We would be most grateful if the following advertisement could
be drawn to the attention of suitable candidates.
Dr. Philip D. O'Neill
Prof. Gareth O. Roberts
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM and UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER
PhD STUDENTSHIP and POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Applications are invited for the two above-named posts in connection
with the following EPSRC-funded project. Both posts are funded for 3
years, and are available from 1st Oct 1999 (although there is some
flexibility about the exact start date.)
(Note: the usual EPSRC eligibility requirements for studentships do
NOT apply, and so applicants can be from outside the UK and EC.)
== MARKOV CHAIN MONTE CARLO METHODS FOR STOCHASTIC EPIDEMIC MODELS ==
Background: When analysing data from infectious disease outbreaks
it is often desirable to use stochastic models which describe
the underlying infection process. However performing statistical
inference for such models is complicated by a number of factors,
such as the high level of dependency in the data and and fact
that data is invariably only partial.
Recently, the use of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods has
been explored for such problems. Such methods generally allow for
flexible modelling assumptions and result in a more powerful
analysis than has previously been possible. However, for a number
of reasons standard MCMC methods can encounter severe convergence
problems for certain modelling situations.
The Project: The main aim of the project is to develop and apply
efficient MCMC algorithms for Bayesian inference for stochastic
epidemic models. Three main kinds of modelling situation will be
considered, namely epidemics in large single populations; epidemics
among households; and epidemics in populations with social structure.
The project brings together a number of topics such as: developing
new MCMC algorithms based on recent theoretical advances; performing
Bayesian analyses for infectious disease data; developing and
analysing stochastic epidemic models. In particular, there is a blend
of applied probability, stochastic processes, statistical inference,
and computation methods.
Postgraduate Research Studentship
The Research Studentship, expected to result in a PhD, is based in
the Division of Statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences
at the University of Nottingham. The Division, which achieved a
Grade 4 rating in the last Research Assessment Exercise, is
currently enjoying a period of expansion, with four recent staff
appointments creating a total of 9 academic staff. There are also
currently 8 research students and research staff. The Student would
join an internationally-recognized research group in Stochastic
Epidemic Models. The Studentship project will be mostly (but not
exclusively) concerned with models for the spread of epidemics among
groups of households, and applying the models to real data. The
funding includes tuition fees, funding for training, and a standard
EPSRC maintenance grant.
Applicants for the Studentship should have, or will shortly obtain, a
first or good upper second degree or Masters in Mathematics or
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
The Postdoctoral Research Assistant would be based in the Statistics
Group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University
of Lancaster. The Statistics Group includes 12 academic staff and
25 research students and research associates, and achieved Grade 5
rating in each of the last two Research Assessment Exercises.
The RA would be concerned with the development and implementation of
state-of-the-art MCMC methods, particularly with a view to application
to single-outbreak epidemic models and network epidemic models. The
salary commences at point 6 of the RA/1A scale (currently GBP 17,570).
Applicants for the Postdoctoral RA should have, or will
shortly obtain, a PhD in Statistics or Applied Probability.
The two principal investigators are Dr. Philip O'Neill (Nottingham -
currently at Liverpool) and Prof. Gareth Roberts (Lancaster). In
addition, Prof. Niels Becker (ANU, Australia) is acting in an advisory
capacity. The project team will have regular meetings in both
Nottingham and Lancaster, and it is anticipated that there will also
be opportunities to visit Prof. Becker in Canberra. Funding is also
available for conference attendance.
Applicants should send a CV (two copies) by post or email to the
appropriate address below. Informal enquiries are also welcome.
The closing date for applications is July 9th although late
applications may also be considered.
Dr. P.D. O'Neill, Division of Statistics and OR, Department of
Mathematical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX
Email: [log in to unmask]
Prof. G.O. Roberts, Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YF
Email: [log in to unmask]