York University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

695 16816Fellowship ID: York-PDC [#16816]
Fellowship Title: Two Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Modelling of COVID-19 Pandemic
Fellowship Type: Postdoctoral
Fellowship Location: Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada [map]
Subject Area: Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Application Deadline: 2020/12/31 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2020/11/19)
Fellowship Description:    

Two Postdoctoral Fellowship positions in mathematical/statistical modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic at York University, Canada

Background

During different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, real-time delivery of reliable and 
comprehensive information is critical to predict spread and impact, and to guide governmental 
strategic policies and best practice. This requires rapid transfer of current epidemiological 
data to strategic action plans for a phased transition from widespread transmission to a 
steady-state of low-level or no transmission. To this end, the Laboratory for Industrial 
and Applied Mathematics (LIAM) (https://liam.lab.yorku.ca), the Dahdaleh Institute for 
Global Health Research (https://dighr.yorku.ca) and the Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid 
Response Program (ADERSIM) (https://adersim.info.yorku.ca) at York University  with support from the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)  have joined forces with epidemiologists, 
modelers, physicists, statisticians, software engineers and data scientists across Africa 
under the leadership of Jude Dzevela Kong (https://judekong.mathstats.yorku.ca), to develop 
state-of-the-art statistical and mathematical methods  to analyze epidemic data, with the aim to
increase our understanding of how pathogens spread in populations, assess the impact of \
interventions, support policy making and optimize control strategies. Our approach is highly 
multidisciplinary, looking at infectious diseases through multiple perspectives, multiple scales 
and multiple data streams. We work closely with public health agencies both in Canada and Africa 
to ensure our assessments can inform the public health response to epidemics.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, LIAM, ADERSIM and the Dahdaleh Institute for 
Global Health Research have been heavily involved in the Canadian response to the pandemic, 
providing modelling support to the Canadian Government to inform policy making and planning.

Job description

We are seeking 2 Post-Doctoral Fellows to contribute to the IDRC sponsored COVID-19 related 
research projects. The projects include: applying  artificial intelligence to develop advanced 
visualization and analytics tools that will assist policy makers; now-casting and forecasting of 
COVID-19 pandemic waves to inform healthcare planning; determine initial disease spread 
characteristics within  communities  prior to use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI); 
employ mathematical models to examine NPI effectiveness, for example, the effect of a home 
quarantine policy, social distancing interventions, tracing apps, testing and isolation on the 
epidemic development;  determine NPI effects on healthcare demand; determine the effects of 
vaccination on the NPI uptake needed for post-vaccine waves of infection; develop  an 
overarching economic-epidemiological model for scientists and policy-makers; build spatial 
disease spread models and simulations for the outbreak of COVID-19 at a localized level to 
model the effects of informal settlements and varying social distancing practicalities in 
townships, performance of hotspot analysis, and the identification of vulnerable areas; analyses 
of outbreak data in specific settings (e.g. households, hospitals).

The Post Doctoral Fellows will be expected to work with and develop state-of-the-art statistical 
and mathematical methodology. The exact projects that each successful applicant will undertake 
will be determined in discussion with the team, taking into account the applicant's interests and 
experience. 

The Post Doctoral Fellows will be jointly supervised by Professor Ali Asgary, Faculty of Liberal 
Arts & Professional Studies, and the Executive Director of  ADERSIM,  Professor James 
Orbinski, Faculty of Health, and Founding Director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health 
Research, Professor Jianhong Wu, Faculty of Science,  Director of LIAM and Leader of the 
National COVID-19 Modeling Rapid Response Task Force and Professor Jude Dzevela Kong, 
Faculty of Science.  

Interested candidates should contact Jude Dzevela Kong (jdkong@yorku.ca) with a CV, 
statement of interest and contact details of two referees that will be contacted directly after the 
interviews. The positions will remain open till they filled with contracts starting as soon as 
possible. 

Salary: The salary is approximately $48,500 per year including $8,250 for a course 
instructorship. The salary will be adjusted for those candidates preferring no course 
instructorship. The salary could be complemented by other funds including those from external 
sources awarded to the applicants. 

Person specification:
1) Research experience of working with mathematical and/or statistical models.
2) A strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology.
3)  Ability to collect and analyze data, interpret and present results to a high standard using
a range of specialized research techniques.
4)  Good knowledge of python/MATLAB/R programming language.
5) Programming experience or familiarity with agent-based modeling, and simulation with 
Anylogic and geospatial analysis and modelling 
6) Excellent verbal and written communication skills. 
7)  Experience in communicating research findings to a non-specialist audience.
8) Ability to work independently but also as part of a larger interdisciplinary research team.
9) PhD in one of the following areas: infectious disease epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, 
physics, computer science, population biology or a similarly quantitative
discipline.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

York University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants 
will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national 
origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or 
expression, age, or disability.

Commitment to Diversity
York University is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student 
communities (https://hr.info.yorku.ca/diverse-equitable/). 




Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the fellowship description.

Further Info:
www.yorku.ca/science/mathstats/
416-736-5250
 
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
N520 Ross, York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M3J 1P3

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