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PhD position in infectious disease modeling and machine learning for monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in near real-time

The Interfaculty Platform for Data and Computational Science (INPUT) at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to work on a research project funded by the Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID, at the University of Bern. The overall aim of the project is to develop and validate an innovative framework for monitoring epidemic trends of SARS-CoV-2 in near real-time by integrating indirect data sources, such as hospital patient records and social contact data. Under the supervision of Dr. Julien Riou and Dr. Christian Althaus, you will:

  • Develop a transmission model that integrates multiple data sources in a Bayesian framework
  • Apply machine learning methods to determine indicators and early warning signals in hospital patient records that can predict the epidemic dynamics of SARS-CoV-2
  • Write publications and present your results at international conferences

Qualifications and skills:

  • Strong quantitative skills with a MSc degree in a relevant discipline (computational biology, epidemiology, biostatistics, mathematics, physics, data science, or a similar field)
  • Good programming skills in R
  • Experience with Stan, Git, Markdown, TeX, and high-performance computing is desirable
  • Background in infectious disease modeling, Bayesian inference, and/or machine learning (e.g., NLP) will be an advantage
  • Good oral and written communication in English

The PhD position is available immediately and funded for 3 years. The salary is according to the doctoral student scale of the Swiss National Science Foundation. The ISPM at the University of Bern offers an international, multidisciplinary, and highly stimulating environment. It encourages independence and flexible working models.

For further information about the project, please contact Dr. Julien Riou ( or Dr. Christian Althaus (

To apply for this position, send a letter explaining your current skills, skills that you would like to develop for this project, why you are suited to the position, and your future career plans, together with your CV in one PDF file to and by 31 March 2022.

PhD position
University of Bern
Closing date
March 31st, 2022
Posted on
February 15th, 2022 16:20
Last updated
February 15th, 2022 16:20