PhD or MD-PhD student in childhood asthma and cough
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at University of Bern

The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (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 behavioural health, biostatistics, and international and environmental health.

The Paediatric Epidemiology Research Group conducts population-based and clinical studies in child health, focusing on respiratory disorders and cancer.

Asthma and chronic cough are common in childhood. While most children have transient problems, others develop chronic disease continuing into adulthood. It is difficult to predict which children are at risk of a chronic course. In a collaborative project with the Children's hospitals in Aarau, Basel, Bern, Chur, Lausanne, Luzern, St.Gallen, and Zurich we created a national clinical prospective cohort including now 3000 children visiting respiratory outpatient clinics: the Swiss Paediatric Airway Cohort (SPAC).

In your PhD, you will help to manage and shape the SPAC study.
Together with other PhD and Master students, you will collect parental questionnaires and results from medical investigations (lung function and allergy tests) from the clinics, and send follow-up questionnaires to families. You will have an active role in managing the study by communicating with paediatricians and patients, organising mailings and supervising research assistants.

You will use this unique database to answer relevant research questions on childhood asthma and cough. In a team of epidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians and PhD students, you will learn different statistical approaches to distinguish disease phenotypes, and predict disease course, present your results at international meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.

The job is an ideal preparation for a research career in a clinical setting (paediatric teaching hospital), in a University, or in a public health institution, and counts as medical training in Paediatrics or Public Health. Teaching is organised via the graduate schools of the University of Bern ( and
Applicants should have a university degree (MD, MSc or equivalent) in medicine or a related field (biology, biostatistics, public health, psychology etc.) and a strong interest in child health and epidemiology. Previous experience in paediatric pulmonology is of advantage. You should be keen to learn statistical methods. The position requires fluency in both German and English, knowledge of French would be an asset.
The position is available immediately. PhD salary rates of the Swiss National Science Foundation apply. If you look for an exciting PhD position in a highly motivated team, please send your CV with motivation letter to Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Kuehni ( and Cristina Ardura-Garcia ( For further information, please contact us by e-mail. Please send you application as soon as possible, ideally by August 23rd 2021.