PhD fellowship in causal inference, Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 17 Oct 2021

We are offering a PhD fellowship with a special focus on causal inference in biostatistical applications commencing on 15 January 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter. The PhD student is expected to develop and apply statistical methodology for causal analysis of observational and experimental data with focus on interpretable target parameters and rigorous statistical inference.

Project description
The PhD project aims at developing statistical methodology for causal inference in applications of biostatistics and epidemiology.  A key part of the project is the integration of state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to learn underlying complex confounding structures of the data while still providing formal statistical inference for causal effect estimation. The PhD candidate will be involved in a larger project group spanning researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and statisticians from Novo Nordisk A/S, a leading global healthcare company headquartered in Denmark. The main goal of the larger collaboration is to develop new methodology and improve best practices in the analysis of both randomized controlled trials and observational data such as registry and electronic health record data.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor Frank Eriksson, Section of Biostatistics, , tel. 35 32 60 48,
Principal co-supervisor is Assistant Professor Helene Charlotte Wiese Rytgaard, Section of Biostatistics, ,
External co-supervisor is Henrik Ravn, Novo Nordisk A/S, .

Start:                  15January 2022

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
The successful applicant for the Ph.D. scholarship will be a statistician with a strong background in mathematics and statistics i.e., a candidate degree in for example mathematics, statistics, or engineering sciences. Accordingly, we require documented skills within theoretical and applied statistics as well as high-level programming. Also, the applicant should have the ability to communicate research findings in teaching, conference talks and by writing scientific papers for international journals.

It is a prerequisite for the PhD fellowship that the candidate can be and is not already enrolled as a PhD student at the faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, CSS, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment
The position as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. The starting date is 15 January 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant prior to employment.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 27,800 DKK /approx. 3,700 EUR (October 2021-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Associate Professor Frank Eriksson, Section of Biostatistics, , tel. 35 32 60 48, or Assistant Professor Helene Charlotte Wiese Rytgaard, Section of Biostatistics,

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

Application procedure
Submit your application via the link below.

The application must be written in English and should consist of the following:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
    As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: . Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
    Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

Application deadline:  17 October 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.
The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.
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 the beginning of November.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

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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