Postdoctoral position OT-21966

Dietary profiles, health risk from chronic diseases, and dynamics of life-course health


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Work environment, missions and activities

Unravelling the complex relationship between what we eat and how long and well we live is a critical challenge in public health. Adherence to healthy dietary patterns has been shown to prevent from diseases and prolong life expectancy 1. This project aims to develop new epidemiological models integrating dietary composition with life-course health dynamics to improve our understanding of the long-term health impact of food choices2.

The appointed candidate will join the PROSPECT team (UMR PNCA, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay ; Head: Prof. François Mariotti) for a period of 14-18 months, collaborating closely with partners from the ANR-funded Transfood project and related initiatives. This  work will mostly be conducted at EREN (U. Sorbonne Paris-Nord, Bobigny, France) for the initial period and then at PNCA (University Paris-Saclay, Campus Agro Paris-Saclay, France).

Your primary responsibilities will include:

  • Leading data analysis on the NutriNet-Santé cohort and INCA 3 Survey 3.
  • Contributing to the development of methods to assess the impact of diet on disease risk and (healthy) life expectancy.
  • Utilizing and potentially expanding upon existing tools and methods within the team.

More specific objectives will focus on:

  • Identify dietary profiles that are contrasted with regard to disease risk on NutriNet-Santé cohort data, using a set of multivariable Cox proportional hazard models to characterize relative risks associated with individual food groups using an aggregate morbi-mortality endpoint. Leverage existing team expertise and tools. This task will be conducted at EREN (Bobigny, France).
  • Evaluate the nutritional characteristics of the dietary profiles that contrast with regards to associated morbi-mortality risks, by exploring dietary and nutrient composition and comparing with diets observed in the INCA3 survey, building upon existing team methods and tools.
  • Assessing the impact of dietary changes on the burden of disease, including life table and life expectancy calculations, utilizing existing tools and methods within the team.
  • Exploring dynamics of life-course health by investigate novel tools and methods to characterize the potential influence of dietary changes on life-course health dynamics. Consider factors such as the time lag between dietary modifications and disease onset, as well as changes in health event distribution.

1 Fadnes et al., Estimating impact of food choices on life expectancy: A modeling study. PLoS Med. 2022.

2 Wagner et al., Life course epidemiology and public health, The Lancet Public Health, 2024.

3 The NutriNet-Santé study is a large web-based longitudinal follow-up of a French population cohort, aiming to explore associations between nutrition and health. The INCA 3 Survey, conducted in 2014-2015, is the latest representative survey of dietary consumption in France.

Training and skills


Educational background and knowledge: The candidate will hold a PhD in public health (nutrition), with strong knowledge and skills in data modelling, or a PhD in applied mathematics, with some background or experience in public health (nutrition).   

Skills: The candidate will be rigorous, able to work independently and as part of a team, interested in public health nutrition. He/She will have a good knowledge of English. Knowledge of French would be a plus.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer 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.

How to apply

Please email with the subject «Application for Transfood Postdoc-Prospect - Your last Name » and the following attachments as PDF documents: 

  • Your  curriculum vitae including research manuscripts or publications
  • A statement of research interests and how you are qualified for the project and position.
  • Names and contact information of professional references.

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: 14-18 months
  • Beginning: 02/09/2024
  • Remuneration: € 2670 to 3370 gross per month, depending on experience, in accordance with INRAE current salary scale.
  • Reference: OT-21966
  • Deadline: 01/09/2024
Centre Ile-de-France - Versailles-Saclay

PNCA 91120 Website


Dr. Juhui WANG
Prof. François MARIOTTI
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