PhD Student in Climate Change Epidemiology (R1)

Job Reference



PhD Student in Climate Change Epidemiology (R1)

Closing Date

Saturday, 16 October, 2021
Reference: 333_21_ES_ESS_R1
Job title: PhD Student in Climate Change Epidemiology (R1)

About BSC

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, and is a hosting member of the PRACE European distributed supercomputing infrastructure. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 700 staff from 49 countries.

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Context And Mission

The Global Health Resilience (GHR) Team led by ICREA Research Professor Rachel Lowe at the BSC-CNS is seeking a highly motivated student for a PhD position in climate change epidemiology. The student will conduct methodological research on disentangling the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease risk and developing impact-based forecasting models in collaboration with public health, disaster risk management, and humanitarian agencies.

The mission of GHR Team is to apply a transdisciplinary approach to co-designing policy-relevant methodological solutions, to enhance surveillance, preparedness and response to climate-sensitive disease outbreaks and health outcomes, and infectious disease emergence. The GHR Team is part of the Earth System Services Group (ESS) within the Earth Sciences Department, whose mission is to research the impact of weather, atmospheric chemistry, and climate upon socio-economic sectors, including renewable energy, agriculture, water management, forest fires, urban development and health and demonstrate the ongoing value of earth system services to society and the economy.

The PhD student, in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists across Latin America & the Caribbean and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will have the opportunity to develop new methodologies to address the global challenge of quantifying the risk of emerging disease threats to society. The selected candidate will develop infectious disease prediction models using open-source and stakeholder provided data at both global and local spatial scales. The candidate will tackle research questions related to the impact of land use and land change and extreme climatic events on infectious disease outcomes, including vector and water-borne diseases and other health outcomes in lower- and middle-income countries and across Europe, depending on the candidates experience and interests.

The studentship offers an interdisciplinary programme of professional training in Bayesian statistics, planetary health, meteorology, and epidemiology. Through a well-established network of collaborative partners, the student will have the chance to interact with experts in the field, international organisations and research institutions in Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa and South East Asia to gain an in-depth understanding of the compound risks of climate change and overlapping epidemics of infectious diseases and to develop solutions to help decision makers increase resilience to disease spread in the future.

Successful candidates will benefit from expert training and BSC-CNS staff benefits: international multidisciplinary scientific environment and advanced applied research training. We encourage applications from highly motivated candidates with demonstrated experience in data management, strong quantitative skills, and an interest in applied research within the context of climate change and infectious diseases.

Key Duties

  • Collect and process Earth Observation, socio-economic and health data for use in model development
  • Formulate statistical and mathematical models to understand the impact of environmental change and socio-economic factors on infectious disease risk and health outcomes.
  • Develop indicators to track the impact of climate change on infectious disease risks and health outcomes
  • Disseminate research outputs in peer-reviewed scientific papers and international conferences
  • Contribute to policy reports and training activities for climate and health stakeholders


  • Education
    • MSc in Epidemiology, Meteorology, Environmental Sciences, Physics or Mathematics (or equivalent)
  • Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Experience with data management and statistical data analysis
    • Experience with GIS data and tools
    • Fluent English, both written and spoken
  • Additional Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Experience working with policy makers and international agencies will be valued, along with knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • Competences
    • Capability to work in an international and fast-paced work environment
    • Excellent communication skills


  • The position will be located at BSC within the Earth Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract, a good working environment, a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible working hours, extensive training plan, tickets restaurant, private health insurance, fully support to the relocation procedures
  • Duration: 3 years (renewable)
  • Salary: we offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate and according to the cost of living in Barcelona

Starting date: Between Jan-Mar 2022

Applications Procedure

All applications must include: 

  • A Cover Letter with a statement of interest in English, including two contacts for further references - Applications without this document will not be considered
  • A full CV in English including contact details
  • 1 page research summary outlining key research questions to address during the 2-year post.


The vacancy will remain open until suitable candidate has been hired. Applications will be regularly reviewed and potential candidates will be contacted.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment

BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.

Application Form

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** Consider that the information provided in relation to gender and nationality will be used solely for statistical purposes.