The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, education and services at local, national and international levels. 900 people from 80 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.
To support our efforts in the areas of agricultural health within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH), we are looking for a:

PhD Student in Epidemiology 80 – 100% to join the Agricultural Health Group

You will be based in the Research Group Agricultural Health and work along the newly funded SNSF-funded career grant project “The pesticide exposome and its impact on health and well-being of farmer families along sustainable food production systems”.
The overall project will aim to characterize the pesticide exposome and related health risks of living and working on a farm and the broader consequences of the transition to organic farming to health and well-being. The PhD Project is particularly aiming to collaborate with and assess existing data across 13 agricultural cohort studies from different Latin American (e.g., Costa Rica, Colombia), Africa (e.g., Uganda, South Africa) and Asia (e.g., Bangladesh, Malaysia). The following research questions will be looked at: (i) To which levels and mixtures of pesticides are farmers and farm children exposed across 13 cohorts LMICs?; (ii) What are the predictors for long-term pesticide exposure over time, considering repeatably measured urine samples in farmers in Uganda and Costa Rica?; and (iii) What are the neurological effects of exposure to mixtures of pesticides in farmers in Costa Rica and Uganda?

Your responsibilities will include:

  • To develop and apply innovative exposome data analysis techniques such as hierarchical cluster analysis and network analysis to assess pesticide biomarker mixture profiles across the cohorts
  • To apply multivariable mixed-effect models to identify specific exposure pathways and estimate pesticide biomarker levels.
  • To develop and apply Bayesian multi-exposure models to study the effects of pesticide mixtures on the neurocognitive and respiratory health of farmers and their children
  • To co-supervise MSc students together with the PIs
  • To co-coordinate meetings and workshops with 13 cohorts in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • To write scientific papers

You can demonstrate experiences and skills in the following:
Essential skills
  • MSc degree in biostatistics, data science, epidemiology environmental/agricultural science or a related discipline
  • Experience with programming in R, Stata or Python
  • Experience with data management 
  • Strong social und communication skills are a requirement. 
  • Proficiency in English (both written and spoken)
Desirable skills
  • Interest in data visualization
  • Familiarity with Bayesian modelling, especially kernel and non-parametric methods 
  • Additional language skills such as Spanish, French, and German are an asset.

We offer:
  • Possibility to bring in own ideas and interests
  • Work in a diverse, multi-disciplinary team and academic environment 
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Attractive support schemes for young mothers and fathers via the SNSF Flexibility Grant

Swiss TPH is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.

If you are interested, please submit your application with:
  • CV
  • Motivational letter, incl. preferred work effort (80% or full-time)
  • Course grades and transcripts
  • Names and contact information (email or phone) of 3 references

Please note that we can only accept applications via our online recruiting tool:
Applications via e-mail or external recruiter will not be considered.

The position is available immediately.
The position will be open until 31st of March 2023, but it may be closed early in case of significant interest. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

Job Profile:
Start Date: Between April and August 2023
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Duration: 3 years
Percentage: 80 – 100%
Travel Requirements: Travels to partner institutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia are possible.


Samuel Fuhrimann
Tel: +41 284 93 93

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