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Rapid response to anomaly detection: a national framework for dealing with canine disease outbreaks. Part of SAVSNET Agile: responsive data intelligence for canine health.

   Bristol Veterinary School

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  Dr F Sanchez-Vizcaino Buendia  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The project:
The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) collects large volumes of anonymised health records from a sentinel network of UK veterinary practitioners in real-time (
With Dogs Trust support, we are now advertising three PhDs to join an exciting interdisciplinary project based in leading research groups. The aim of this project is to speed up the flow of meaningful research surveillance measures so that they can be actioned in a clinically relevant time frame to improve individual and population canine health.

How should stakeholders respond when a disease threat is detected in UK dogs, and who should lead this response? Currently, action (if any) is usually haphazard and subject to significant time lags. This Bristol / Animal Health Trust PhD project will create an action framework able to deal with identified endemic and emerging disease threats in the national canine population. The student will work closely with key national stakeholders to define priorities for disease surveillance and pathways to potential “ownership” of diseases. The response framework will initially review the previous response of AHT to characterise Seasonal Canine Illness and will be further validated using Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy as a case study.

The PhD student will gain expertise on qualitative and quantitative epidemiology including disease surveillance, and on data science. The student will also learn to build statistical models and use R language.

This three-year studentship will be mainly based in Langford Campus of the Bristol Veterinary School, but will spend periods at AHT, near Newmarket, Suffolk, and is expected to start around September 2019.
During the PhD there will be regular meetings to link the work of the three PhDs into the wider SAVSNET team, and to the Dogs Trust.

How to apply:
When applying via: Please select ‘Faculty of Health Sciences’ and then ‘Veterinary Sciences_(PhD)’ on the Programme Choice page and enter details of the studentship when prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form
Please give the names and addresses of two people who have agreed to act as referees on your behalf and provide their references. Referees should not be related to you.

Candidate requirements:
We welcome applications from outstanding and motivated students with an undergraduate degree (2i or higher) in veterinary science or other related area. The candidate should have understanding of epidemiological principles relating to disease surveillance, enthusiasm for data science and excellent interpersonal and communication skills. This PhD is particularly suited for those with an interest in mixed approaches to epidemiology wanting to implement health policy change. Standard University of Bristol eligibility rules apply. Please visit for more information.

Dr Fernando Sánchez-Vizcaíno ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

The project is funded by a Dogs Trust Canine Welfare Project. A student stipend of up to £20,000 per annum is available for this project. All necessary postgraduate fees will also be covered at a UK / European rate. International (none-EU) students are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between UK/EU and International tuition fees.
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