Computational statistician / R developer

Nov 20, 2020
Dec 20, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Computational statistician / R developer

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, services, and education and training at the local, national and international level. About 850 people from more than 80 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.

Our Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) is seeking a highly motivated individual with strong analytical and technical skills to work within the Infectious Disease Modelling Unit to help design evidence-based strategic plans by providing analytical evidence and support execution of high-impact programs to ensure countries reduce their malaria burden.

Computational statistician / R developer

Today, malaria is still one of the world's most important causes of mortality and morbidity, mainly affecting countries in low endemic areas. Over the last decade, substantial progress has been made globally in reducing malaria burden through increased coverage with vector control interventions and improved access to diagnosis and treatment. However, the funding has recently plateaued, pushing the need to optimize the setting specific deployment of interventions to the forefront of the policy agenda. Furthermore, the availability and quality of malaria-relevant data have increased in recent years, encouraging countries to use evidence to make decisions. Such evidence-based decision making is also promoted by the High Burden to High Impact initiative, which has been launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). Swiss TPH develops and applies epidemiological, statistical and mathematical methods to evaluate and predict malaria transmission and the impact of interventions in order to provide support to National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) and their partners.

Our modelling team mainly uses OpenMalaria as simulation platform to develop methodologies to evaluate the impact of malaria interventions. OpenMalaria has been developed and is maintained at Swiss TPH. In this position, you will have a key position between modelers and the simulation platform. You will improve, standardize and maintain workflows of how modelers should use the core platform. You will design, implement and teach code development methods, and provide technical support to the team. Your initiative and creativity will shape the way we work and will be a crucial component to boost team productivity and enhance production readiness. A strong technical aptitude is essential.

Your position

  • Design and implement R functions to improve, standardize and maintain the workflow which our modelers depend on to simulate the transmission and burden of malaria in various endemic countries
  • Collaborate with modelers to define functional needs and implement new features for the analysis workflow
  • Integrate and maintain these functions in R packages according to best coding practices (CI/CD, testing etc.) to standardize analyses and workflows
  • Train and support team members and partners on the workflow and developed packages
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with developers of the main simulation platform

  • Calibrate mathematical malaria transmission models and conduct simulations of the impact of malaria transmission and burden for national and sub-national analyses in multiple high-burden countries
  • Provide support to infectious disease modelers and epidemiologists for their research, analyses and other needs towards project deliverables
  • Any other tasks as required

Your profile
  • Master's degree in a relevant technical discipline, such as Computer Science, Statistics, Informatics, Information Systems, or 3+ years of experience in a relevant role
  • Proficiency in R with demonstrated experience of writing R packages
  • Knowledge of Unis and GIT is required; experience in C++, testthat / runit, devtools, Gitlab CICD / Travis CI, roxygen2, renv / packrat, Python, Windows 10 would be beneficial
  • Strong interest in applying computational approaches to support epidemiological questions
  • Hands-on experience with conducting and analysing computer simulations
  • Demonstrated experience in computational management, high performance computing, high volume datasets, data-algorithm and statistical processes
  • Previous experience with geospatial modelling and machine learning would be beneficial
  • Detail-oriented with excellent organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in teams, adapt to new challenges and operate as part of a multi-cultural team
  • Experience working in fast-paced, output-oriented environments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

The position will be open for a limited amount of time and will be closed as soon as the right candidate is found.

Therefore, we encourage applicants to submit their application as soon as possible. As long as the position is

published on the website of Swiss TPH it is still open.


For additional information about the position contact Emilie Pothin (+41 61 284 87 37).

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