PhD in Climate Predictability and Health Early Warning Systems (EDIPI)

Application deadline:

"ISGlobal is seeking a talented and highly motivated predoctoral researcher in the areas of climate sciences, environmental epidemiology and infectious diseases. The successful candidate will join the research team of Dr. Joan Ballester at the Climate and Health Program of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) within the framework of the project EDIPI.


EDIPI is a 4-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 956396, and it focuses on the drivers, predictability and impacts of several climate extremes in Europe. As part of the position, you will be working within a strong, cross-disciplinary network of leading universities, research institutes and private-sector partners across Europe and beyond. The project will start on March 1st 2021, more information is available here.
The Climate Predictability and Health Early Warning Systems PhD position at ISGlobal
Your work will focus on the development of a unified, multi-source prototype system for the joint prediction of temperature-attributable mortality and influenza-like illnesses. The system will integrate: (i) state-of-the-art weather and climate observations and forecasts, (ii) digital data streams such as Google, Twitter and Wikipedia searches, and (iii) records of human mortality, morbidity and influenza into a statistical framework that predicts the dynamics stemming from climate fluctuations, sociological patterns and immunological interactions among viruses. The project might additionally include research on COVID-19.
Your research will be at the forefront of climate and health sciences by interacting with other investigators in a range of complementary disciplines working in the following projects led by Dr. Ballester:
EARLY-ADAPT (“Signs of Early Adaptation to Climate Change”) is a 5-year European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (CoG), whose overarching aim is to jointly analyse the multiple drivers of recent trends in human health. More information is available here.
Blue-Action (“Arctic impact on weather and climate”) is a H2020 project aimed at improving how we describe, model and predict the weather and climate on seasonal to decadal time scales in the northern hemisphere. More information is available here and here.
EDIPI is tightly aligned with the European Green Deal, as well as the mission “Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation” of the new 2021-2027 Horizon Europe framework program, providing the best long-term scientific, training and funding perspectives for the chosen candidate well beyond the predoctoral period.


Competences and Duties
Candidates are expected to:

Have a completed MSc with expertise in climate sciences, environmental epidemiology, infectious diseases, mathematics, physics, biostatistics, big data analysis or related areas;
Have a good track record of first-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, preferably in high-impact journals;
Have experience in the modelling of climate and health associations;
Have experience in common programming languages, with particular focus on NetCDF, NCO, HDF5, R, Python, Stata and/or GIS tools;
Have experience with the management and analysis of large datasets, and particularly, climate and health data and novel digital data streams (e.g. Google, Twitter and Wikipedia searches);
Be proficient in spoken and written English;
Be willing to work in an inter-disciplinary team within a highly collaborative research institute.
The project offers some degree of flexibility to accommodate the interests and areas of expertise of the chosen candidate. Within the general guidelines and main objectives of the project, we will always favour the independent thinking of the researcher, the formulation of frontier research hypotheses, and the exploration of innovative ideas and methodologies spanning across disciplines.


Eligibility and Employment Conditions in MSCA ITN

Studies pursued: At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:
To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.
To have completed a degree in a university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.


Applicants must also be Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), i.e. at the time of recruitment they must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers, and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

General conditions
Annual gross salary: 34.000€.
Annual gross salary with family allowance: 38.500€ (more information is available here).
Dedication: Full time.
Starting date: the official start date is September 1st 2021, with flexibility for earlier dates before summer.
Duration: 3 years, with some degree of flexibility for longer durations.
The application should contain:
Curriculum Vitae.
Letter of motivation (15 lines maximum).
Copy of highest diploma.
Copy of your Master project or thesis.
Contact details of two referees, including email and phone number.

How to apply
Applicants must send all required documents as attached documents through this form, with the subject heading PhD_ITN-EDIPI_Feb21. The reception of candidatures will be open until the position is filled.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.


Applications will be accepted until 17.00 CET of the closing date.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.

In ISGlobal we are committed to maintaining and developing a work environment in which the values and principles of our organization are respected and equal opportunities between women and men be promoted in each of the areas in which we operate, not tolerating discrimination based on criteria such as age, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, disabilities, political leanings, religion or sexual orientation."