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Cardiologie Erasmus MC

PhD candidate: improving early warning and control of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks caused by extreme weather in Uganda

The department of Public Health has a PhD position availiable for a candidate from Uganda.
  • Closing date 30-04-2024
  • 14.04.24.TG
  • 36 hours
  • Research university
  • Research & Education
  • Closing date 30-04-2024
  • 14.04.24.TG

Job description

Flooding and landslides due to extreme weather events have become frequent occurrences in Uganda, resulting in displacement of populations and humanitarian disasters. Flooding also creates favourable conditions for proliferation of mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as malaria, Rift Valley fever (RVF) and yellow fever (YF). In Uganda, malaria is one of the major national public health problems, whereas RVF is a viral disease that affects both livestock and humans, and YF is a deadly disease that has sporadically occurred in recent years. Outbreaks of these mosquito-borne diseases have proven difficult to anticipate and may occur unexpectedly. To improve the health system in Uganda to forecast and respond to impending outbreaks, a large international collaboration has been initiated by Malaria Consortium, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Netherlands Red Cross, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority, Uganda Red Cross Society, and the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

The PhD candidate's work will be part of the collaborative project "Improving early warning and control of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks caused by extreme weather in Uganda", funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR, United Kingdom). The work will include collecting data on past outbreaks and extreme weather conditions and studying whether and how they are associated. In particular, the PhD candidate will substantially contribute to the development of transmission models to forecast the risk of outbreaks of malaria, RVF, and YF as a results of extreme weather events. These forecasts will in turn be used as input for an on-line dashboard developed by “510”, a data and digital platform of Netherlands Red Cross. The work will be performed in close collaboration with the aforementioned institutes.

For the position advertised here, the candidate must be a Ugandan national, but will be based at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where they will be supervised by Assistant Professor Luc E. Coffeng and Professor Sake J. de Vlas as part of the research section Infectious Disease Control.

Work environment

At the department of Public Health, we are dedicated to improve population health at local, national and international level through excellent research and education. Our research is characterised as highly multidisciplinary and is focused on the development and use of innovative methods. Collaboration with and direct impact on practice and policy are at the heart of our work. Within the department, the research unit Infectious Disease Control is an internationally leading group in mathematical modelling of transmission and control of parasite, bacterial, and viral infections, with long-standing expertise in individual-based modelling.

Qualifications and skills

  • The position is offered to MSc graduates in Mathematics, Biostatistics, Medical Statistics and Econometrics, Epidemiology or a related field.
  • The candidate must be from Uganda.
  • Key skills that the candidate will be developing and working with are quantitative analysis (including individual-based modelling), setting up computational frameworks and pipelines (e.g. in R), scientific communication (oral and written), and interacting with stakeholders and experts from other disciplines.
  • We offer the opportunity for candidates to deepen their affinity and acquire further experience with applied Bayesian statistics, uncertainty quantification and propagation, cross-disciplinary communication, and efficiently exploring and adopting new subject matter.
  • The department highly supports candidates who want to further develop their skills in acquisition, leadership, goal-oriented working, creativity, initiative, engagement, vision, and visibility.
  • The candidate should have good command of the English language, both verbally and in writing (command of the Dutch language is not required). 

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

The PhD candidate is required to be based in The Netherlands. Working from home is possible for up to 3 days per week. Working in Uganda will be required for a few weeks per year, to undertake specific activities in collaboration with project partners in the country and to collect data during field visits.

  • You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.901,- in the 1st year and gradually increases to € 3.677,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • An International Office which aids you in preparing for you arrival and stay.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution. 
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Luc E. Coffeng, assistant professor, via

No agencies please.

Application proces

Application proces



Step 1 - Apply

Did we get you excited about this position? Submit your application through the application button. You will receive a confirmation of receipt from our recruiter right away.



Step 2 - Selection

Based on your application, we check to see if there is a fit between us. We will let you know as soon as possible whether you are invited for an interview.


Job interview

Step 3 - Job interview

You have been invited for an interview, great! In this first meeting we get to know each other and see if You can form an idea of the position, the department and Erasmus MC. If the interview goes well usually a second interview follows.


Offer and terms of employment

Step 4 - Offer and terms of employment

It’s a match! Your future manager will discuss your salary and employment with you. You will also receive more information about our other terms of employment.


Getting started

Step 5 - Getting started

Your first working day has come! We are more than happy to have you. Your new department will give you a warm welcome and provide you with all the information you need. Enjoy your job at Erasmus MC!

Contact me

Olivia Lindner

Olivia Lindner, Recruiter Erasmus MC
Erasmus MC

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Erasmus MC is an international leading academic hospital in Rotterdam. We are recognized as a world-class scientific research organization aiming to improve our understanding of diseases and disorders and helps to predict, treat and prevent them. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques. A working environment that gets the best out of people.

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