PhD Position in Tendon Loading During Recovery of Achilles Tendinopathy
Catholic University of Leuven

The Human Movement Biomechanics research group is a multidisciplinary team of reseachers aiming at identifying movement-related biomarkers that help in the stratification of patients or athletes and optimization of treatment and training. To this aim we use a hybrid approach that supplements experimental measures with computational techniques. We strongly believe in this unique approach since it allows us to highlight mechanistic pathways for treatment and training and leads ultimately to predicting movement and tissue adaptation.


We offer a full-time PhD position (four years) to better understand the role of altered tendon properties on tendon strains during recovery from Achilles tendinopathy. There is strong evidence for altered mechanical and morphological properties in the pathological Achilles tendon and that mechanical loading triggers adaptation to the tendon. It is suggested that non-uniform displacement could reduce loading of the tendon. Exercises need to deliver the appropriate mechanical trigger to stimulate restoring normal tendon properties. It is therefore crucial that exercises are adequately tuned to account for these altered properties in order to design a rehabilitation protocol that delivers the optimal stimulus for tendon regeneration and avoids overloading the tendon.  This project aims to develop and validate a workflow that will allow non-invasive characterization of tendon properties in terms of its geometry, material properties and non-uniform displacement and based on these allow to select rehabilitation exercises that will deliver the optimal strain distribution in the tendon  to optimize the regenerative process.


We are looking for a highly motivated individual with excellent study results and is strongly motivated to do a PhD. Knowledge and experience in the field of biomechanics are recommendable. A strong interest and passion for biomechanics is essential. Experience with finite element modeling and/or programming (matlab or C++) is advantageous. The candidate should have experience or be highly motivated to learn computational approaches to model loading on the tendon. 

The successful candidate has excellent communication skills and finds collaborations in a multidisciplinary team an attractive opportunity. He/she has a good knowledge of English. The candidate can write in English in the framework of a PhD transcript. 


We offer the successful candidate a full-time employment (initially for 2 years with a possible 2-year extension provided a positive evaluation), in order to write a doctoral thesis within 4 years.  The position has a starting date of October 1, 2020. Successful completion of the PhD program will result in a doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Benedicte Vanwanseele, tel.: +32 16 32 91 23, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than July 15, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: July 15, 2020
  • Tags: Bewegingswetenschappen

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