ITM vacancies

Research Assistant
Department of Public Health
Non-Communicable Diseases
  Apply before: 01 Oct.


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 Group (NCDs) is dedicated to addressing the rising burden of chronic NCDs, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The Group’s research and academic activities relate to the prevention and control of NCDs, from a public health perspective, and with an emphasis on identifying determinants of NCD development, and the formulation of effective strategies to address them.

We are looking for an outstanding postgraduate to join the NCDs Group and contribute the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) project “A novel life course microsimulation model linking diet to NCDs”. The main aim of the project is to develop, for the first time, a life course obesity-diabetes-CVD-cancer microsimulation model that links diet to NCDs across the life course. The model will be developed and validated for Belgium, using representative data and established resources, and used to quantify diet-related NCDs burdens in Belgium, accounting for population’s heterogeneity.


As a research assistant you will join a multi-disciplinary team of public health experts, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and NCD modelers, and will also have the opportunity to interface with international experts and stakeholders. Foreseen tasks include:

  • Preparing and harmonising model inputs, including risk prediction equations
  • Model development, input incorporation, and continuous update of the model
  • Documenting research process thoroughly and consistently
  • Preparation of project reporting and related documents
  • Managing of and contributing to abstract and manuscript preparation, and presenting research at national and international scientific meetings
  • Collaborating in the preparation of research proposal for competitive funding
  • Contributing to the unit’s coaching and teaching on NCDs at ITM


  • Master level degree in relevant quantitative sciences (e.g. biostatistics, applied computation, biomedical/health informatics, applied mathematics, epidemiology, or health economics)
  • Advanced knowledge of computational programming, and statistical software (R, STATA)
  • Experience working in mathematical models, particularly probabilistic, multi-state and/or microsimulation models, and ability to solve technical problems in these areas 
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills, demonstrated through master thesis work, scientific publication, abstract communication, or lecturing in the above-mentioned areas
  • Team spirit and openness to multi-disciplinary interactions
  • Fluent in English. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset.


ITM is an open and international campus where staff, students and researchers work on the new international health challenges. Your assignment contributes to its mission. The Institute strives for excellence, integrity, specificity and efficiency. It values 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:

  • A pleasant working spot in the middle of the bustling city of Antwerp, easily accessible by public transport.
  • A full-time contract for two years, starting 1 November 2021.
  • A salary set according to the pay scales of ITM and the Flemish universities and to your work experience with supplementary benefits such as a private pension scheme and meal voucher subscription.


For more information about this position, please contact Prof José L. Peñalvo, head of the NCDs Group ( Send your CV with your letter of motivation to before 1 October 2021.

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