scientific researcher H2020 project EarLy dEtection of cerVical cAncer in hard-to-reach populations of women through portable and point-of-care HPV Testing (ELEVATE)

Last application date
Apr 30, 2019 11:06
GE39 - Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Unlimited duration
A PhD in biomedical sciences, public/global health, social medicine, or related field.
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

1. ELEVATE project

Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women world. The ELEVATE project is undertaken by a multidisciplinary team comprising manufactures and experts from Europe and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. The ELEVATE project aims to improve the global adequacy and coverage of cervical cancer screening, particularly to specific populations of women that by not being regularly screened (hard-to-reach populations) are at higher-risk to develop cervical cancer. Although cervical cancer is still the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, with up to 85% of the burden occurring in developing countries, preventive vaccination against human papillomavirus and early detection of pre-cancer in screening programs has shown to be successful in reducing cancer incidence and mortality. However, different challenges hamper a global implementation of such programs and are in the base of women’s non-attendance to screening. This highlights the lack of consideration for ethnic, cultural and resource differences in current cervical cancer screening programs. ELEVATE will to conduct social science investigations to identify hard-to-reach women in Belgium, Brazil, Ecuador and Portugal, to address their barriers to screening and to design strategies to make primary screening more accessible to them, and therefore, contribute to reduce the global burden of cervical cancer. This will be complemented with fundamental and technological research to develop an efficient and marketable test for the combined genomic and proteomic detection of high-risk HPV infections in those populations. The test will be made portable, low-cost, compatible with self-sampling, and point-of-care in order to generate rapid and easy-to-understand results, without relying on electrical outlets or trained health personnel. An integral part of the proposal is also to infer and disseminate the societal, economic implications of the developed strategies using a hard-to-reach community-based participatory research.


2. Function

We are looking for a motivated candidate to join our team. The candidate will be responsible for the overall coordination and management of the ELEVATE consortium, consisting of nine partners in five countries. In addition, the candidate will supervise the public health research at the Belgian site, including but not limited to identifying hard-to-reach populations for cervical cancer screening and conducting the pilot study of the new HPV test in Belgium.

Profile of the candidate

Candidates for this function should have the following:

  • - A PhD in biomedical sciences, public/global health, social medicine, or related field.
  • - A Master’s degree in biochemistry, biotechnology, biology, bioscience engineering or biomedical sciences
  • - A track record in HPV / cervical cancer research.
  • - A strong profile in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, and an understanding of biomedical research.
  • - Good communication skills in English and Dutch.
  • - Experience working with and/or managing a large research consortium.
  • - Scientific maturity, independence, creativity, and a can-do attitude.

The following qualities are desired but not required of candidates:

  • - Good command of Spanish and/or Portuguese.
  • - Experience working with vulnerable populations in Belgium, such as people with a migration background.
  • - An understanding of cervical cancer diagnostics and screening.

How to apply

More information about the vacancy: Heleen Vermandere ()

Applications with motivation letter and cv should be sent to , as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting on 25 March and continue until the position is filled. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.