Junior Research Scientist on Modeling viral epidemics


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The new PHIM (Plant Health Institute of Montpellier) joint research unit studies the different dimensions of plant health: ecology and diversity of pathogens, mechanisms of interactions between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment.
The research topics of the host team (CAMEPI – Characterization and Modelling of Epidemics) cover a wide range of questions focused on viral epidemiology, studied through laboratory experiments, field surveys, and modelling. The agroecological transition promoted and supported by INRAE will increase the proximity between diverse populations of host plants and pathogens. Yet, interactions between different viral species, strains or genomic segments raise questions at the interface between epidemiology and evolution, for instance on the virulence and selective value of different agents in a host, during transmission and in landscapes. Understanding these dynamics and calibrating high-performance models to help manage epidemics are major challenges.
You will use modelling to estimate epidemic parameters associated with host-virus and virus-virus combinations, predict epidemic spread, identify and optimize in silico the management strategies adapted to epidemic heterogeneity caused by the cocirculation of different viral agents on different host species. Your work will initially focus on the impact of the presence of two main strains of Plum pox virus, responsible for sharka epidemics in a landscape comprising several host species (peach and apricot trees), and will then be extended to other biological data available for other viral pathosystems studied by the research unit. You will thus complement the scientific resources of the PHIM unit in predictive epidemiology.

Prolonged work on computer screen

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
Ideally specialized in epidemiology, ecology or evolution of pathogens, strong skills in modelling, simulation and statistics would be appreciated. Proficiency in at least one programming language is recommended and a good knowledge of parameter inference approaches would be an asset.
Candidates should have a good command of English, and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-SPE-5
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 8

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