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Research Fellow

Population, Health & Wellbeing (PHeW)

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £38,017 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/12/2021
Closing Date:  Monday 22 March 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1341421WR

The WorldPop programme, based at the University of Southampton, has conducted a series of inter-linked COVID-19 studies ( based on mobility data to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spread and quantify the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions for supporting the pandemic response, with multiple papers published in prestigious journals such as Nature and Science. We are seeking to recruit one excellent researcher on infectious disease modelling to assist with the data analyses for exploring the seasonality of COVID-19 transmission dynamics and potential driving factors, through using a wide range of datasets such as COVID-19 incidence, population mobility, holidays, nightlights, interventions, and climate/environmental factors. The work will be foundational to a collaborative programme entitled Exploring the Seasonality of COVID-19 with partners at Africa CDC, Virginia Tech, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As well as joining the vibrant and well-connected WorldPop team, you will have opportunities to lead high-impact publications.

The project work to be undertaken will include some or all of the following: 

1.    quantifying seasonal transmission and dynamics of COVID-19;

2.    exploring the seasonal effects of domestic and international movements on the seeding of the virus at the early stage of outbreaks;

3.    assessing how various candidate drivers, e.g. environmental factors and seasonal movements with age/sex breakdowns where possible, can affect COVID-19 dynamics; and

4.    analysing the impact of synchronicity of interventions to mitigate resurgence over space and time, with a focus in low- and middle-income countries.

The output of this study will improve our understanding on the seasonality of COVID-19 and provide a series of validated models and output data for a wide range of uses across settings, including:

1.    more precise estimates of future waves of COVID-19 and the efficacy of interventions;

2.    identification of the most effective mix of interventions and their timing and intensity across regions for preventing or suppressing resurgences;

3.    provision of appropriate integrated domestic and international mobility and climatic data for COVID-19 and other infectious disease dynamics modelling;

4.    supporting disease control strategy design in general across countries, particular in low- and middle-income settings.

You will have a PhD *or equivalent professional qualifications and relevant research experience in an epidemiology/health geography/statistical/mathematical/quantitative discipline. Strong experience in population mobility and infectious disease modelling, and computer programming skills would be advantageous. The project work will be highly interdisciplinary and as such there is some flexibility to accommodate expertise from a range of cognate disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. geography, demography, statistics, medicine, computer science, ecology, epidemiology etc).  A willingness to travel overseas occasionally is also required.  

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. 

You will work under the supervision of Professor Andrew Tatem and Dr Shengjie Lai at the University of Southampton. The position is a full time fixed term role to start from 05/04/2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter) up until 31/12/2021, with a strong likelihood of extension.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Shengjie Lai ( or Professor Andrew Tatem (

Please include a covering letter, full CV and 2 letters of recommendation in your application.

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated aboveIf you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750 or email Please quote reference 1341421WR on all correspondence.


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We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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