ANNOUNCE Funded Graduate Study in Health Policy Modeling

Nathaniel Osgood <osgood@cs.u
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:39 am

ANNOUNCE Funded Graduate Study in Health Policy Modeling

Post by Nathaniel Osgood <osgood@cs.u »

Posted by Nathaniel Osgood <>

Applications are currently being accepted for funded MSc and
PhD-level graduate student research assistantships applying aggregate and
individual-based system dynamics models to inform health policy. Initial
assistantships will focus on three major key Canadian health issues:
Tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, and sexually transmitted infections.
Pending funding decisions and the outcome of parallel searches for
postdoctoral support, additional funded positions may be available in models
for linking Gestational Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Chronic Kidney
disease as well as in Chronic Wasting Disease in cervids.

The successful applicant will work closely with and serve as an
important member of diverse, cross-disciplinary project teams; depending on
the project, teams will include representatives of regional, provincial and
federal health authorities, health economists, biostatisticians,
epidemiologists, infectious disease physicians, nurses, and microbiologists.
The teams will seek to use the models to inform the design of health
interventions that are high leverage, cost-effective, and robust given
uncertainties, to facilitate rapid reactions to epidemiologic shifts
(particularly infectious disease outbreaks), aid in understanding of health
trends, help prioritize data collection, and assist in communication with
diverse stakeholders.

Model parameterization and calibration will rely heavily on rich
regional and provincial data. Saskatchewan is internationally recognized
for the extensive information the province has accumulated on the population
health status. It is also notable that all three project teams include not
only key shapers of policy but also those responsible for data collection.
The projects are therefore distinguished not only by their access to rich
data sources, but also by the fact that modelers are in a position to both
benefit from ongoing primary data collection efforts and to help shape the
types of information being collected in those efforts.

Applicants must have a previous undergraduate or graduate degree in
quantitative discipline (such as engineering, mathematics, computer science,
statistics or physics) and must have a familiarity with applied mathematics
(including differential equations, probability, essentials of statistics),
and should have some exposure to the applications of dynamic modeling.
Formal training in system dynamics and agent-based modeling, familiarity
with infectious disease models, epidemiology or other health sciences, and
training in object-oriented software development is desirable but not

Applicants must demonstrate a willingness to invest the time needed
to familiarize themselves with the health mechanisms and epidemiological
context in the areas of application, and a willingness to cooperate closely
and collaboratively with experts who are from diverse disciplinary
backgrounds, and an openness to leveraging the diverse methodological
toolsets used by those experts and other dynamic modelers.

All three initial positions are open immediately. All students
joining the research effort must enroll by the end of 2009 as full-time
students through one of several graduate academic programs at the University
of Saskatchewan. Possible graduate programs through which applicants may
enroll include those of the Department of Computer Science, Bioengineering
Division, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, or new doctoral
programs in Biostatistics or in Epidemiology being launched in 2009 through
the School of Public Health. In addition to program-specific course
requirements, applicants will be required to take a course in Health Policy
Modeling, and to successfully complete (or place out of) 2 graduate-level
courses in the Schools of Medicines and Public Health. These courses will
prepare them to work in the rapidly growing inter-disciplinary area of
public health policy modeling.

Applications for these positions will be considered until September,
2009. Interested applicants should write to Dr. Nathaniel Osgood at

Posted by Nathaniel Osgood <>
posting date Thu, 18 Dec 2008 11:14:36 -0500