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Phd Position in Health Economics at the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University 932669

Mental disorders are now recognized as major contributors to the burden of disease worldwide. The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study estimates that the contribution of mental disorders to the total worldwide burden has increased from 3.5% in 1990 to 5.5% in 2015 with depressive disorders ranked as the top-5 most burdened cause of years lost living with disabilities.

The Department of Public Health at Aarhus University is looking to appoint a PhD candidate (PhD student – a 3-year appointment) in the field of health economics and health planning, with a focus on register-based studies of the burden of mental disorders in Denmark.

Danish health registers provide a remarkable opportunity to estimate health metrics related to the burden of disease (e.g. prevalence, age of onset, mortality). The PhD candidate will join a multidisciplinary team funded by a Niels Bohr Professorship (Danish National Research Foundation), awarded to Prof. John McGrath. Separate funding have to be obtained for this PhD position for which the candidate must prepare a protocol. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Queensland, and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (Washington University, Seattle), the PhD candidate will apply developments from the Global Burden of Disease project to Danish mental health estimates. In particular, the candidate will estimate and develop a forecast model for the economic burden of mental disorders in Denmark (direct treatment costs and indirect societal costs per Disability Adjusted Life Year).

The PhD candidate will apply methods developed by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation for the Global Burden of Disease project. These will include methods that allow modelling of future changes in disease burden indicators, and Danish mental health estimates versus comparable Nordic countries. The forecast model should aim at giving policy implication for reducing the burden of mental health disorders in Denmark. The underlying data will be derived from Danish health registers and estimates used in current application of the Burden of disease framework ( The candidate will have the opportunity to learn about contemporary health metrics and data visualization techniques, and will have the opportunity to spend time in Australia and/or the USA working with collaborators.

Notice that we are advertising a PhD in register-based psychiatric epidemiology related to the same project - please see below
≥The successful candidate should have a strong academic background. Prerequisites are:
≥A completed degree in health economics, public health, statistics, epidemiology, human medicine, social science.
≥Fluency in spoken and written English. Danish is an advantage
≥A strong interest in psychiatric epidemiology and in the application of novel statistical methods in large-scale datasets
≥An inquisitive mind-set and the ability to plan, organise and execute work independently

Strong assets include:
≥A completed MSc-level thesis in a related field
≥Authorship of peer-reviewed publications
≥Experience in using Excel and statistical software such as SAS, R, Stata or SPSS
≥Experience with the presentation of research results

The successful candidate will be employed in a fixed-term position at the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University (AU), Denmark when full funding successfully have been obtained. The candidate will work with Dr. Kim Moesgaard Iburg (Department of Public Health, AU), and collaborate with a wider team of researchers, including Professor John McGrath (National Center for Register-based Research, AU and University of Queensland), Professor Harvey Whiteford (University of Washington and University of Queensland), Dr. Oleguer Plana Ripoll (National Center for Register-based Research, AU) and with senior staff from the National Centre for Register-based Research.

Information about PhD at Aarhus University can be found here: As a PhD student, you will be remunerated according to the relevant basic salary scale of the collective agreement depending on whether or not you have been employed after completing your Master’s programme. For PhD students without any seniority, the start salary per 1 April 2017 amounts 26,073 DKK per month (3,503 EUR) including supplements. In addition to the salary, a PhD student is eligible for a pension plan under which pension contributions corresponding to 17.1 per cent of the salary will be paid in.

The PhD fellowship project must be ready for application for the February 2018 application round at The Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University ( with an expected start on the PhD programme from May 2018. It is a requirement that the successful candidate applies for and is approved for enrolment as a PhD at Aarhus University and have obtained funding for the project before starting. The application for enrolment is separate and will have to be submitted in accordance with the open call of the Graduate School, Health, Aarhus University. This open call can be accessed here:

For further information, please contact Kim Moesgaard Iburg (; +4587168031) or John McGrath (

Applications must contain the applicant’s CV, motivation letter, list of grades, plus name, address and email of at least 1 referee, and must be sent by email to Oleguer Plana Ripoll ( by October 31st, 2017 at the latest with title “PhD position in health economics”. Interviews will be held during November in person or via Skype.


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