Vacancy: Postdoctoral fellow in Statistics and Pathogen Phylodynamics

Vacancy: Postdoc position in Statistics and Pathogen Phylodynamics

Fulltime (40 hours per week) – based in Amsterdam

The position

The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) seeks a talented researcher for a research project at the interface of Big Data, Statistics, and Public Health.

  • You will join an international, multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, the Amsterdam Health and Technology Institute (Ahti) and Imperial College London to exploit emerging Data Science technologies to address key questions in HIV prevention at the local level.
  • You will have the opportunity to develop statistical methods for disease mapping and phylogenetic analysis of viral sequence data, to apply these tools to novel data, to lead and present research output, and to contribute to policy implications.
  • You will benefit from regular research visits to Imperial College London as well as the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford, and further your research network across the boundaries of traditional disciplines.

The overall goal of this research project, with title “Roadmap to halt the spread of HIV among migrants in Amsterdam”, is to gain insight in transmission and acquisition of HIV, particularly among individuals with a migration background in Amsterdam.

The post holder will have strong quantitative skills, and a keen interest in expanding skills to use Bayesian modelling, branching process theory, and/or structured coalescent approaches during the project, as well as harness recent software developments brought by the Stan software and/or Tensorflow.

The study is embedded in the HIV Transmission Elimination AMsterdam (H-TEAM) Initiative, with a view on translating research outputs into HIV intervention practices as rapidly as possible. More broadly, the outcomes will be relevant for the UNAIDS cities initiative to fast-track elimination of HIV transmission (

The position is funded by the Dutch AIDS Fonds (grant number: P-29701) for a period of 18 months (fulltime). A substantial part of the work is performed in collaboration with Dr. Oliver Ratmann at the Statistics Section within the Department of Mathematics at the Natural Science faculty at Imperial College in London, with further input from Professor Christophe Fraser from the Big Data Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, at the University of Oxford.

The candidate is therefore expected to travel to and spend varying periods of time in the UK on a regular basis.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

  • Taking initiative in the planning of research;
  • Identifying and developing suitable techniques for molecular epidemiologic analyses, theoretical calculations and/or numerical simulations;
  • Conducting molecular epidemiologic analyses and interpretation thereof;
  • Checking and ensuring the validity and reliability of data at all times;
  • Maintaining accurate and complete records of all findings;
  • Attending relevant meetings;
  • Presenting findings to colleagues and at conferences;
  • Drafting and submitting publications to peer reviewed journals;
  • Drafting and submitting abstracts to relevant conferences;
  • Preparing materials for presentation in oral and poster formats;
  • Contributing to report writing for submission to research sponsors ;
  • Contributing to bids for research grants;
  • Taking responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research;
  • Attending relevant workshops and conferences as necessary;
  • Undertaking any necessary relevant training and/or development;
  • Undertaking any other (administrative) activities supporting the aforementioned research project;
  • Directing/Supervising the work of PhD, undergraduate and postgraduate students


The ideal candidate:

  • Holds a PhD, or is about to obtain a PhD, or equivalent level of professional qualifications and/or experience in statistics, mathematics, physics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, computer science or a closely related discipline;
  • Desires to develop and apply statistical methodology to questions of substantive public health importance;
  • Has a broad and strong background in statistical modelling;
  • Has excellent programming skills in R;
  • Is able to identify, develop and apply new mathematical concepts, techniques and statistical methods;
  • Is experienced with software development for statistical computing in R or python;
  • Has basic skills in using the UNIX command line and version control (e.g. github);
  • Is willing to travel to and spend varying periods of time in the UK as part of the project;
  • Is able to organise and prioritise own work with minimal supervision and in response to deadlines;
  • Is experienced in carrying out original quantitative research of high quality, independently and in a team.

AIGHD offers

AIGHD offers an excellent job opportunity in a cutting edge working environment in global health and development and a salary in line with prevailing sector standards. AIGHD has a fulltime workweek of 40 hours, 25 days leave annually, an attractive collective pension plan and a very comprehensive collective health insurance scheme. The position is based at the office of AIGHD in Amsterdam, with varying periods of time spent in the UK.

Please send your application (including CV and letter of motivation) to HR Support at AIGHD

Deadline: 16th of September 2019.


The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health & Development (AIGHD) is a research and education institute with a mission to address challenges in global health and development by conducting collaborative interdisciplinary research, generating insights and solutions, and educating the next generation of global health leaders.

AIGHD conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research prioritizing infectious disease elimination, antimicrobial drug resistance, chronic care & ageing, urbanization & health, health markets, and economics of human development. It aims to educate and inspire the next generation of global health leaders at undergraduate, post-graduate and professional levels to shape a healthier and more prosperous future for all. AIGHD aspires to accelerate progress on global health objectives by sharing knowledge and insights with global agencies, governments, NGOs, and the scientific community.

No (recruitment) agencies please