ITM vacancies

Research assistant - International COVID-19 data analysis
Department of Public Health
Non-Communicable Diseases
  Apply before: 15 Feb.


The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for education, research and service delivery in the field of tropical medicine.

The mission of the Department of Public Health of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) is to conduct public health research of international standing, provide postgraduate education of high quality and engage in service delivery with the ultimate goal to advance global health. Within the department, the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Group is dedicated to address the rising burden of chronic NCDs, and the interplay with infectious diseases and their risk factors utilizing epidemiological methods and modelling.


ITM is coordinating the H2020-sponsored unCoVer project, a functional network of 29 research institutions in 18 countries collecting data derived from the provision of care to COVID-19 patients by health systems across Europe and internationally. These real-world data allow for studies into patient’s characteristics, risk factors, safety and effectiveness of treatments and potential strategies against COVID-19 in real settings and complement findings from efficacy/safety clinical trials where vulnerable groups, and patients with comorbidities are often excluded. The project will facilitate access to otherwise scattered datasets and build computational and analytical platforms to streamline studies on risk characterisation, and prediction modelling using standardised pooled data derived from real life practices. It will fill data gaps, unify current initiatives and create downstream exploitation opportunities for researchers and public health strategies to optimise COVID-19 strategies and minimise the impacts of future outbreaks.

Within the work package dedicated to data analysis and outcomes, you will contribute to the development and implementation of data analysis proposals. Amongst others, you will help develop a joint protocol and methodological repository for clinical and administrative follow-up of cohorts of COVID-19 patients, and will explore options for utilization of the unCoVer real-world data for risk characterisation and prediction modelling. You will also contribute to the training and educational activities on applications of the unCoVer analytical toolbox and data repository.


  • Master’s level in (bio)medical sciences, (bio)statistics, epidemiology, or related quantitative discipline
  • Demonstrable quantitative skills and experience with data analysis, particularly in the use of real-world data (e.g. electronic medical records, patient registers)
  • Good knowledge of epidemiology and public health
  • Good networking and editorial skills (e.g. scientific publications or reports)
  • Appreciated complementary experiences: COVID-19 surveillance, infectious disease epidemiology, clinical epidemiology
  • Proactive, communicative, accurate, able to work independently and in team, setting up and maintaining networks, good organisation and coordination skills
  • Fluent in English, knowledge of Dutch and/or French is an asset


ITM is an open and international campus where staff, students and researchers work on the new international health challenges. We strive for excellence, integrity, specificity and efficiency. Your assignment contributes to our mission. We value human dignity and diversity, academic creativity and a critical spirit, solidarity and cooperation, and the well-being of employees, students, patients and clients. Together we ensure a pleasant working atmosphere with attention to work-life balance and opportunities for training.

We offer you:

  • A 50% employment as a research assistant for two years, starting date as soon as possible
  • A joint appointment at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Sciensano, with both organisations offering a 50% contract
  • A salary according to the pay scales of ITM and the Flemish universities and to your work experience with supplementary benefits: a public transport subscription and/or bicycle fee, private pension scheme and meal voucher subscription.


For more information about this position, please contact Prof José L. Peñalvo, Head of the NCD Unit or Send your CV with your letter of motivation to before 15 February 2021.

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