Physicist (PhD Student) for Dosimetry Development in Proton Therapy, Netherlands

Physicist (PhD Student) for Dosimetry Development in Proton Therapy, Netherlands

Scholarship at the department of Radiotherapy

Study Subject: Physics
Employer: University Medical Center Groningen
Level: PhD
Scholarship Description: The Radiotherapy department of the UMCG treats approximately 3,600 patients per year. It is staffed by 180 employees from a range of disciplines. Equipment in the department currently includes seven linear accelerators for megavoltage photon and electron radiation treatments and apparatus for photon and electron dosimetry. The UMCG is preparing for a clinical facility to provide proton radiation therapy on its campus, because this treatment modality offers a considerable advance in conforming the treatment dose to the target and thereby reducing side effects for the patient. A very good knowledge of the absolute radiation dose is a prerequisite to achieve this.

The Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI) is a national institute for research in the fields of fundamental and applied atomic and subatomic physics. It is an interfaculty institute of the University of Groningen and its 120 staff members are employed partly by the university and partly by the NWO Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM). KVI and UMCG are partners in PARTREC, Particle Therapy Research Centre, a centre established to optimize the use of particle irradiations in radiation oncology.

The joint project of UMCG and KVI within PARTREC to develop “A national dosimetry standard for proton therapy” is funded by Technology Foundation STW. This project will be conducted in collaboration with the Dutch national metrology institute Van Swinden Laboratory (VSL) in Delft. Purpose is to develop a dosimeter to make absolute dose measurements traceable to an (inter)national standard. Also a reference beam line for clinical relevant proton beams will be designed to enable (inter)national intercomparisons of dosimetry equipment at KVI. VSL will use the dosimeter standard to perform certified calibrations on a commercial base of locally used “working standards” for proton beams used in public health and industry, according to established international protocols.

* Design of a calorimeter, encompassing the conducting of simulations, process modelling, read-out electronics and data-acquisition.
* Experimental study to characterise and to optimize the performance of the calorimeter, encompassing the study of the effects of dynamic dose application and spatial variations of a dose distribution.
* Study of the contributions of neutrons to the signal formation.
* Study of short and long term effects of material damage and chemical changes due to interactions of the radiation with calorimeter material.
* Assistance in the preparation and commissioning of the reference beam line at KVI.
* Publication and presentation of the results of the research in international scientific journals and conferences.
* Active participation in the research group at UMCG and KVI working in fields related to physics and technology for radiation therapy and especially proton therapy.
* Contribution to the supervision of MSc and BSc students doing their research in the group.
* Contribution to general (a.o. teaching) tasks at KVI and/or UMCG.
* Participation in the PhD-educational program of the FANTOM and Guide graduate schools.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 11 January 2011

Further Scholarship information and Application


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