PhD fellowship in epidemiological modelling of mosquito borne disease transmission at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Copenhagen University
May 21, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term position
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

We are offering a PhD fellowship in in mathematical modelling of the transmission potential of emerging zoonotic mosquito borne infections in Denmark commencing 15 September 2024.

Our group and research The applicant will be working in the Vector Group within the Group of Epidemiology and Disease Control at the Section of Animal Welfare and Disease Control situated at the historic Frederiksberg Campus in Copenhagen City. Apart from the Epidemiology group, the section also consist of research groups in ethology, bioethics, health economics, One Health and genetics.

Information about the Department can be found at: https: //

Project description

Emerging vector borne diseases constitutes a rapidly growing risk to health and welfare of people, farm animals and wildlife in Denmark and in the rest of Europe. Presently West Nile virus, Usutu virus, Bluetongue virus serotype 3 and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease virus are all expected to emerge in southern Scandinavia in the coming years. Globalization, climate change and establishment of new exotic vector species are identified as key drivers of the recent outbreaks of Dengue fever, malaria, Bluetongue virus, Lumpy Skin disease and West Nile virus in Europe. However, additional mosquito borne infections may spread to Denmark and Southern Scandinavia.

Quantitative mathematical models of insect borne disease transmission can help predict the geographical extend of outbreaks, provide early warning and forecast the risk of introduction of new pathogens, guide surveillance activities (risk based surveillance) and identify potential preventive measures and control options. Models of vector borne diseases requires a good understanding of the epidemiological mechanisms and the vector biology, vector dynamics in space and time, the distribution of hosts and reservoir hosts and on how weather, especially temperature and extreme rainfall events, affects vector biting rates, vector survival rates and the development rates of the different pathogens in the vectors. Many of these parameters values are available from the scientific literature or from the research groups ongoing vector surveillance programs e.g. www.

The aim of the project is to develop basic mechanistic mathematical models to estimate the potential transmission intensity of various pathogens (number of infectious bites that may arise from each infected host). The project aims to produce 10 specific models for mosquito borne pathogens affecting public health (West Nile virus, Usutu virus, Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis, Venezuelan-, Western- and Eastern equine encephalitis, Sindbis virus, Inkoo and mosquito borne tularemia). The models will be predominantly mechanistic rather than statistic, hence rather than fitting models to existing transmission data, the aim is to develop models that mimic the actual biological processes step for step. The emphasis is therefore on biology and epidemiology and not on statistics and advanced programming.

The PhD project will also be closely associated with a larger EU funded international research effort on West Nile virus surveillance (OH4Surveillance) with partners in Denmark and Europe.

Principal supervisor is research group leader René Bødker, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, [email protected] +45 25476974

Start: Date 15th September 2024

Duration: 3 years as a PhD student

Job description Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.

  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.

  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
  • Key criteria for the assessment of applicants Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master's degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. MSc in Veterinary Science, Biology, Animal Science, or similar. Please note that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (two years).

    Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in quantitative disease epidemiology and transmission mechanisms
  • Language skills
  • Place of employment

    The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to large databases with environmental, meteorological and animal data and other relevant epidemiological parameters.

    Terms of employment The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

    The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 15 September 2024.

    The employment is conditioned upon the applicant's success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

    The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty's rules on achieving the degree.

    Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 30,700 DKK/Roughly 4,100 EUR (April 2024 level) plus pension.

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

    General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School's website: https: //

    Application procedure Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now' below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format:

    1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

    2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

    3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: https: // assessments/assessment-database. Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

    4. Publication list (if possible)

    Application deadline: 21 May 2024, 23.59pm CET

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

    The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

    Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

    You find information about the recruitment process at: https: //

    The applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    Interviews are expected to be held in week 26-27.

    The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news