PhD fellowship in Big Data to estimate the effects of chronic diseases on antibiotics usage

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Big Data to estimate the effects of chronic diseases on antibiotics usage, health and production to start by the 1 January 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
The PhD student will be part of a large group of Ph.D. students, Post-docs, junior and senior scientists and Professors working in the area of animal welfare and disease control. Specifically, the PhD student will be part of a research group working on endemic cattle diseases using epidemiological, statistical and economic methods to assess disease effects and control. Methods from within classical statistics, machine learning and simulation modelling may be used as necessary to meet the objectives.

Project description

The work for this fellowship is part of the project ACROBAT: Reduced use of AntimiCROBials in cAttle and poultry, which includes 4 PhD projects and several scientists.

Using data from VetStat (the official Danish register of veterinary medicine prescriptions) and the Danish cattle database, the PhD project will use a big data approach to assess the effects of chronic diseases of dairy cattle on:

  1. Animal health
  2. Antibiotics usage
  3. Production and reproduction
    The PhD student may use analysis techniques from classical statistical such as regression analysis and/or machine learning techniques to perform the analyses. This will be decided during the project. The objective is to understand how such diseases can be managed with minimal antibiotics usage and maximum animal health and profitability for the farmer. The PhD student is expected to work closely with researchers working on endemic diseases and antibiotic usage data in dairy cattle herds in Denmark.

Principal supervisor is Professor Søren Saxmose Nielsen, Tel: +45 3533 3096

Co-supervisors: Professor Tariq Halasa, Associate Professor Matthew Denwood and Senior Researcher Carsten Kirkeby

Start Date:  1-01-2020

Duration: 3 years as a PhD student

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

  • Carry out the activities in the research project
  • 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 research results in respected peer-reviewed journals and in national and international related conferences.
  • Write a PhD thesis

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine, animal science, systems biology, quantitative ecology, applied statistics or any other relevant field

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous experience of statistical analysis, particularly in dealing with large datasets
  • Experience working with programming languages such as R, Python or C++
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in data analysis and disease control
  • Fluent in English (oral and written)
  • Fluent in Danish (oral and written)
  • Enjoy working in a team

Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

Employment is conditional 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 the 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 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor (

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

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

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

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

3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if relevant)

Application deadline: Sunday 17 November 2019, 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 on the 25th, 26th and 28th of November 2020.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 17-11-2019
Ansættelsesdato: 01-01-2020
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: IVH

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