PhD position in Environmental Epidemiology


We are offering a 3-year PhD position in Environmental Epidemiology Group, Section of Environmental Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, commencing 1 September 2022 or thereafter after agreement.

Our group and research
The Environmental Epidemiology group conducts research and teaching in general epidemiological methods based on the use of Danish health registers and clinical databases, with a specific research focus on environmental epidemiology, cancer screening evaluation, human biomonitoring, and occupational epidemiology

Project description: Long-term exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality
Current evidence on air pollution and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is based mainly on studies of incidence of different CVD outcomes (MI, IHD, stroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure) based on studies in subjects who were free of CVD (Miller et al. 2020). These studies are used to study whether air pollution is a risk factor for CVD, and contributes to the development of CVD in healthy subjects, which makes it relevant for primary prevention of CVD (Miller et al. 2020).
However, evidence is sparse on the effects of air pollution on disease prognosis subsequent to diagnosis of CVD. These studies examine whether long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to exacerbations of disease in CVD patients, such as frequent hospitalizations, or shorter survival after CVD diagnoses. Another important aspect of these studies is to assess whether certain therapy/medications modify the risk related to air pollution. These studies are useful to assess potential for cleaner air policies and, by extension, secondary prevention of CVDs.  

Majority of evidence on air pollution and health outcomes comes from Western Europe, USA, and Canada, areas where air pollution levels are relatively low. There is general lack of data from less developed countries, where air pollution levels are high, research infrastructure and funding are poor, and air pollution epidemiology as a field is underdeveloped. Eastern European countries have some of the highest air pollution levels in Europe, as well as a lack of studies on air pollution and health, including CVDs. Due to the differences in air pollution sources and levels, as well as population and societal characteristics, local estimates on health effects of air pollution would be best for understanding the healthcare burden due to air pollution.

The overall aim of this research is to examine the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular disease in Denmark and Serbia.

Job description
We seek to hire a PhD student to work on the epidemiological study of the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and risk of CVD exacerbations (hospitalizations) among CVD patients, as well survival after CVD.

Principal supervisor is Professor Zorana J. Andersen, Section of Environmental Health, University of Copenhagen, Email:,  Phone: +45 35 32 76 69.

Co-supervisor is Professor, Rudi Westendorp, Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Email:, phone: +45 22 96 31 41.

Start: 1 September 2022        

Duration:  3 years as a PhD student

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a Master of Science degree in environmental science, epidemiology, medicine, biostatistics, public health, global health, or any other related field. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).
Other important criteria are:

  • Knowledge of statistical programming skills in programming languages of R, SAS, and STATA, and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Training in epidemiology
  • Excellent scientific writing skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • You must be enterprising and possess good interpersonal and teamwork skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week. The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years. The start date is 1 September 2022 or after agreement.
The employment is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant before the starting date.
The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree.
Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

For specific information about the PhD position, please contact the principal supervisor or the co-supervisor.

General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: 2 June 2022, 23.59pm CET
We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.
The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.
Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can find information about the recruitment process at:

The applicants will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background. 


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 02-06-2022
Employment start: 01-09-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Public Health

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