Post-doc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Updated: 22 days ago
Deadline: 08 Nov 2021

We are seeking a motivated and independently driven researcher focussing on veterinary epidemiology and biostatistical data analysis for a 3-year post-doctoral position at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences commencing 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter. The primary duties will be to contribute to epidemiological studies by performing data management and visualisations as well as statistical analysis of veterinary data from field studies and registers/databases. Other duties will be to contribute to planning of studies, sampling and making observations of clinical signs, biosecurity and/or welfare parameters in livestock farms.

The position will involve working with extraction and analysis of datasets from VetStat (Denmark’s national database on prescribed medicine for animals) to respond to requests from the Veterinary Authorities. It will also involve taking part in research projects of relevance for use of antimicrobials, vaccines and other veterinary drugs in different animal species. The successful applicant will be working directly within the VetStat cluster - a research and consultancy cluster consisting of 5-6 researchers under the Danish Veterinary Consortium ( ). The VetStat cluster runs in collaboration between researchers from Section for Production, Nutrition and Health and Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control. Furthermore, collaboration with researchers within epidemiology, biostatistics, animal welfare and production, including PhD students, in on-going and new projects at the department is to be expected.

Independent pursuit of related research interests will be encouraged, with time allowed for exploring potential collaborative opportunities and participating in funding applications to secure a future position. The position is based within the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, at the Frederiksberg Campus, but will also involve collaboration with other partners in Denmark including the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and Danish livestock sector institutions. Therefore, trips to other parts of Denmark for visits to livestock farms or other institutions is part of the work.

Information on the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and the two involved sections can be found at:

Our research
Researchers in the Sections for Production, Nutrition and Health, and Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences are engaged with a wide range of research and teaching activities in the fields of data science and biostatistics, epidemiology and modelling of diseases, animal welfare and production. These include both national and international research projects with animal disease researchers and regulatory bodies throughout Europe and worldwide. The sections are also central to the contingency work (Danish: myndighedsbetjening) for the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Danish: Fødevarestyrelsen), under the DKVET consortium ( ) together with Statens Serum Institut (SSI). The VetStat cluster works primarily with data management, visualisation and statistical analyses in own projects, collaborative or requested projects and assignments of different sizes and durations.

The successful applicant for this position will be working directly within this cluster in close collaboration with the following researchers:

Your job
The position will require collaborative and independently driven work with study planning, data management, data visualisation, biostatistical modelling and scientific publication of results. The day-to-day activities relating to VetStat will mainly fall within the following areas:

  • Data extractions from VetStat and evaluation of data for analytical purposes
  • Contribution to improving R-codes for standardisation of extractions and visualisations of cleaned VetStat data
  • Contribution to developing statistical methods to calculate, monitor and analyse antimicrobial use in different animal species and different population levels and time-intervals
  • Collaborating with the PhD students in the VetStat-cluster

Other activities will typically fall within the following areas:

  • Contribution to study design and planning, and to data collection in field studies, which will typically require on-farm handling of livestock for sampling, observations and clinical investigations
  • Statistical analysis of disease or welfare data of livestock
  • Management of (large) datasets relating to animal diseases as part of the veterinary contingency services and other research projects
  • Assistance with biostatistical analysis input to other projects, including masters and PhD projects
  • Occasional contribution to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching activities in epidemiology and biostatistics

We are looking for a highly motivated and independent scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • Qualifications corresponding to a masters degree in Veterinary Medicine or Animal Science
  • A PhD in a field with a strong quantitative component involving use of data gathered from prospective and retrospective studies, e.g. biostatistics or quantitative epidemiology
  • Good programming skills in R
  • Moderate statistical training and experience with fitting generalised linear models to data
  • Experience in important aspects of data science, including data verification and processing, visualisation, and critical assessments of potential sources of bias
  • Active interest in using veterinary data to support decision makers
  • Active interest in pursuing new approaches and skills for data analysis
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in a diverse team including people with veterinary/biological and statistical/modelling backgrounds
  • Excellent English skills (both written and spoken)
  • Good track record of publication of research results in scientific journals commensurate with the stage of your career
  • Drivers license for ordinary car

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Experience with all phases of veterinary epidemiological field studies
  • Experience of working with R package development within the tidyverse framework
  • Experience of working with R Markdown
  • Experience with databases and standardisation of data extraction
  • A working knowledge of recording practices and dataflow of veterinary data to national (Danish) databases
  • Danish language skills (or a willingness to learn)

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Frederiksberg Campus, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative, flexible and stimulating working conditions within a dynamic and international research environment, with a wide international research network in the fields of data science, quantitative epidemiology and infectious disease modelling. There is also a strong tradition of collaboration between researchers with different backgrounds and interests, supported by an active and vibrant social dimension to the section.

Terms of employment
Employment can be part time or full time, fixed-term position for 3 years, with a possibility for extension for the right applicant. Starting date is after agreement, but anticipated to be 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Currently, the monthly salary for full time employment starts at 34,600 DKK/ approx. 4,640 Euro (April 2020-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark within the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities of 2020.

For further information please contact Professor Liza Rosenbaum Nielsen – informal enquiries are welcome by email:

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking Apply now below, and must include the following documents/attachments (all in PDF format):

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).

2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.

3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.

4. List of publications.

Application deadline: 8 November 2021, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 49 and 50.

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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