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Master in (bio)medical Sciences, bio-engineering, biology (specialisation Statistics)
Master in bio-statistics
Description of the PhD-project
The Scientific Institute of Public Health offers a PhD-project.
You are responsible for the organisation, execution and reporting of the research project ‘Development of spatio-temporal methodology and geographical information systems (GIS) in health and environment: towards small area health statistics in Belgium’. The result of your research will contribute to a PhD.
You will be part of the unit ‘Health and Environment’ and will be supported by senior scientists of this unit.
Project description: authorities, and scientists supporting policy, are increasingly faced to questions from the population that is concerned about the health effects, in particular cancer, of living around source(s) of potential pollution (e.g. a nuclear site, a landfill site, a specific company,… ) Despite the efforts, most of the time, few relevant answers can be given by the classical surveillance systems. Environmental health surveillance takes place by a structural approach linking environmental exposure with potential health effects and it requires advanced epidemiological and statistical techniques. Development of new methodologies in spatial-temporal analysis at small area level is ongoing at international level. At Belgian level, however, capacity building and contribution to further development of these methodologies are lacking.
This PhD project aims at the development of a broad framework for small area epidemiology, that could be used as an instrument to see what capacities and competences are available versus what should be developed further.
The research objectives are: 1) to investigate, at small area level, whether there is an increased health risk of living in the vicinity of nuclear sites in Belgium, i.e. thyroid cancer and childhood leukaemia in children aged 0-14 years; 2) to study the practical/implementation requirements to enable such studies in the future (policy preparing component); and 3) to elaborate a framework for the statistical aspects of small area health statistics (methodological aspects)
The results of this doctoral research project are the generation of knowledge (in the form of scientific publications) related to the research lines and programs developed; meet the operational expectations of the institutional partners involved in the project; obtaining a Ph.D.
This PhD research has the following partners: I-BioStat of the UHasselt and KULeuven, Department of Sociology of the VUB, Department of Statistics and biostatistics of the University of Washington (Seattle), Belgian Cancer Registry. The research will be performed in the Unit ‘Health and Environment’ of the WIV-ISP and at location of these partner organisations.
- Master in (bio)medical Sciences, bio-engineering, biology (specialisation Statistics)/ Master in bio-statistics, or equivalent
- Max. 1 year of professional research experience
- Committed to preparing a thesis dissertation
- Advanced knowledge of bio-statistics, including computing skills (R, SAS,…)
- Strong interest in epidemiological methodology
- Able to speak and understand fluently at least one of both national languages (Dutch or French)
- Able to speak, understand and write scientific papers and reports in English
- A strong analytical mind
- Ability to synthesize
- Able to work independently as well in a cross organisational context
- Having sense of responsibilities
- Excellent planner and organiser
- Oriented towards learning
- Plus point: able to manage large datasets with appropriate software
A doctoral scholarship for 4 years: results of the work will be valorised under the form of patents, scientific publications, press releases and a PhD.
Scientific supervision within a predefined project framework.
The research will be performed at the WIV-ISP (Elsene)
Stefaan Vernaeve, P&O – firstname.lastname@example.org – T 02/642.50.16
An Van Nieuwenhuyse, Unit Health and Environment – email@example.com – T 02/642.57.50
Interested? Send your application before the 30th of June 2012 to Institute of Public Health, Service P&O P&O f.a.o. Stefaan Vernaeve, J.Wytsmanstraat 14, 1050 Brussels. Or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention clearly the ref. RP-651.
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