Recruitment-Three PhD positions in epidemiology, mathematical modelling and health economic evaluation of vaccine-preventable diseases
The research group of Prof Hongjie Yu in the School of Public Health, Fudan University, China, seeks to recruit 3 PhD students to work on epidemiology, mathematical modelling and health economic evaluation of vaccine-preventable diseases. The three positions are linked to projects funded by a prestigious Global Health Research award from the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research, as well as funding from Prof Yu’s grants at Fudan University. They are co-supervised by Prof Hongjie Yu at Fudan University, and Profs Mark Jit, Marc Baguelin and other key academics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The PhD students will be registered at LSHTM, and will be mostly based in LSHTM, but will need to spend part of their time at Fudan University and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (with travel expenses provided). Students will have a unique opportunity to interact with academics and public health professionals in both China and the United Kingdom.
Professor Hongjie Yu is a doctoral supervisor in the School of Public Health of Fudan University. He received the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars in 2015. He was also elected as one of Changjiang Scholars, Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. He is a member of The WHO Advisory Group of the Global Action Plan (GAP AG) for Influenza Vaccines, member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) Working Group on influenza vaccines and immunization.
Prof Yu has decades of experiences in multidisciplinary researches in infectious diseases, including the transmission dynamics, epidemiological parameters, disease burden, evaluation of interventions, as well as vaccine efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and cost effectiveness for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases with public health importance, e.g. Ebola, SARS, novel animal influenza virus infections, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, Dengue, Rabies, Brucellosis, seasonal influenza, pneumococcal and Hib diseases. He has published over 135 articles (IF: 1226) in international peer-review journals, including 5 papers published in The Lancet, 2 in BMJ, 4 in PLoS Medicine, 4 in Lancet Infectious Disease, and 1 in Nature Communications as the first author or senior corresponding author. Of them, 12 articles were published with editorial comments, and 9 articles were published in fast-track.
The research team led by Prof Yu is an interdisciplinary group tied closely to infectious diseases with great public health importance, and focuses on four research areas: spatial epidemiology; dynamics, evolution and control of emerging/remerging infectious diseases; clinical epidemiology; and vaccines. In the field of vaccines, the research team aims to undertake targeted, policy-focused research including estimates of disease burden, test of vaccines for safety, immunogenicity, efficacy, and effectiveness, evaluation of cost effectiveness, demand forecasting, and budget impact analysis to accelerate new vaccine introduction into Chinese National Immunization Program and to inform evidence-based vaccine policy making.
For more information on Prof Hongjie Yu, please see http://sph.fudan.edu.cn/t/174
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health. The School’s multidisciplinary expertise includes clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, social scientists, molecular biologists and immunologists, and work with partners worldwide to support the development of teaching and research capacity.
The School’s education programmes have grown to more than 1,000 London-based Master’s and Research students, 2,900 studying Master’s by distance learning and 1,000 on short courses and continuous professional development. The School has also launched a series of free online courses, and more than 15,000 people registered on the first of these, Ebola in context. Staff, students and alumni work in more than 150 countries in government, academia, international agencies and health services.
The School is highly ranked in various university league tables. It was named the world’s leading research-focused graduate school in the Times Higher Education World Rankings in 2013, and was the Times Higher Education University of the Year in 2016. In 2014, it was ranked in the top 10 universities in the world for citation rate by the new EU-supported U-Multirank database, fourth in the world for impact in medical sciences by the Leiden Ranking and third in the world for social science and public health in the US News Best Global Universities Ranking. According to the results of the UK government’s Research Excellence Framework, published in December 2014, the School was ranked second overall (after the Institute for Cancer Research) on the key measure of impact.
For more information on LSHTM, please see http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/.
Brief description of project: Despite rapid economic development, China has not yet incorporated into its national childhood immunization program vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP), the leading infectious disease killer of young children in China. The 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine against SP has been used in the private sector in China since 2007 (but not available now), and PCV-13 has been licensed in China in 2016. The PhD will apply complex dynamic simulation models to 1) model the transmission and potential impact of PCV-13, 2) estimate the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of proposed national vaccination strategies, and 3) conduct extended cost-effectiveness analyses to examine the impact of public funding of vaccines on household expenditures and catastrophic payments in different socioeconomic groups and regions.
Evaluating potential health and economic impact of introducing vaccines against hand, foot and mouth disease into the national immunization programme in China
Brief description of project: China accounted for 87% of all hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) cases reported to WHO during 2010–2014. Enterovirus A71 (EV A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are responsible for most of the severe HFMD cases. EV A71 vaccination has been available in the private sector in China since 2016, and a bivalent vaccine comprising of EV71 and CA16 is under development.
The PhD will apply complex dynamic simulation models to 1) model transmission and potential impact of the pipeline bivalent vaccine, 2) estimate the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of proposed national vaccination strategies, and 3) conduct extended cost-effectiveness analyses to examine the impact of public funding of vaccines on household expenditures and catastrophic payments in different socioeconomic groups and regions.
Brief description of project: Unlike many middle and high-income countries, China does not provide nationwide free seasonal influenza vaccination in despite of large health and economic burden caused by influenza infection annually. Although free vaccinations are provided via government finance or medical insurance in a few regions, vaccination coverage is extremely low in China (around 2% in general population). Key questions include: Is there a need for a national vaccination programme in China? What effect might this have on the health of the population and on the Chinese economy? And what evidence might we need to help make a decision to implement such a programme?
The PhD will apply complex transmission dynamic models to 1) model transmission and potential impact of the seasonal influenza vaccine, 2) estimate the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of proposed national vaccination strategies, and 3) conduct extended cost-effectiveness analyses to examine the impact of public funding of vaccines on household expenditures and catastrophic payments in different socioeconomic groups and regions.
3-4 years from January 2018.
Candidates are expected to have a strong command of both spoken and written English. This is essential in order to obtain a visa to study in the UK, to be accepted into LSHTM’s PhD programme and to successfully pass the PhD viva.
The formal English language requirements for entry to LSHTM are available here:
In addition, students will be assessed on their ability in English during the interviews in China held to select students. Interviews will be conducted in English.
Skills we expect a student to develop/acquire whilst pursuing this project
Ÿ Mathematical modelling
Ÿ Model fitting
Ÿ Infectious diseases epidemiology
Ÿ Health economic evaluation
Applicants who are highly motivated, ambitious, enthusiastic and have particular interest in modelling infectious diseases are especially preferred. Additionally, the applicants’ native language should be Chinese, or the applicant should be able to speak, read and write Chinese to the level of a native speaker.
The PhDs are jointly funded by Global Health Research initiative of the United Kingom’s National Institute for Health Research, and by Fudan University. Students are required to commit to returning China at the end of their studies to work with Prof Yu’s research team.
Review of applications will be on a rolling basis and continue until the positions are filled. Submit the following, with the subject line of “Infectious diseases modelling PhD application” to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Ÿ Curriculum vitae
Ÿ A one-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and what you expect to get out of it
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview on September 4-6, 2017.