Organization: Institute of Tropical Medicine
Country: Belgium
Closing date: 16 Oct 2018


The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for education, research and service delivery in the field of tropical medicine and global health. It has an extensive network of structural collaboration with scientific institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America with which it collaborates closely to improve the fight against infectious diseases and the strengthening of health systems.

In view of current global health challenges, and with support of the Flemish Ministry of Sciences, ITM is establishing an Outbreak Research Team (ORT) with the aim to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary research on epidemic outbreaks of tropical and infectious diseases, especially but not exclusively in low and middle income countries. We seek to recruit a number of committed and experienced scientists with complementary profiles, who will reinforce the current core team consisting of an epidemiologist, an entomologist and a clinician. They will be expected to work across disciplinary and thematic boundaries and to develop joint or individual innovative projects. The initial main foci are:

  1. Understanding drivers of transmission and spread of epidemic outbreaks
  2. Design and evaluation of diagnostic methods for epidemic pathogens
  3. Management, analysis and modelling of outbreak data
  4. Development and evaluation of interventions to control and prevent outbreaks, including the involvement of and impact on regular health services and systems

While being dedicated to the ORT, the experts will be positioned in the appropriate scientific units in one of the three academic departments of ITM, i.e. Clinical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Public Health. The ORT as such will be organised according to an institutional project management matrix.

The experts will be based at ITM in Antwerp, Belgium, but must be prepared to travel on short-term notice to outbreak areas around the world, often in difficult positions. In between overseas assignments, they will perform inter-epidemic research on the ORT subjects. Apart from their work in the ORT, the experts will also be involved in departmental tasks in research, training and service delivery.


  • Set up a management framework for the ORT activities.
  • Lead the development of the ITM supporting capacity for the ORT, in close cooperation with the supporting services of the ITM (Research Office, Accountancy, Project Management, HRM & purchase service). Together, set-up a robust and flexible response capacity in terms of administrative, legal and logistical support.
  • Set up strategic collaborations and where possible pre-negotiate agreements for cooperation with relevant stakeholders (e.g. MSF, Red Cross, MoH).
  • Contribute, in close collaboration with Scientific Steering Committee of the ITM ORT, to the development of (i) generic outbreak research tools that can be rapidly adapted and implemented in case of outbreaks, and (ii) pre-defined mechanisms to streamline and optimize ethics review.
  • In case of an outbreak, coordinate ITM’s participation and ensure the administrative, legal and logistic preparations at ITM and at the site of the outbreak.
  • Contribute to the development of ORT project proposals for external funding through support for the general, financial and administrative parts of the application.
  • Administrative follow up of the implementation of projects (e.g. milestones, planning…).


  • A relevant master’s degree.
  • Fluent in English and French; knowledge of Dutch, Spanish or other languages is an asset.
  • Experience in research, including research protocol development
  • Experience in outbreak response is an asset.
  • Working experience in LMIC and/or with partners from LMIC is essential.
  • Experience in project management office (PMO), and knowledge of financial, administrative, legal and standard logistic procedures (i.e. in research projects: procurement, subcontracting, privacy & ethical legislation…).
  • Willing to travel on short notice to outbreak areas, and to work and live in difficult conditions.
  • Team spirit, and open to multidisciplinary interactions.
  • Highly motivated, quality-minded and result-driven.


An intellectually stimulating, international and socially committed environment, with room for personal initiative. You are stationed in Antwerp but you may frequently travel for extensive periods of time to outbreak areas.

A fulltime position for two years, extendable to a contract of indeterminate duration. Starting date as soon as possible.

A salary according to the scales of the Flemish universities and to your work experience, with supplementary extra-legal benefits: a public transport subscription and/or bicycle fee, private pension scheme and meal vouchers subscription.

How to apply:


Send your application with motivation letter and ITM application form to before 16 October 2018.