PhD Student

Last application date
Feb 19, 2021 00:00
GE39 - Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Limited duration
Master of Medicine, Master in Statistics, Master in Biomedical Sciences, Master in Epidemiology, Master in Health Education and Health Promotion, Master in Health Care Management and Policy, or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

The department of Public Health and Primary Care (UGent), together with Sciensano and UCLouvain, is looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate to perform research on the long-term health impact of COVID-19. The spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the resulting outbreak of the disease COVID-19 has faced Belgium and most other countries worldwide with unprecedented challenges. During the crisis, active surveillance systems have been put in place to monitor in real-time the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. These data provide valuable insights in the direct health impact of COVID-19 in Belgium, in terms of the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths. Despite this wealth of information on the current, immediate impact of COVID-19, three main knowledge gaps remain – i.e., what is the social patterning of COVID-19, what are the long-term direct health impacts of severe COVID-19 infections, and what are the indirect health impacts caused by the measures and behaviour changes installed to fight the COVID-19 crisis? To address these challenges, Sciensano, Ghent University, VUB and UCLouvain have set up the HELICON project.

More information about this project is available via Within the HELICON project, you will be responsible for the work package on the long-term health impact of COVID-19. In this work package, the results of the clinical survey of hospitalized COVID-19 patients conducted by Sciensano will be linked to administrative data sources from the Intermutualistic Agency and Statbel. This enriched dataset will allow to investigate the potential indirect impact of the COVID-19 crisis in terms of Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) losses, changes in health care use and associated expenses, and productivity losses. As a doctoral researcher, you will be responsible for the organisation, implementation, analysis and reporting of this work package. Your research results will contribute to the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of public health (with joint supervision from Sciensano and UCLouvain).

Job profile

  • You have a keen interest in Public Health and you are motivated to obtain a PhD degree
  • You have distinguished yourself as a promising researcher during your master thesis
  • You have very good writing and presentation skills in English and Dutch (or French)
  • You have a critical attitude, you are always looking for challenges and are eager to learn - You have good knowledge of quantitative research methods and statistical analyses (SAS and/or R)

Our offer

  • A full time contract with a competitive salary
  • A PhD scholarship of 48 months
  • An individual research training trajectory (including a wide range of courses)
  • A challenging and inspiring work environment
  • An ambitious project with important societal consequences
  • Supervision of experienced scientists

How to apply

Applications should include:

  • A short motivation statement
  • A C.V. including a list of courses followed and grades obtained
  • The full text of published manuscripts (including the master thesis)
  • The name and contact details of two persons who are willing to give a reference

All documents should be sent electronically to Prof. Delphine De Smedt: