New Graduate Research Assistantships in Pandemic Modeling

Applications open: Graduate Student Research Assistantships in Pandemic Lifecycle Modeling

TriCEM seeks applications from PhD students at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University to participate in an NSF-funded project on the lifecycle of pandemics. The PhD students will engage in research on the dynamics of the early stages of an infectious disease outbreak. Specifically, the project will investigate how infectious disease and human knowledge interact on human contact networks, the methods and data needed to investigate early stages of outbreaks, and the implementation of new approaches to predict and control outbreaks in the context of the pandemic lifecycle. Findings will allow public health authorities and scientists to better model and monitor future outbreaks, with the potential to reduce disease risk, save lives, and improve economic outcomes globally. Interested students can learn more about the research project here.

The selected PhD students will participate in Working Groups and/or a Pilot Study. Students will be trained to hold significant roles within these groups, providing them with opportunities to advance their research and to develop project management and leadership skills. The projects are highly interdisciplinary and involve work in teams. Graduate students participating in the Working Groups will assist with project management and contribute to the groups’ efforts in identifying knowledge gaps, determining approaches for their study, and synthesizing findings to shape future research efforts. Graduate students participating in the Pilot Study will contribute to building a simulation model, which may entail coding, data manipulation, and other analytical research. Applicants will be asked to indicate whether they are interested in being considered for one or both roles.

PhD students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will have experience in one or more of the following areas: computer science, phylogenetics, statistics, ecology and evolution, economics, epidemiology, engineering, environmental sciences, science policy, global health, and/or related fields. Candidates will be selected based on a holistic evaluation that assesses their experience and fit for the project, their research interests, their long-term goals, and their contribution to a fuller representation of perspectives.

Students can receive up to 12 months of stipend, tuition, and health insurance coverage, with funding starting as early as January 2023. Interested students should submit a CV and letter of interest at by Tuesday, September 27, 2022. The letter of interest should indicate why the applicant is interested in participating in this research opportunity and their relevant qualifications. The application asks for contact information for the student’s advisor and director of graduate studies, which will be used to verify eligibility for participation in this opportunity if selected. Please contact Dr. Meredith Spence Beaulieu ( with any questions.