PhD position: Modeling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

PhD position Infectious Disease Modeling
Employment - 48 months (fully funded)
Number of hours per week - 36 hours


Are you interested in using analytical and computational approaches to solve public health problems such as the spread of sexually transmitted infections? And do you have an MSc degree in a technical field? Then we have an exciting position for you!

Job Content:

As the successful candidate for this position, you will be studying dynamics and control of sexually transmitted infections (HIV, monkeypox, hepatitis C, etc.) using infectious disease modeling.

The PhD project will focus on exploring the main drivers, heterogeneity in transmission dynamics and the mechanisms of transmission of sexually transmitted infections in different settings and/or for different types of contacts in the population of men who have sex with men, subpopulation of men who have sex with men with HIV, and in the general population. The modeling will be performed using agent-based models, however, other approaches might prove useful as well. Simulation models will be applied to investigate the effectiveness of a variety of possible control policies, including ring vaccination, venue-based vaccination, alternative contact-tracing protocols or sexual partner notification services, communication campaigns in high-risk populations, vaccination of high-risk communities, etc. The interventions will be assessed for different stages of the epidemic with the aim to inform potential early containment, control, and/or elimination.

The PhD position is fully funded by the EU research consortium VERDI which involves more than 25 partners in Europe and around the world.


In this position, you will work and be supervised by Dr. Ganna Rozhnova in the Julius Center at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. You will become part of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group led by Prof. Marc Bonten and Infectious Disease Modeling Group led by Prof. Mirjam Kretzschmar with numerous scientific activities, including group meetings, seminars, workshops, etc. There will be a possibility to collaborate with group members and other partners on the project and to attend international conferences including a 4-week NORDITA Program in Stockholm in June 2023. In the last years of PhD studies, there will be an opportunity to get involved in the co-supervision of MSc students and teaching.


We are seeking for a PhD candidate with an interest in using analytical and computational approaches to solve biological problems. The PhD position requires prior training in mathematics, computer science, or another technical field. The preference will be given to candidates who have the following skills and qualifications:
• completed MSc in a technical field (Mathematics, Physics, Theoretical Biology, Computer Science, etc)
• knowledge of mathematical analysis, differential equations, probability theory
• knowledge of programming languages (Python, C/C++, Matlab, or equivalent)
• ability to work with real databases, analyze data, interpret, and present results
• excellent verbal and written communication skills; our working language is English
• good organizational and interpersonal skills
• fluency in written and spoken English is required, and fluency in Dutch is an plus

Conditions of employment
The monthly salary is according to the standard conditions for PhD students in the Netherlands, based on the Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) Dutch University Medical Centers. In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. This is a temporary appointment for four years. The position is available as of 1 February 2023.

For more information or to apply, please contact

Dr. Ganna Rozhnova
University Medical Center Utrecht

To apply, include your CV, a letter of motivation, a list of the courses you followed with grades, and the names of two referees. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and should be submitted as soon as possible. The call may be closed before the deadline if a suitable PhD candidate is found. Informal inquiries are welcome!

PhD position
Utrecht University
The Netherlands
Closing date
February 7th, 2023
Posted on
January 17th, 2023 18:47
Last updated
January 17th, 2023 18:47