PhD Position in Public Health Genetics

Jan 12, 2018
Feb 28, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Prof. Dr. Maria C. Katapodi, PhD, RN, FAAN, Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel investigates ways to improve use of cancer genetic services and surveillance, cancer risk prediction models, communication, support, and quality of life in families affected by hereditary cancer. The open position is within the "CASCADE Study - A family-based cohort for investigating the use and impact of genetic testing and the development of comprehensive interventions for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC) and Lynch (LS) syndromes in Switzerland" which received funding from the Swiss Cancer League. This family-based cohort will identify and survey mutation carriers with HBOC or LS from clinic-based genetic testing records and their blood relatives to determine their cancer status, cancer surveillance practices, quality of life, estimate relative risks associated with behavioral and psychosocial modifiable risk factors, psychosocial and family support needs, willingness to participate in a family-based cohort enriched for familial cancer risk, and willingness of relatives to accept genetic testing.


Your Tasks:

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of the Principal Investigator (Prof. Dr. Maria Katapodi) and collaborate with members of the CASCADE Consortium, a multidisciplinary team involving investigators from basic science, epidemiology, genetic medicine, nursing, psychology, public health, and sociology from the German, French, and Italian parts of Switzerland.

The objectives of the advertised PhD position are to:

  • Assume responsibility for recruitment of participants, data entry and data management, development of follow up surveys, testing of psychometric properties of instruments, data analyses, and dissemination of findings with manuscripts and conference presentations.
  • Assist in efforts to obtain additional funding for the CASCADE Study.
  • Participate in teaching activities for the Master's and PhD in Nursing Science programs and support Prof. Dr. Katapodi in academic management tasks.


Your profile:

  • We are looking for a dynamic, reliable, and motivated student with an M.Sc. in anthropology, biology, clinical research, epidemiology, health economics, nursing, psychology, public health, sociology of health or other health related sciences with outstanding grades and evidence of scholarship.
  • Experience in oncology and/or cancer epidemiology and/or cancer registries is advantageous.
  • Sound quantitative methodological and statistical skills and good knowledge of common computer programs (e.g. Word) and statistical analyses programs such as SPSS, SAS, STATA, R etc.
  • Ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary and international team.
  • Proficiency in English and German (speaking and writing); proficiency in French and/or Italian (speaking and writing) is an asset.


We offer:

  • The research will be carried out within a 3-year project, starting in early 2018. The successful candidate will have access to data from the CASCADE study and will determine the focus of his/her program of research under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Katapodi and with the collaboration of members of the CASCADE Consortium.
  • Prof. Dr. Katapodi leads an innovation-driven team aiming to address pressing and future healthcare needs of families affected by hereditary cancer syndromes within a multidisciplinary context. Prof. Dr. Katapodi is also an Adjunct Assoc. Professor at the University of Michigan, School of Nursing US, with close ties to US research-intensive academic institutions.
  • Nursing Science at the University of Basel is one of the leading academic and research institutions within Switzerland and Europe. We offer a stimulating international working environment and collaborative relationships with outstanding leading interdisciplinary teams. Training experiences are embedded in the educational and research infrastructure of the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Public Health, University of Basel.
  • Compensation according to the official payment structure of the Swiss National Science Foundation for PhD level students.


Application / Contact

Please send your application by 28.02.18. Candidates for the position will be notified for an in-person, phone, or Skype interview by 07.03.18. The successful candidate is expected to assume his/her responsibilities by 01.04.18 (negotiable).


Further Information:

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