A three-year PhD position is vacant at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (CPop) and Danish Institute for Advanced Study (DIAS), situated at the University of Southern Denmark. The candidate will work in Copenhagen and/or Odense upon further agreement with the supervisor. We are looking for a candidate with a strong quantitative background in one or more of the following, or related, fields: health metrics, health economics, epidemiology, data science, health sciences, or demography. 

The position comes with a full-time salary and tuition payment. 

The candidate will work with the project Measuring Experienced Burden of Disease (ExpBoD); see the brief description below. The candidate will work closely with and be supervised by Dr. Angela Chang (PI) and Professor Jes Søgaard from CPop, and also receive supervision and guidance from the broader CPop team. The position is funded by the support from the Danish Independent Research Foundation, under the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.  

Brief project information: Measuring Experienced Burden of Disease (ExpBoD) – estimating the socio-economic, psychological, healthcare and welfare impacts of diseases
As seen in the recent coronavirus pandemic, governments worldwide are expected to manage not only the disease burden of COVID-19 but its impact well beyond the realm of health – the socio-economic, psychological, and welfare impacts have in fact dominated the political discussion. The manifestation of diseases on the population’s well-being, its effect on families and the economy can be more informative for policymaking than merely measuring prevalence or deaths. While one-off studies on specific non-health disease impacts exist, translating findings into policy decisions is difficult because cross-study comparisons cannot be made, and there is no guidance on how to make trade-offs between diseases or across multiple dimensions, e.g., between economic and welfare impacts. The aim of ExpBoD is to deliver a proof of concept to systematically measure the impact of several diseases (starting with breast cancer, alcohol use disorder, stroke, depression) across multiple dimensions in Denmark. Using data from the Danish national registries, we will systematically measure the impact of diseases on the population’s economic, social, psychological, quality of life, healthcare, and welfare dimensions. We will explore a range of statistical methods. As expressed by key Danish figures who sit on the boards of national priority setting bodies, the social significance of ExpBoD will come from providing a comparable metric of disease burden to facilitate priority-setting across diseases. See more details here


  • Under the guidance of the supervisors, develop a core understanding of the Danish registry datasets, with a focus on estimating the disease burden across a range of dimensions
  • Under the guidance of the supervisors and through coursework, develop a strong understanding of a range of theories and methods in statistics, health economics, and causal inference applicable to registry-based analyses
  • Lead the management of large datasets
  • Lead discussion in research meetings about results and analyses to vet, improve, and finalize results
  • Contribute to development of manuscripts, presentations, and funding proposals. We expect the candidate to lead several manuscripts as the first author.
  • The PhD program requires enrolling in 30 course credits at any Danish university.

From this PhD position, you will gain

  • Strong mentorship from the supervisors
  • Experience with working on nation-wide datasets (registries) and managing complex data structures
  • A number of strong publications
  • Strengthening of statistical methods, coding, health metric theories and methods through courses and on-the-job training

Expectations of qualifications 

  • Master’s degree in public health, statistics, data science, epidemiology, economics, or any quantitative social sciences
  • Expertise in using either R, Python, or STATA (ideally R or Python)
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written
  • Experience devising and executing statistical modeling techniques; track record of completing complex quantitative analysis
  • Ability to work independently


  • Previous peer-reviewed journal publication(s) as a first author
  • Experience analyzing health survey or registry data
  • Interest in health research and working in multidisciplinary environment

Research environment 
Both CPop and DIAS are world-class, interdisciplinary research centers with strong track records of conducting policy-relevant projects and publishing in high-impact journals. Relevant international experts are frequently invited to CPop and DIAS seminars, providing the candidate exposure and network to researchers worldwide. The candidate will strongly benefit from the stimulating and interdisciplinary environments. See websites for more information. 

We encourage eligible candidates to contact Dr. Chang achang@health.sdu.dk for more details on the project and position.

Application, salary, etc.
Your employment as a Salaried PhD Research Fellow is governed by the agreement of 10 November 2015 on Graduate Employees in government appendix 5 – protocol on PhD Research Fellows. The scholarship runs for three years and requires full-time commitment. For reference, the salary for PhD students with the lowest level of seniority (including a pension contribution of 17.1 per cent) is approximately $5200 USD per month (gross). Check the links for more information on salary and taxation.

The program requires relocation to Denmark, but with flexibility in remote working part-time (to be discussed with the supervisor(s)). The International Staff Office at SDU provides a variety of services for new employees, guests and people who consider applying for a job at the university. Among other things, the staff answers questions concerning salarytaxationhousing and accompanying family. For further information on what it is like working at SDU, please read “10 good reasons why you should choose SDU”. Additional information about working in Denmark can be found at Work in Denmark.

An application must include:

  • Detailed CV
  • A certified copy of your master’s degree certificate including all examination results
  • Application form (please see below)
  • Answers to a short questionnaire (linkplease upload your answers in the field “Project description” when you apply
  • One written sample (written as first author, either published paper or manuscript)
  • One R, Python, or STATA file sample
  • Names of two references  

When applying for a PhD scholarship, please fill in the application form available on our 
web page. On the webpage of the PhD-school, you can find the guidelines for preparing your project proposal within the PhD programme in Social Science.

All non-Danish documents must be translated into English.

Applications will be assessed by a committee. When the evaluation committee has submitted its report, the applicant will receive the part of the evaluation that concerns him/her.

Applications that are incomplete with regard to the above requirements will not be assessed by the committee.

Shortlisting and tests may be used in the assessment process.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

As part of the overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, an interview may be applied.
Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Uploaded files must be in Adobe PDF (unlocked) or Word format.

Read the guideline for applicants 
Each field can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

Send application
Deadline 2021-Dec-01

You can apply for the job at Faculty of Business and Social Sciences by completing the application form


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