Job description

PhD-position ‘Understanding stability of walking – active control towards a passively stable pattern?'
The Department of Human Movement Sciences Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is offering a four-year PhD studentship focused on validating and further developing phase-dependent mathematical measures of gait stability, and using these to establish phase-dependency of human gait control. The studentship is funded by a NWO VIDI Grants. Applicants are expected to have a strong background in modeling of physical systems, as well as nonlinear dynamics. They should have obtained their master degree or expect to obtain it by November 2017.


• A completed MSc degree in the field of movement science, physics, engineering, mathematics or related fields;
• very strong analytical and numerical skills;
• some experience with work on bipedal gait (be it robotic or human) is a pre;
• very good knowledge of software programming (MatLab, C++ or similar);
• good writing skills;
• good command of the English Language (mandatory);
• good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Conditions of employment

The appointment will be initially for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for 3 years (the total duration is 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance to courses and (international) meetings. PhD students are also expected to assist in teaching undergraduates.
You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment like:
• remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
• solid pension scheme (ABP);
• a minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
• generous contribution (65%) commuting allowance based on public transport;
• discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
• participation in Individual Choices model;
• a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts from
€ 2222,00 gross per month in the first year up to € 2840,00 in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences (FBM) at VU University Amsterdam is unique in the wide field of behavioural and health sciences for combining the disciplines of psychology, education theory and human movement sciences. The faculty contributes to a better understanding of the way behaviour and movement are caused and can be influenced so as to promote physical and mental health and improve performance.

Candidates should send a brief statement of research interests (up to 2 pages), and a curriculum vitae to Sjoerd Bruijn via email (, with the subject "Understanding stability of walking – active control towards a passively stable pattern?"
Candidates should also ensure that two letters of recommendation are sent to the same email address by the deadline 28 September 2017.

Additional information

For additional information please contact:
Dr. Sjoerd Bruijn, prof. Dr. Andreas Daffertshofer or prof. Dr. Jaap van Dieën.
e-mails:, or