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PhD position in infectious disease modeling

  • 10 Jan 2023
  • University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands and Lisbon University, Portugal

2 Ph.D. fellowships funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology are available. The Ph.D. candidates will be affiliated with Lisbon University, BioISI, Portugal & Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Ph.D. studies will be conducted in Lisbon, Portugal (50% of time) and Utrecht, The Netherlands (50% of time), under the supervision of Dr. Ganna Rozhnova and Dr. Ana Nunes.

The aim of the FCT project “Targeted control of COVID-19 post mass vaccination” is to support evidence-based policymaking on SARS-CoV-2 post-mass vaccination by designing and evaluating novel strategies that increase vaccination effectiveness and reduce disparities in COVID-19 at the country level. Strategy evaluation will rest on projections of SARS-CoV-2 dynamics based on transmission models fitted to the data from Portugal and the Netherlands using statistical methods.

The Ph.D. candidates will become part of research communities at BioISI (Thematical Lines Computation Biology and Biological Physics) and UMC Utrecht (Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group led by Prof. Marc Bonten and Infectious Disease Modeling Group led by Prof. Mirjam Kretzschmar) with numerous scientific activities, including group meetings, seminars, workshops, etc. Other international collaborators on the project include Dr. Sen Pei and Prof. Jeffrey Shaman from Columbia University, New York, USA. There will be an opportunity to attend international conferences including a 4-week NORDITA Program in Stockholm in June 2023 and to collaborate with local researchers. In the last years of Ph.D. studies, there will be an opportunity to get involved in the co-supervision of MSc students and teaching.

Qualifications & skills required:
We are seeking 2 Ph.D. candidates with an interest in using analytical and computational approaches to solve biological problems. The first Ph.D. position requires a mathematical background, the second Ph.D. position requires a computer science background. The preference will be given to candidates who have the following skills and qualifications:
- MSc completed or in the last stages of completion in a technical field (Mathematics, Physics, Theoretical Biology, Computer Science, etc).
- knowledge of mathematical analysis, differential equations, probability theory
- knowledge of programming language (Python, C/C++, or equivalent)
- ability to work with real databases, analyze data, interpret, and present results
- excellent verbal and written communication skills; our working language is English
- good organizational and interpersonal skills
UMC Utrecht & BioISI strive to be a workplace that is free from discrimination and provides equal opportunities for all qualified candidates.
Starting date:
In consultation, preferably around 1 January 2023.
Application deadline:
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and should be submitted as soon as possible. The call will be closed as soon as two suitable Ph.D. candidates are found. If you would like to be considered for one of the two positions, email us your CV and motivation letter. Informal inquiries are also welcome!
Ganna Rozhnova
University Medical Center Utrecht
Ana Nunes
Lisbon University

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