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Postdoc in computational disease modelling for sustainable One Health actions in animal production systems



Grønnegårdsvej 15, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Danmark

ID: 2611050
Indrykket for 34 dage siden
We are looking for a motivated candidate for a 3-year research position as a postdoc with responsibility for the development of a flexible, cutting-edge computational modelling framework to measure and simulate association between system components. The candidate will conduct stress tests on systems to evaluate compliance with new livestock farming environmental regulations and contribute to the development of R packages and transboundary spread models.

The position is to be filled by 1 October 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. You will be part of the Research group “Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Animal Health Economics (TIPTON)”, in the Section: Animal Welfare and Disease Control, at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen.


The position is advertised as a post-doctoral researcher in the Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control at the University of Copenhagen. Employees in this section are involved in veterinary contingency tasks, research and capacity building projects, and often work in direct collaboration with the livestock sector. These tasks and projects typically involve analysis of big and complex datasets, data management, risk assessment, statistical and/or simulation modelling of disease spread in livestock, impacts of mitigation measures, and associated economic evaluations. Furthermore, the employees support projects in other sections within the Department. The new colleague will be assigned to the TIPTON research group (Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Animal Health Economics).

More information about the section and the group can be found here: https://ivh.ku.dk/forskning/dyrevelfaerd-og-sygdomsbekaempelse/

Job description

The successful candidate will develop flexible, cutting-edge computational methods related to sustainable One Health actions in animal production systems, including the development of R packages and new mathematical methods to link animal production with other systems. Additionally, the candidate will develop transboundary disease spread models at the EU level. This includes the development of data pipelines between different European countries, with a focus on the standardization and harmonization of data sources. Very strong computational programming skills including experience in the development of R packages are required. Tasks will require handling big and complex datasets, identifying associations between systems through Bayesian statistics and other methods (e.g., causal discovery) and deploying them into self-contained R packages. These functions will provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between systems components related to disease spread and identify sustainable One Health actions. This work will require drawing from a variety of theories, fields, and methodological approaches, including but not limited to the following:

  • Machine learning methods
  • Disease spread simulation
  • Causal discovery
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Stress tests on systems take into account new environmental regulations for livestock farmers’ including production functions
  • Optimisation algorithms
The modelling framework will become publicly available for our society as an R package that will allow users to:

  • Identify the probability, magnitudes, and directions of associations between systems related to animal health in changing environments.
  • Adjust and avoid double counting of impacts across interconnected systems.
  • Access a suite of automatised cross-sectional cutting-edge methodologies scaled to different geospatial levels (e.g., farm, sector, country, region, etc.) and systems components with consideration for changing environments including regulations and intervention measures across systems.
  • Identify impactful and sustainable One Health actions
The R package will also include sample datasets across systems, with the possibility for users to upload their own datasets, to simulate various scenarios across systems, compare static equilibriums, and optimize related functions subject to a variety of potential constraints.

Other tasks may arise during the appointment!

Required qualifications and selection criteria

The applicant should hold the professional as well as personal skills and qualifications stated below:

  • A completed PhD degree in Computer science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Applied Statistics, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine or a related field
  • Strong programming skills in R and other languages (Java, Julia, Rust would be desirable) including working with big and complex datasets
  • Experience in the development of R packages
  • Strong data management skills
  • Knowledge in One Health related to animal production and associated sustainable transformation processes including environmental regulation at the EU and national level
  • Experience with animal health, environmental, climate and economic data
  • Experience with data-driven animal disease spread models
  • Experience using version control systems (e.g. GitHub or GitLab repositories)
  • Good communication skills in English (both oral and written)
  • Good collaboration skills and ability to work within a team
Place of employment

The AWD Section is located on Frederiksberg Campus of University of Copenhagen. Our research environment is highly international and stimulating. We frequently organize seminars, workshops, summer schools with international speakers and have retreats with our international collaborators.

Terms of employment
The weekly working hours are on average 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of three years. The starting date is 1 October 2024 or after agreement.

Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at 38,500 DKK/approx. 5,100 EUR (April 2024 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Dr. Priv. Doz. Beate Conrady [email protected] and/or Assistant Professor Philip Rasmussen [email protected].

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure

Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  4. List of publications, clearly divided into peer reviewed journal papers and other papers
  5. Relevant scientific works that the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment (up to 3 relevant publications or other material that supports the fit to the advertised position)
Deadline for applications: Sunday 2 June 2024, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider materials received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 27 and 28.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

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