Predoctoral researcher - Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
Last application date: Nov 30, 2019 00:09
Department: WE02 - Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
Employment category: Doctoral fellow
Contract: Limited duration
Degree: Master in biostatistics, statistical data analysis, epidemiology, demography, geography, or equivalent.
Occupancy rate: 100%
Vacancy Type: Research staff
You will be responsible for the organization, implementation and reporting of the research project ‘Relative contribution of excess weight status as risk factor for non-communicable disease, disability and multimorbidity’. Your research results contribute to the preparation and defense of a PhD in Statistical Data Analysis. The research project will be conducted in collaboration with Sciensano and Ghent University, and is part of the WaIST project – ‘Contribution of excessive weight status to the social impact of non-communicable diseases, multimorbidity and disability in Belgium: past, present, and future’.
Excess weight status is one of the primary metabolic risk factors for non-communicable diseases. In Belgium, as in many high-income countries, average BMI has continuously increased over the past decades among both children and adults. Despite the increasing attention at the international level, there is currently no national nutrition and physical activity health plan in Belgium. More than ever, the further development and implementation of evidence-based health policies for the prevention of excessive weight gain therefore requires proactive policy support.
The overall objective of WaIST is to valorise available Sciensano data sources in an integrated framework to assess the past, present and future contribution of excess weight status to the societal impact of non-communicable diseases, multimorbidity and disability in Belgium.
In the context of this project, the following PhD project will be funded: Relative contribution of excess weight status as risk factor for non-communicable disease, disability and multimorbidity.
The relative health impact of excess weight status among a set of simultaneous (non-modifiable, lifestyle, metabolic, and environmental) exposures and health determinants will be assessed using attribution models. Outcome indicators will include disability, multimorbidity and cause specific mortality. Microdata from different waves of the Belgian Health Interview Survey (HIS) will allow to assess the evolution of the relative contribution of excess weight status over time. To support this activity, 1) HIS data will be enriched with environmental exposure data, and 2) a statistical approach will be developed to assess the contribution of risk factors to health outcomes using complex, cross-sectional data and taking account of mediation and interaction.
Profile of the candidate
- Master in biostatistics, statistical data analysis, epidemiology, demography, geography, or equivalent.
- A motivation for conducting scientific research with a view to defending a PhD.
- Demonstrable quantitative skills and interest in public health and public health policy. Knowledge of environmental health and geographical information systems is an asset.
- Experience with programming in a statistical package, eg R, Stata, SAS.
- Language skills: Excellent written and spoken English; a good command of Dutch and/or French is an asset.
- Generic competences: Proactive, communicative, accurate, able to work independently and in team.
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