As part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “SEWPROF”, the group Social Medicine (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) of the University of Antwerp is looking for:
Experienced Researcher (m/f, 100%) in the field of Social Medicine and Drug Epidemiology
The aim of this project (Epidemiology of drugs – sewage vs. social studies) is
compare data on illicit drug use obtained via sewage epidemiology with information collected via socio-epidemiological studies
Although it was recently proven that sewage epidemiology can reveal interesting data on drug use, the approach has been under a lot of criticism, since it is not always clear which users can be linked to the sewage epidemiology results. Very little effort has been invested until now to correlate sewage epidemiology results with socio-epidemiological findings and, consequently, more data has to be gathered to clarify this. A possible way of performing this comparison is to investigate drug use via analysis of sewage in a relatively small and stable community, e.g., with limited ‘movement flow’, such as a small-medium city (50,000 – 100,000 inhabitants) to ensure a higher degree of confidence in the sewage results and in the correlation with the community inhabitants. Larger cities are not very appropriate for this comparison due to commuting during the weekdays and the touristic influx during weekends. The investigated community should also be well-characterized as to the serving WWTPs and their catchment area. A random sample of all inhabitants will receive a questionnaire with validated questions on recent drug use.
the candidate (ER2) will develop this questionnaire, containing questions on substance use which are already employed in the Belgian Health Interview Survey, EMCDDA, WHO surveys and other relevant surveys. We will ask also questions regarding lifestyle, such as going out and entertainment during week-/weekend days. Ethical approval will be applied for at the Ethics Committee of the University Hospital of Antwerp. Sewage samples will be collected regularly and will correspond to the time of sending of the questionnaire to the participants, the return of completed questionnaires and later time points to assess the time trends in consumption for the targeted community. By linking the sewage data with the survey (socio-epidemiological) data, we aim at validating the sewage epidemiology approach.
Task-specific research skills developed:
Design of questionnaires; interpretation of epidemiological data; statistics & experimental design; setup of a monitoring study
Profile and requirements
either an EU citizen or from outside the EU (subject to relevant immigration formalities), who has spent less than 12 months in Belgium in the last three years (e.g. to be eligible for this position, applicants must have spent less than 12 months in Belgium over the last 3 years).
Proficiency in oral and written English is required.
Knowledge of Dutch is an asset.
You have a PhD in Medicine or in Biomedical Sciences.
You must also
be in the first five years (full-time equivalent) of your research career. This is measured from the date you embarked on a PhD.
You have experience with Ethical approvals and with social research related to drugs.
You have a strong interest in scientific research
Equal consideration will be given to female or male applicants.
The Marie Curie programme also encourages the participation of applicants returning to research after a career break.
A full-time post-doctoral fellowship for a period of 2 years, including social security, provided by the Marie Curie Training Network “SEWPROF”. As part of this network, the position offers excellent networking and training opportunities, including short research stays and visits to other network partner organizations.
The candidate will receive monthly mobility, yearly travel allowances, and a career exploratory allowance.
Starting date is negotiable, yet as soon as possible after June 1st, 2013.
Please fill out the mandatory application form, by
30th April30th May 2013 at the latest.
For more information about this vacancy, contact