Disease Modeler / Senior Disease Modeler - Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland
Apr 04, 2021
May 01, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
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. Malaria is 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 to the forefront of the policy agenda the need to optimize deployment of interventions, based on understanding of countries' local malaria transmission and burden. In recent years, the availability and quality of malaria-relevant data have increased, encouraging countries to use evidence to make decisions, as promoted by the High Burden to High Impact initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute develops and applies epidemiological, statistical and mathematical methods to evaluate and predict malaria transmission and the impact of interventions in order to provide support National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) and their partners in their evidence-based decision-making processes.

The Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH), within the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, is seeking two highly motivated individuals (a disease modeler and a senior disease modeler) with strong analytical skills. The modelers will work within the Analytics and Intervention Modelling group 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.

In this position the modelers will lead the technical work for the methodological development and/or application of the modelling activities aimed at providing support to NMCPs in endemic countries as well as to their partners including donors and NGOs.

Your position
  • Design and implement statistical and mathematical modelling studies to evaluate the impact of malaria interventions at national and sub-national levels in multiple high-burden countries. Specifically, the modelling outputs will support:
  • Strategic and operational questions on implementation of malaria control interventions at subnational level by National Malaria Control Programs
  • Strategic decisions by major donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as the President Malaria Initiative
  • Lead iterative methodological development to support modelling and statistical need within the team and with other external collaborators
  • Collaborate with a technical team of disease modelers and epidemiologists toward project deliverables
  • Contribute to synthetize and communicate modelling outputs to diverse policy audiences and disseminate findings through high-quality presentations, reports and publications
  • Contribute to capacity building by developing and delivering high-quality workshops, training and teaching to diverse policy audiences and students
  • Any other tasks as required

Your profile

Essential Skills
  • PhD in epidemiology, ecology, biostatistics, biomathematics, bioinformatics, computational biology or any related discipline with strong quantitative component
  • 3+ years (disease modeler) / 5+ years (senior disease modeler) of experience related to the above responsibilities with increasing levels of responsibility and leadership
  • Demonstrated experience in infectious disease modelling (preferably malaria)
  • Demonstrated experience with fitting, calibration and sensitivity analyses methods for dynamical models e.g. Bayesian inference, optimization routine, surrogate models or others
  • Strong experience with programming in R, geospatial analysis and in cluster computing environments
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to improvise with a variety of quantitative approaches to solve complex problems despite unreliable data
  • Ability to work in teams, to adapt to new challenges and operate as part of a multi-cultural team
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills in English
  • Proven experience leading technical staff and delivering courses and training (for senior disease modeler)
  • Experience in working with and communicating to government officials and other partners, including academics, donors, Ministries of Health and other relevant stakeholders
  • Demonstrated experience in developing/applying vector and/or health system dynamics models
  • Experience working in fast-paced, output-oriented environments
  • Idealism, humility, and desire to see quantitative approaches make a difference in the world
  • Good intuition for the aesthetics and technical aspects of information visualization
  • Willingness to travel

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