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4-Year PhD Programme in Epidemiology, Evolution and Control of Infectious Diseases (1+3 MRes and PhD)

Infectious diseases remain a major contributor to the global burden of disease, with HIV, malaria, measles, diarrhoeal disease and respiratory infections responsible for over 50% of premature deaths worldwide. However the availability of resources for interventions is limited in comparison with the scale of the challenges faced. Over the last decade there has been increasing recognition of the value of epidemiological analysis and mathematical modelling in aiding the design and interpretation of clinical trials from a population perspective and, downstream, to guide implementation, monitoring and evaluation of intervention effectiveness. This 1 + 3 year PhD training programme (previously funded by the Wellcome Trust) will provide a unique inter-disciplinary training in infectious disease epidemiology, mathematical modelling and statistics, genetics and evolution, and computational methods.

The programme is based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology within the Faculty of Medicine's School of Public Health. You are provided the opportunity to learn in a supportive and stimulating environment from leaders in the field who are actively engaged in research and advise leading public health professionals, policy-makers, governments, international organisations and pharmaceutical companies. Both national and internationally focussed, their work includes a range of diseases such as pandemic influenza, HIV, TB, malaria, polio and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). To find out more, visit the 4-Year PhD Programme website or contact the prgramme adiminstrator on ide-phd@imperial.ac.uk.

NEW OPPORTUNITY (deadline 09-09-2019): PhD Studentship on modelling pneumococcal epidemiology

We are one of the largest academic departments specialising in infectious disease epidemiology in Europe. Our highly interdisciplinary research focuses on the transmission, evolution and control of infectious diseases in human and animal populations. We have particular strengths in epidemiological and mathematical modelling, backed by focussed field and experimental research. 

The studentship will be for up to 3.5 years, including a funded 6-month writing-up period. A starting stipend of £22,278 is offered, increasing year on year, together with fully funded tuition fees at the home/EU rate and research expenses for conferences and external training courses. The successful student will benefit from the training, network and support provided to students at Imperial College London.

Project: Transmission dynamic modelling of the impact of pneumococcal vaccines

Primary Supervisor: Nicholas Croucher

Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as the pneumococcus, is a genetically diverse bacterial species capable of causing pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. To reduce the global burden of disease caused by this pathogen, pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (PCVs) of differing formulations have been successfully introduced in many countries. However, the complexity and expense of manufacturing these vaccines means they can only offer protection against a fraction of the species. Consequently, the current burden of pneumococcal disease is mainly attributable to strains that PCVs do not protect against. This project aims to develop dynamic transmission models to predict the epidemiological impact of increasing the number of strains against which PCVs protect. The work will be undertaken using international collections of surveillance data to evaluate the potential impact of expanding formulations across different countries. These designs will then be subject to economic analyses to identify the most cost-effective strategies. This studentship is supervised by Dr. Nicholas Croucher, and will be based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology within the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. The stipend is funded by an investigator-initiated grant from GlaxoSmithKline.

How to apply

  • Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, a Master’s degree or equivalent and a first or upper second-class degree in a relevant subject, and must meet College entry requirements. Relevant subjects include all of those from the quantitative and life sciences – including biology, zoology, genetics, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, economics, mathematics, physics, statistics. Applicants should also ideally have experience of a relevant programming language (e.g. Python, R or C++)
  • Your application must include a two-page CV and 500-word statement detailing why you would like to apply for this project.
  • The applications will be shortlisted and, if successful, you will be invited to attend an interview by the relevant department and submit a formal application to the College.

Please submit your application documents to Jo Williams (joanne.williams@imperial.ac.uk) by Midnight, Monday 9th September 2019.

Residence eligibility guidance

To be eligible for tuition fees at the home rate, a student must fulfil all the following criteria. See the website for more information.

  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay.
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).
  • Have not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (this does not apply to UK or EU nationals).