PhD student in Climate Epidemiology, University of Bern
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

A fully funded PhD position (3-4 years) is open for an enthusiastic young researchers to work in the Climate Change and Health research group at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM, https://www.ispm.unibe.ch) and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR, www.oeschger.unibe.ch) of the University of Bern (UniBe) in Bern, Switzerland.

The PhD student will conduct research on an interdisciplinary project on the effect of compound events on human health. The aim of the PhD project is to advance knowledge on the role of humidity on the effect of heat on health. It is intended to be an interdisciplinary PhD project to be developed under the supervision of Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera (epidemiologist, research group leader Climate Change & Health, ISPM, UniBe), Prof. Olivia Romppainen-Martius (Prof. Climate Impact Research, Institute of Geography, UniBe) and Prof. Stefan Brönnimann (Unit Leader Climatology, Institute of Geography, UniBe). In particular, the project will combine methods in climate modelling to assess exposure to historical and future extreme heat events (heat and humid) at regional and local level (i.e. urban heat island), with advanced methodologies in epidemiology to quantify the combined effects of heat and high humidity on mortality and other health outcomes.

Period: Fixed-term contract for 3 years, starting January 2022 (negotiable).

Salary: Swiss NSF PhD Fellowship (47,000 to 50,000 CHF, 100%).

Place: University of Bern, Switzerland

Apply no later than: 10th October 2021

ISPM at University of Bern performs research in a range of disciplines relevant to public health. Groups cut across divisions, facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to research in the fields of clinical epidemiology, social and behavioral health, biostatistics, and international and environmental health. The OCCR at the University of Bern is a unique interdisciplinary research center combining worldwide experts from different fields working on climate change research.

The Climate Change & Human Health research group (https://www.ispm.unibe.ch/research/research_groups/) develops research along the intersection between epidemiology and climate sciences to understand how different climate factors and other related environmental stressors affect health in the context of climate change. In particular, the research interests concern the evaluation of adaptation strategies, mitigation policies and air pollution co-benefits. The team also focuses on the development of new methodologies in projections of climate change impacts, health effects of compound events and detection and attribution studies. The team is member of the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research.

Responsibilities of the successful candidate include:
  • Collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of epidemiologists, statisticians and climate modellers.
  • Contribute to the design and conduct of epidemiological research projects.
  • Clean and analyse large observational databases using standard and advanced statistical methods.
  • Present own work at international conferences and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Requirements:
  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research in the areas of epidemiology, climate science and impact modelling.
  • Master's degree in a relevant discipline - ECTS 120-90 (e.g. climate science, mathematics/statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology).
  • Experience in statistical analysis and programming techniques in R.
  • The ability to work efficiently, independently and with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Excellent knowledge of English, written and spoken.
We offer:
  • An international, interdisciplinary and dynamic academic environment.
  • Enrolment in the OCCR and the Graduate School of Climate Sciences (https://www.climatestudies.unibe.ch) of the University of Bern. It would provide excellent networking opportunities and the possibility to attend courses.
  • Salary according to the pay scales of the Swiss National Science Foundation for PhD students.
For further information on the position, please contact Dr Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera (anamaria.vicedo@ispm.unibe.ch). Please send your application (in ONE pdf) to hr@ispm.unibe.ch with copy to Dr Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera (anamaria.vicedo@ispm.unibe.ch). Applications must be in English and include a (1) curriculum vitae (1 page), (2) a cover letter with a personal statement describing your suitability and motivation, and 2 contacts for references, (3) e-copy of the Master thesis or an outline. Candidates will be short-listed for an interview (during the first two weeks of November 2021).


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