Zoonotic viruses, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, pose a particular challenge for disease control. It is possible to use One Health approaches to controlling human infections by controlling such viruses in animal or human populations. However, it is not clear which control strategies will be the most effective to reduce transmission or be most cost effective. In addition, One Health approaches can be challenging if a virus does not cause any clinical signs in the animal population.
This project will focus on vaccination strategies for two important zoonotic viruses: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV). RVFV causes abortions in livestock and potentially severe disease in humans, while CCHFV causes no signs of disease in livestock but case fatality in humans can reach 40%. RVFV can be found in Africa and CCHFV can be found in Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and the Middle East. No treatment is currently available for either disease, while prevention or control is difficult. Recently, however, vaccine candidates have been developed for these viruses that could be used in both animals and humans. This raises the possibility of a One Health approach to their control, but the effectiveness of such strategies has yet to be evaluated. Identifying the most cost-effective vaccination strategies will support policy makers in affected countries in designing and delivering appropriate vaccination programmes.
The project will provide the student with training in mathematical modelling, epidemiology and health economics applied to real-world problems.
The student will be registered with City, University of London. They will share their time between the University and The Pirbright Institute, meeting with their supervisors, engaging with the doctoral communities and undertaking training or completing specific project tasks as required.
This studentship is open to science graduates (with, or who anticipate obtaining, at least a 2:1 or equivalent, in a subject with a substantial quantitative component in their undergraduate degree, or a Masters degree - subject to university regulations). You should be looking for a challenging, interdisciplinary research training environment and have an active interest in the control of infectious diseases.
Students without English as a first language must provide evidence that they meet the English language requirement, e.g. with an average IELTS score of 7.0, with no lower than 7.0 in listening/reading and no lower than 7.0 in speaking/writing.
TO APPLY: Full details of how to apply can be found on our website: How to apply | The Pirbright Institute
For informal enquiries regarding this project please contact the project supervisors. For enquiries regarding eligibility and the application process please email [Email Address Removed]
For Home student eligibility guidelines, please refer to the UKRI Full Eligibility Criteria (Annex One): UKRI-030221-Guidance-International-Eligibility-Implementation-training-grant-holders-V2.pdf