ITM vacancies

Research Assistant Non-Communicable Diseases Group
Department of Public Health
Non-Communicable Diseases
  Apply before: 30 Apr.


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, 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 develop a doctoral thesis within the framework of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) project “A novel life course microsimulation model linking diet to NCDs”. The main aim of the project is to, for the first time, develop 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 multidisciplinary team of public health experts, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and NCD modelers, and will also have the opportunity to interface with international experts and stakeholders. Tasks include:

  • Model development alongside other research staff.
  • Perform literature reviews and synthesize relevant data.
  • Prepare and harmonize model input parameters, including risk prediction equations.
  • Perform literature reviews and synthesize information on diet-NCD association, perform meta-analysis as needed.
  • Database management.
  • Document research processes thoroughly and consistently.
  • Prepare project reporting and related documents.
  • Lead and contribute to abstract and manuscript preparation, and present research at national and international scientific meetings.
  • Present research at working group meetings and seminars.
  • Collaborate in the preparation of research proposal for competitive funding.
  • Contribute to the unit’s coaching and teaching on NCDs at ITM.


  • Master’s level degree in relevant quantitative sciences (e.g. applied computation, biomedical/health informatics, applied mathematics, biostatistics, epidemiology, or health Economics).
  • Advanced knowledge of computational programming, and statistical software (R, STATA).
  • Knowledge of epidemiological methods, including meta-analysis.
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills, demonstrated through Master’s thesis work, scientific publication, abstract communication, or lecturing in the above-mentioned areas.
  • Commitment to pursue a PhD thesis.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Team spirit and openness to multidisciplinary interactions.
  • Fluent in English, knowledge of Dutch is an asset.


  • ITM is an open and international campus where staff, students and researchers work on new international health challenges. Your assignment contributes to this mission.
  • ITM 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.
  • ITM is located in the middle of the bustling city centre of Antwerp and is easily accessible by public transport.
  • Together we ensure a pleasant working environment with attention to work-life balance and training opportunities.
  • The assignment concerns a full-time position for two years, extendable. Starting date as soon as possible.
  • A salary set 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 job, please contact Prof José Peñalvo, Head of the NCD's Unit: Send the ITM application form with your motivational letter to before 30 April 2020. 

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