DC10: Full-scale surgical teamwork training through augmented-reality simulation: Clinical implementation and effectiveness for provider and patient care performance


Surgical teamwork is essential for efficient surgical care as well as safeguarding patient outcomes. To facilitate surgical training and promote teaching, virtual as well as augmented-reality simulation has been proposed as a promising and viable avenue to enhance learning in surgery. Nonetheless, current training technologies and VR-developments in the field of surgical simulation face various challenges if they are implemented into real-world clinical practice. Most observable adoption barriers include also implementation challenges into every surgical work practices as well as limitations in effectiveness for team performance and patient care outcomes.


We therefore seek to investigate the application, adoption, and implementation of a full-scale surgical teamwork training through augmented-reality simulation in surgical practice. We want to study the process of clinical implementation and test for effectiveness for provider and patient care performance.

Institution and our research team at IfPS

The PHD position will be in the Institute for Patient Safety (IfPS) at the University Hospital and Medical Faculty at University of Bonn University (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn), Germany (Head Prof. Dr. Matthias Weigl). At IfPS, various scientific projects investigate the role of digital transformation and technology use in clinical care with particular attention to hospital care systems, provider performance, and patient care outcomes. International collaborations are established within a network of academic partners.

The PHD position will also work with local collaborators from clinics as well as industry partners. Interdisciplinary collaboration with various healthcare specialties is required. Secondments are planned with a collaborating simulator-development company as well as with academic collaborators. The Bonn International Graduate School (BIGS) offers various trainings and seminars during the 3-year PHD period.


  • Co-design, conduct, and analyse different empirical studies on the AR-simulation approach and its utilization in the surgical clinic
  • Project management and coordination activities with various clinical collaborators as well as cooperating scientific partners
  • Data collection in clinical settings (i.e., simulation as well as real-world surgical facilities)
  • Publications, written and oral presentation of findings for national and international audiences
  • Participation in the network and EU-wide training activities of Tools4Teams
  • Course work as required by the local Graduate School (BIGS)


  • Master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in a relevant area such as (work/organizational) Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Health, or Social Sciences; or a related discipline;
  • Motivation to work on a challenging topic related to teamwork and human-centered design/human factors with both fundamental and applied research aspects.
  • Experience in empirical human-subject research is a requirement
  • Strong analytical skills with competence for statistical analyses (i.e., multivariate statistics). 
  • Motivation to work in a multidisciplinary research setting with close collaboration and with clinical partners
  • High communication skills
  • High project management skills
  • Mastery of German language is essential (i.e., data collection of simulated and non-simulated surgical teamwork is planned via systematic observations)
  • Good (verbal and written) communication skills in English.
  • Applicants must meet the MSCA Eligibility Criteria, see Recruitment process for more information.

Our offer

The position is part of the EU-funded doctoral network “Tools4Teams” that investigates different instruments and tools to promote teamwork in different healthcare settings and across various sectors of our healthcare systems. The Tools4Teams consortium and network enables its various PhD candidates in a variety of European countries to meet and to learn with and from each other.

This PhD position is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) of the European Union’s “Horizon Europe 2022” research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101072843. You will be appointed as fulltime PhD for 3 years at Institute for Patient Safety, University Hospital, Bonn, Germany. The MSCA program offers competitive and attractive working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for doctoral candidates. Gross salary will consist of Living Allowances as well as a monthly Mobility Allowance. The research project should result in a PhD thesis.

Application process

If you would like to know more about the position, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Matthias Weigl (ifps@ukbonn.de).

You can apply using the online application form.

For more information see the recruitment process.

Contact and further details

Please contact:
Prof. Matthias Weigl,
Institute for Patient Safety (IfPS),
Bonn University Hospital, Germany,