students.

Profile of the candidate

  • You hold an MSc in nutrition, bioscience engineering, biomedical or health-related sciences (or equivalent)
  • Experience in field work, preferable in nutrition in Africa or low-and middle-income countries is an advantage;
  • You are willing and able to carry out applied research independently in Burkina Faso;
  • You have knowledge in statistics;
  • You have good knowledge of English as well as sufficient knowledge of French to do fieldwork in francophone Africa;
  • You are a dynamic and enthusiastic team player;
  • You have problem solving skills, analytical insights and are motivated to do PhD research;

How to apply

Send your CV and Statement of Purpose in English to Prof. Dr. Patrick Kolsteren, AND Prof. Dr. Carl Lachat , Department of Food Safety and Food Quality of Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent.

Ask also two referees to send a letter of reference before the deadline, one of these from your most recent employer/supervisor. For more information or a full project description: and/or