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PhD position in infectious diseases to work on a three-year national case-control study on Legionnaires’ disease in Switzerland.

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, services, and education and training at the local, national and interna-tional level. Over 800 people from more than 70 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.

Within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) the Household Economics and Health Systems Research Unit develops and applies economic, epidemiological, statistical and mathematical methods to advance innovation, validation, and application in the field of public health. To support our efforts in the area of infectious diseases and health systems research in Switzerland, the Household Health Systems Research group is offering a

PhD position in infectious diseases

to work on a three-year national case-control study on Legionnaires’ disease in Switzerland.

Legionnaires' disease is characterised by a severe pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella spp. The disease is notifiable in Switzerland; in recent years, case numbers are massively rising as seen in the statistics of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Our research group has been involved in the public health aspects of Legionnaire’s disease research since several years. To investigate this increase and uncover intrinsic and environmental risk factors, a prospective national case-control (under the acronym SwissLEGIO) is now conducted, financed by the FOPH.

The case- control study provides also the framework for Legionella spp. strain investigations using next generation sequencing among patients and with environmental samples.
The environmental component is synergistically linked to the “Legionella control in buildings” (LeCo) project, headed by the Eawag in a consortium with the Swiss TPH, the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne and the Cantonal Laboratory Zurich.

The PhD student will set-up, organise, manage and analyse the case-control study, and work at the intersection of SwissLEGIO and LeCo. Contributing to the sampling of environmental probes and interviewing is expected; interest in or pre-existing knowledge on NGS is an advantage.

To best fit into this exciting research landscape and team, we expect the following qualifica-tions:
• MSc degree in epidemiology, public health, or similar with a strong interest in infectious dis-eases, bacteria and drinking water hygiene
• Good grasp of statistical concepts and strong knowledge of Stata or R
• Strong communication skills in English (written and verbal), as well as one of the Swiss na-tional languages (German / French / Italian)
• Interest in project organisation and working in a team with research assistants
• Well organised, enthusiastic and initiative personality
• Willingness to travel within Switzerland

We offer an exciting position on a topic with high public health relevance, in an interesting, multi-stakeholder project and exposure to practical Swiss public health and public health actors. Swiss TPH is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.
Please submit your application online via the link provided below, including:
• CV
• Motivational letter
• MSc course transcripts including grades
• Reference letters if available
• Names and contact information (email or phone) of 2 references

Please note that we can only accept applications via our online recruiting tool (

Applications via e-mail or external recruiter will not be considered.


For further information, please call Prof. Daniel Mäusezahl; +41 61 284 81 78.

Job Profile:
Start Date: immediately or upon agreement
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Duration: limited contract of 3 years
Percentage: 100%
Travelling: yes, in Switzerland

PhD position
Swiss TPH
Closing date
February 25th, 2021
Posted on
January 25th, 2021 13:54
Last updated
January 25th, 2021 13:54