We have an open position for a PhD student at the Veterinary Public Health Institute in Bern (Switzerland) to fill.
PhD Studentship in Syndromic Surveillance
Applications are invited for a three years PhD studentship in epidemiology/biostatistics within the VPH Institute, Vetsuisse, University of Bern (Switzerland). The VPHI was founded in 2009 and is jointly funded by the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (FVO). We focus on applied research on the surveillance of animal health and zoonoses, modeling of infectious diseases, risk assessments and have a wide range of ongoing collaborative projects with both Swiss and international research institutes.
This studentship, funded by the FVO, is to work on the research project “Development of algorithms for real-time syndromic surveillance to enhance early detection of emerging and re-emerging zoonoses”. The main goal of the project is to contribute to the development of a system for early detection of emerging and re-emerging diseases in Switzerland by using syndromic data already available for livestock, and by applying pattern recognition algorithms to produce alerts when such pre-selected events occur more often than expected by chance. Many classes of algorithms have already been developed to detect aberrations in different types of health-related data. The core part of the PhD project will consist of reviewing existing syndromic surveillance methodologies, testing and selecting pattern recognition algorithms on the basis of their suitability to the syndromic data available in Switzerland and validating/evaluating the performance of the selected algorithms through retrospective analyses of historical disease outbreaks or using simulations.
This project is at the interface of public health, statistics and computational biology, and as such we are looking for a candidate with a strong interest and appreciation of both biology and applied mathematics. While there may be opportunities to spend some time abroad working with our European collaborators, this project will be mostly desk based and will require a high degree of computer literacy, in particular programming in R and working with complex databases. A Masters degree (in epidemiology, biostatistics or veterinary public health) or equivalent training, as well as good English communication skills (written and oral) are required. We are particularly keen to find a candidate with good abilities to translate complex quantitative output into practical answers to the problems faced by animal health specialists. Knowledge of German or French is not essential but would be an asset.
The position is available from January 2012 and will remain open until filled. Salary will be according to Swiss National Science Fundation guidelines and will start at 41’400 CHF in the first year. Application letters including a current CV along with a covering letter and the names and addresses of two referees should be sent electronically to our secretary Susanne Lerch ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
For inquiries, contact the project leaders Flavie Vial ( email@example.com ) or Martin Reist ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
The advertisement for this position can also be viewed on http://www.jobs.unibe.ch/detail.asp?ID=4883&KatID=2
Dr Flavie Vial
Veterinary Public Health Institute
DCR-VPH, Vetsuisse Fakultät