Junior Research Scientist in statistics, machine learning and modelling applied to health ecology


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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 Biostatistics and Spatial Processes Unit (BioSP) at INRAE (Avignon) conducts research in statistics, dynamic systems, ecology-epidemiology, with a particular focus on spatial and spatio-temporal issues. The areas of application for this research primarily include ecology, epidemiology, agriculture, the environment, and climate-related risks. You will be integrated into the Research team of the unit and contribute to at least two of its scientific priorities: "statistics for predictive epidemiology" and "observing and modeling species distributions." To conduct your research, you will benefit from the expertise of researchers and engineers within the unit (in spatio-temporal statistics, dynamic systems, machine learning, scientific computing, quantitative epidemiology), its computing platform, and its numerous connections with various methodological and applied research teams, both within INRAE and beyond.

Diversity data represent a massive and crucial body of information for understanding the complex interactions between ecological, epidemiological, and biophysical processes in the context of health and agroecology. For example, these data should enable a better understanding and anticipation of emergence of pathogenic agents and new resistanceto plant protection products in multi-host systems affected by global changes, as well as the regulation and conservation of micro- and macro-species in complex trophic networks affected by human interventions. Diversity data are becoming increasingly high-resolution, spatially and temporally frequent, diverse in terms of organizational levels and species groups, and heterogeneous. Such data are typically collected by various research teams within the Plant Health and Environment division (SPE) of INRAE and internationally, for various micro- and macro-organisms that compose phytobiomes (systems including plants, their environment, and associated organism communities). You will contribute to addressing the new methodological challenges associated with diversity data by going beyond the typically static perspective of current approaches. You will conduct research in community ecology with a methodological focus (sampling strategies, dimensionality reduction, spatio-temporal processes, inference and prediction methods, and integration of heterogeneous diversity data, ranging from the molecular scale to the species level and their functions) aiming at representing and characterizing the spatio-temporal dynamics of communities and predict them under various control scenarios. You will develop a spatio-temporal, multi-scale view of communities with the overarching objective of elucidating conditions that promote, for example, pest regulation, resistance durability, emergence avoidance, and biodiversity conservation.

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Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

The competition is open to candidates with a PhD (or equivalent) in either statistics or data science, or in quantitative ecology-epidemiology.
Knowledge in community ecology, diversity data analysis, point processes, probabilistic networks, or deep learning is advantageous.

Fluency in English is desirable, as well as an extended international experience: successful candidates who have not yet had such an experience will be required to undertake a long-term stay abroad at the end of the probationary year, with financial support from the BioSP unit.

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.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

All persons employed by or hosted at INRAE, a public research establishment, are subject to its internal regulations, particularly with regard to the obligation of neutrality and respect for the principle of secularism. In carrying out their functions, whether or not they are in contact with the public, they must not express their religious, philosophical or political convictions through their behaviour or by what they wear.  

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2024-SPE-3
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 34
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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