We are recruiting a PDF to lead a project on HIV and syphilis co-transmission modeling in Ontario and modeling studies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our research lab in Mathematical Modeling for Program Science at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions (MAP), St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) is recruiting for a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellow (PDF) in HIV Transmission Modeling. Our lab develops data-driven mathematical models as experimental frameworks for the strategic design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of public health programs to control HIV/STI epidemics. We generate new, actionable knowledge in the service of HIV/STI prevention and care at a population-level. The research program is led by Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, in close collaboration with the HIV Clinical Prevention Unit and the Centre for excellence in Economic Analysis (CLEAR) at St. Michael’s Hospital, and with investigators, community-based organizations, and public health programs across Canada and in the following countries: India, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, and South Africa. We collaborate with investigators in Canada (in particular, the Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba); United States (Key Populations Program, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins University); and United Kingdom (Imperial College and Bristol University). Our lab members and collaborators are passionate about making a difference with their unique skills and perspectives within a diverse team, and are working together on what they love to do.

We are recruiting a motivated PDF with exceptional analytic, critical thinking, scientific writing, and leadership skills to independently lead data-driven mathematical modeling projects within a growing team of mathematical modelers, statisticians, epidemiologists, and students. The fellowship involves working in close collaboration with communities and persons with lived experience, such as persons living with HIV; and with investigators, public health teams, program implementers, and community members in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) and across socio-cultural contexts. The CIHR-funded projects led by the PDF will leverage a range of existing survey and program implementation data to develop, parameterize, and calibrate mathematical models of HIV/STI transmission. Specifically, the candidate will have the opportunity to lead a project centered around HIV and syphilis co-transmission modeling in Ontario; and to lead modeling studies examining the potential impact of tailored HIV interventions among key populations across geo-social contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa. The fellowship will involve short-term travel to LMIC where our wider team of collaborators and knowledge-users are based - to lead activities directly related to projects and engage in research capacity-building activities with partners. Candidates should be enthusiastic about collaborative and interdisciplinary research, supporting ongoing projects in the lab, and training and mentoring students. Successful candidates will demonstrate excellent scientific communication skills, and have expertise in mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

This is a 1 year fellowship with opportunity for renewal for up to 3 years, and is designed to provide advanced modeling, interdisciplinary mentorship, and networking opportunities for exceptional candidates to lead into their independent scientific careers in academia, public and global health, or industry.

• Develop and modify existing mathematical models of HIV and syphilis transmission
• Parameterize and fit models to observed data:
o Conduct relevant literature review for model parameters, and work with individual-level data from multiple sources to generate calibration targets and probability distributions for parameter priors
o Use statistical optimization techniques (e.g. maximum likelihood estimation) for model fitting
• Lead, prepare, and present findings via peer-reviewed publications; scientific and stakeholder presentations; and technical reports and evidence briefs tailored to different audiences
• Effectively design and manage projects, and organize competing priorities in order to deliver projects within established time frames
• Contribute to reusable model and analysis code for use by the applicant and the team
• Chair research meetings (in-person or virtual)
• Lead, co-lead, and participate in research operating grants
• Support research processes (e.g., produce background material for grant submission, review research ethics applications and subcontracts)
• Communicate with research, policy, program, and community partners
• Facilitate and provide mentorship to partners in LMIC during manuscript writing and analyses workshops via research capacity-building activities
• Train and co-supervise students

• A PhD in Mathematical Epidemiology, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Ecology, Biostatistics, Health Economics, and/or related discipline
• Demonstrated training/expertise in developing, fitting, and analyzing infectious disease transmission models – required
• Demonstrated expertise developing and coding at least one of: compartmental models (deterministic or stochastic) or individual-based models – required
• Advanced proficiency in at least one scripting language (R, Python, Matlab) – required
• Proficiency in at least one programming language (C/C++, Java, etc.) – an asset
• Strong analytical skills and advanced proficiency in the use of at least one statistical software program (R preferred; Stata, SAS, Python) – required
• Experience using version control software (Git, GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket) and documentation tools (Sphinx, Doxygen) – an asset
• Experience with distributed computing (Compute Canada / SciNet) – an asset
• Excellent scientific writing and editing skills – required
• Minimum 3 peer-reviewed publications and/or reports to policy-makers, non-governmental agencies, etc. where the candidate contributed to >75% of the writing as first author or co-author (submitted publications acceptable) – required
• Previous experience in protocol development, grant writing, and making presentations to scientific audiences – required
• Experience using data from various sources of data as parameters or calibration targets in mathematical modeling studies, and demonstrated understanding of various sources of biases in data – required
• Excellent verbal communication skills – especially in communicating complex analytics to a variety of stakeholders – required
• Excellent written communication and documentation of code (comments) and analyses (working appendix) – required
• Demonstrated ability to work both independently, and as part of a team in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research environment – required
• Experience in HIV/STI research – an asset
• Collaboration in, or experience working with, economic evaluations – an asset
• Previous work in LMIC for fieldwork and to support data-collection – an asset

• Aptitudes for accuracy, reproducibility, and details
• Work collaboratively with internal team members (including students), external stakeholders, and with persons with lived experience and communities affected by HIV/STIs and other infectious diseases
• Motivated, self-starting, with strong time management and project coordination skills
• Ability to understand and interpret complex study analysis plans
• Enthusiasm for self-directed learning and to adapt new analytic approaches and tools relevant to research questions
• Ability to multi-task, work accurately and effectively under pressure, meet deadlines, and remain composed in high-pressure situations
• Experience working or volunteering in low and middle-income countries – preferred
• Flexible to work beyond the job description at times as work demands
• Logical, excellent decision making and independent problem-solving skills
• Superior organizational skills to manage and prioritize workload

APPLICATION NOTES: Please apply via the SMH portal and include (i) a cover letter outlining why this position is of interest, including relevant training, skills, and career goals as an attachment; (ii) and an updated CV as an attachment.
Please email your transcript (unofficial or official) from all graduate training; an example of your writing (e.g. first author publication); and a snippet of code written for prior analyses, in any statistical language directly to Kristy Yiu yiuc@smh.ca.

• MAP: http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/research-programs/urban-health-solutions/
• Sharmistha Mishra: http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/researchers/sharmistha-mishra/
• CLEAR: http://www.hubresearch.ca/
• HIV Clinical Prevention Unit: http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/researchers/darrell-tan/

The SMH research enterprise strives to achieve equity and fairness within our community. SMH Corporate Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Violence in the Workplace states that “St. Michael's Hospital is committed to providing a work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and violence, where the dignity and self-esteem of every individual is respected.” More information on the policy is available on the intranet: http://cpps/Default.aspx?cid=418&lang=1

St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Toronto
Closing date
June 23rd, 2019
Posted on
March 26th, 2019 20:11
Last updated
March 29th, 2019 18:15