Two postodoctoral positions are available in Mathematical/statistical modelling of Plasmondium vivax malaria at Walter and Eliza Hall institute, Melbourne and Institut Pasteur, Paris


The positions are based within the two research units directed by Prof. Ivo Mueller, namely the Mueller Laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, and The Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit at Institut Pasteur in Paris. The closely collaborating teams utilise interdisciplinary approaches to investigate the epidemiology of malaria transmission, drawing on tools from molecular biology, immunology, (clinical) epidemiology as well as statistical and mathematical modelling. Within the team, Dr Michael White directs research on statistical and mathematical modelling. The team boasts world leading expertise in the epidemiology of P. vivax malaria and works actively with collaborators in study sites in Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil and Peru.


Job description

The Supporting Preparedness in the Asia-Pacific Region through Knowledge (SPARK) project is directed by Prof Jodie McVernon (Doherty Institute & University of Melbourne) and Prof Ivo Mueller (The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute & Institut Pasteur). The project will provide capacity building support to countries across the Asia-Pacific through a participatory approach focused on the generation, synthesis and effective use of knowledge for public health and policy preparedness and response to infectious diseases. The SPARK project brings together a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, modellers, statisticians, decision and data scientists, health systems experts and health economists and will establish three quantitative epidemiology and infectious disease modelling hubs in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Using malaria as a case study, the team will develop and apply innovative statistical methods and mathematical models to inform malaria control and elimination efforts in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Cambodia, and ensure sustainable in-country expertise to support their use.


We are seeking two candidates for two year post-doctoral positions to work on the development of mathematical models of P. vivax malaria transmission, and perform statistical analyses of data from National Malaria Control Programmes.


A key focus of the project is on the development of computational simulation models, and their application to the following topics:

  • Evaluating the impact of combinations of existing and novel controls on malaria transmission in the Asia Pacific.
  • Assessment of the potential impact of innovative vector control tools targeting outdoor biting mosquitoes in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Assessment of the potential impact of introducing tafenoquine (a newly licensed drug capable of treating all stages of the vivax parasite) into case management in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Determine the impact of human mobility on sustaining malaria transmission in the Asia-Pacific and evaluate the potential of different intervention to achieve elimination in mobile populations.


Candidates will utilise an existing computational model of the dynamics of P. vivax transmission to simulate the impact of these interventions. Candidates will be expected to incorporate a range of data sources into their analyses using statistical methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC).


A second key focus of the project is on capacity building, through the transfer of statistical and modelling expertise to scientists and public health professionals working in National Malaria Control Programmes.


Candidates will be expected to work closely with colleagues in Australia and South-East Asia and present results to stakeholders at international meetings. This will require regular travel between Australia, South-East Asia and Europe.


The successful candidates will be given a two-year contract with possibility to extend thereafter, should both parties agree.



  • Mueller Laboratory, Population Health & Immunity Division, Walter + Eliza Hall Institute, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
  • Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit, Institut Pasteur, 25-28 Rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.

It is foreseen that one position is primarily Australia-based and the other primarily France-based but with opportunities to spend time at each work site.


Person qualifications:

  • Research experience of working with mathematical and/or statistical models.
  • A strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology.
  • Knowledge of a statistical programming language (preferably R).
  • Programming experience in C, C++ or Java.
  • Ability to collate and analyse data, interpret and present results to a high standard using a range of specialised research techniques.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. The working language of the laboratory is English.
  • Experience in communicating research findings to a non-specialist audience.
  • PhD in one of the following areas: infectious disease epidemiology, population biology, mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science or a similarly quantitative discipline.


Interested candidates should contact Prof Ivo Mueller ( and Dr Michael White ( with a statement of interest and a CV including contact details of two academic referees.