Call for a PhD or Postdoc on Epidemic models with ISGlobal


Call for a PhD or Postdoctoral Position on Epidemic models at the Climate and Health Group (code: ISGTipESM1)

The Climate and Health Group (ICREA Professor Xavier Rodó) invites applications for a postdoctoral position (exceptional PhD candidates may also be considered) in the area of mathematical modelling of zoonotic spillovers and the epidemiological dynamics of communicable diseases. The position is fulltime available immediately and for a fixed-term period of 24 months with the possibility of extensions pending on successful evaluations. 

We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a degree (PhD) in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, meteorology or theoretical ecology. A broad interest in natural sciences and more specifically in ecology is essential. We are looking for candidates motivated by science with the ability to run simulations and eventually help develop code and to integrate scientific knowledge into numerical schemes.

About the postdoctoral position: 

Zoonotic spillovers where pathogens jump across species are responsible for major human pandemics, such as the recent SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible of COVID-19 or the influenza A(H1N1) virus responsible for the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic. Understanding the factors responsible for these cross-species transmissions is a current topic of intense research. Recently, it has been demonstrated how the increased human pressure on otherwise pristine tropical rainforest ecosystems through deforestation, increase urbanisation in forested areas and the rising pressure of climate change is making those potential human-animal encounters more likely, long-lasting and frequent. The overall work we are conducting within the EU-funded TipESM project is seeking to understand how collapses in the main Earth's biodiversity hotspots due to global warming or to tipping points in the Earth system may influence those events. 

Similarly, recent studies published point to a contraction of malaria-prone regions in Africa due to the rising in continental temperatures beyond the optimal conditions for vector livability. The studies to be conducted aim to either challenge those results or eventually confirm. This recruitment targets the following specific directions:
  • Develop mathematical models describing disease dynamics and the impact of interventions using deterministic models, stochastic compartmental models, and individual-based models
  • Use simulations from an ecosystem model of the Amazon to feed mathematical disease models or ecological niche models.
  • Develop new projections for malaria changes in Africa under different global warming scenarios.
  • Review and validate different approaches and existing models
  • Publish research findings in scientific journals and present them at major medical/scientific meetings
Preferred qualifications:
  • A Ph.D. degree in a quantitatively-oriented field, such as mathematical epidemiology, theoretical physics, or applied mathematics from a reputable and ranked western institution.
  • Robust research experience in mathematical modelling and building different kinds of models. 
  • Experience in analytical and quantitative methods, such as deterministic and stochastic differential equations, integral equations, nonlinear dynamics, probability theory, and stochastic processes
  • Extensive experience in scientific computing involving programming, numerical analysis, symbolic and logical analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, and computer graphics
  • Experience in Matlab, Mathematica, Python and R
  • Experience with statistical data analysis of large databases
The position is available from mid-March and will remain open until filled with a review of applications every two weeks.

Expected tasks

Candidates will be expected to lead modeling and data analysis projects and contribute to articles and proposal writing. Prior research experiences and strong interest in infectious diseases modeling, stochastic computational modeling, and experience with ecological niche modeling are required for this position. Additional desirable skills and experience include one or more of the following: animal disease epidemiology, model fitting/calibration to empirical data, and/or advanced statistical analyses. Candidates will need to work independently and as effective members of multidisciplinary collaborative teams.

The application should include:
  • A personal letter (max 3 pages) where the applicant describes her/himself in relation to the above-described requirements, a motivation to why the applicant is interested in the position and a short description of the candidate’s research interests
  • CV with academic qualifications and publication list.
  • Copy of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates.
  • Contact information of two to three reference persons
  • Other relevant documents.
Contract conditions:
  • Salary is commensurate with Spanish standards and offered up to Postdoctoral level A or B ISGlobal salary scale depending on the qualifications.
  • You will have up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days « Reduction of Working Time »
  • You can benefit with a large number of days of remote working days per year (weekly presence requested)
Applications and inquiries should be sent to: 
Ms Esther Brinquis (; 
Qualified applications will be reviewed upon receiving starting on March 10. Due to the large number of applications only shortlisted candidates will be notified

This position is funded by TipESM, a project funded by the European Union. TipESM is funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe Funding Programme for research and innovation under GA Nr. 101137673. 

    EU Flag TipESM is funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe Funding Programme for research and innovation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.