/Student project: Snacking behavior & mental wellbeing

Student project: Snacking behavior & mental wellbeing

Research & development - Wageningen | More than two weeks ago

You will be part of a team working on investigating the relationship between snacking behavior & mental wellbeing in daily life using novel technologies.

Student project: Snacking behavior & mental wellbeing

What you will do

Various studies have previously investigated the relationship between emotional stress and snacking behavior. However, these studies relied on self-reporting methods or took place in experimental settings. Self-reported stress and snack intake are known to be prone to bias and misreport. Observations of stress and snack intake may be more accurate when measured in laboratory settings, but laboratory settings are likely to impact the experienced levels of stress and affect snacking behavior. Objective methods are needed to accurately study this relationship in ambulatory settings. At OnePlanet we have developed and validated such a method. Knowing that we can monitor snacking behavior and provide Just-In-Time-Adaptive interventions (JITAIs) to participants that help participants in choosing low-caloric snacks, we want to move one step further and see if we can predict the effect of a certain snack or drink on the mood or the physiology of a participant.

We have collected two datasets with the SnackBox, which we would like to merge in this project to one dataset of ~100 participants with 1 to 2 weeks of data on mood, physiology, snacking, drinking, meals, mental well-being, eating behavior and demographics. The dataset will cover over 10000 snacking/drinking moments. In this project, we would like to develop a machine-learning model that is capable of predicting the effect of a snack or a drink on the physiological state and mood of a participant.

Your tasks:

  • Data preparation, merging datasets.
  • Create a data model in python/RStudio, from mixed design models to Machine Learning models.
  • Read and analyze literature on snacking & mood/physiology.
  • Be part of the SnackBox team.
  • Report on results and interpretations.
  • If interested: Support analysis in SnackBox side projects.

What we do for you

OnePlanet Research Center is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Radboud University, Radboud UMC and nano-technology world-player imec. Your work here will not only be of academic relevance, but also translated to practical applications where possible. With this internship, we would like to offer you the opportunity to work with a couple of the most novel technologies in the field of eating behavior research. You will experience running a complete validation study, from the first contact with participants to analyses of the results. You will be part of a team where everyone has different backgrounds and subjects of expertise, which makes it fun to exchange perspectives and to work together.

Who you are

  • You are an MSc student in the field of Data Science.
  • You are interested in behavioral and/or nutritional research.
  • You are passionate about linking research to development.
  • You are available for a period of 6-9 months, starting in March or April 2024.
  • You have experience with python and/or R.
  • You have experience with predictive modeling.
  • Preferably, you have experience with linear mixed effect models.
  • Preferably, you have experience with analyzing time series data.
  • Preferably, you have affinity with AzureML and/or would be interested in learning and exploring it.
  • You are entitled to do an internship in the Netherlands.
  • You are a motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field.
  • You have good written and verbal English skills.


Does this project sound like an interesting next step in your career at imec? Don’t hesitate to submit your application by clicking on ‘APPLY NOW’.
Got some questions about the recruitment process? Martijn Kohl of the Talent Acquisition Team will be happy to assist you.

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