A PhD opportunity is available within the team METHODS of the Centre of Research in Statistics and Epidemiology (CRESS),  , INSERM, to work on the development of innovative statistical methodology to inform personalized treatment choices in chronic diseases.

The position is part of an international doctoral programme offered by the University of Paris. The programme includes the opportunity for a secondment period to be spent at Ghent University, Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with sound background in statistics and interests at the intersection of statistics, computer science, and health research. The post offers excellent opportunities to work in an international and multidisciplinary environment.


Dr. Silvia Metelli (UParis), Prof. Raphaël Porcher (UParis), and Prof. Els Goetghebeur (UGent)

 Project details: The successful candidate will develop statistical methodology to estimate personalized timing of treatment for patients with complex chronic diseases using dynamic treatment regimes (DTRs). A dynamic treatment regime consists of a sequence of decision rules, one per stage of intervention, that dictate how to individualize treatments based on previous treatment choices and covariate history given that (a) response to treatment is heterogeneous across individuals and so treatment decisions should be personalized at patient-level and (b) the ‘personalization’ can change over time. Timing refers to the time in which a treatment is initiated or discontinued and holds great potential to improve disease management and to balance treatment effectiveness and risk. Throughout the project, the student will develop models to estimate treatment timing by constructing a DTR based on the biomarker observations and treatment history. Time will be considered as a continuous random variable and a Bayesian approach to inference will be envisaged. Estimation of optimal treatment timing will also be explored. All methods will be applied to real observational data, and bias corrections to adjust for time-varying confounding will be investigated.

Eligibility criteria: The student must not have resided in France for more than 12 months.

Education: Master degree in (bio)-statistics or applied mathematics

Starting from: September 2021

Duration: 36 months

Deadline: 15 February 2021

Application documents:

  • CV
  • Short motivation letter
  • Two letters of recommendation or names and email contacts of two referees

All documents should be in English. Please send your application to silvia.metelli@parisdescartes.fr

Informal enquiries and questions about the position are very welcome and should also be sent to silvia.metelli@parisdescartes.fr or raphael.porcher@aphp.fr.