Research Assistant

Position: Research Assistant (data science / computer programming)

Department: Mathematical Modelling

Location: This post is based in OUCRU Ho Chi Minh City.

Hours of work: Full-time

Tenure: This is a 12 months contract, include of 2 month probation.

Reporting to: Dr. Marc Choisy, Head of Mathematical Modelling Group

Vacancy reference: JD-1121-036


The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) is a large-scale clinical and public health research unit, with sites offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam, Jakarta in Indonesia and Kathmandu in Nepal. In Vietnam, we are hosted by the Hospital of Tropical Diseases (HTD) in Ho Chi Minh City, and the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases (NHTD) in Hanoi. OUCRU-Nepal is hosted by the Patan Academy of Health Sciences, and in Indonesia we exist in partnership with the Eijkman Institute as the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Programme (EOCRU). As a Wellcome Africa Asia Programme, we have received considerable support from Wellcome since our establishment in 1991.

OUCRU’s vision is to have local, regional and global impact on health by leading a locally driven research programme on infectious diseases in Southeast Asia. Priority is given to health issues important to the hospitals where we work, and to the countries as a whole where we operate: Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal. All work is intended not only to benefit the patients seen daily at our host hospitals, but also to help improve patient care throughout Southeast Asia.

Please see more information on OUCRU Website:

Job summary

The Mathematical Modelling Group uses and develops mathematical and computational models to answer basic and applied research questions on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Studied diseases include dengue, hepatitis C, COVID-19, measles, influenza. Questions relate to the seasonality and spatial dynamics of infectious diseases, the role of environmental and climatic drivers, as well as human population characteristics and movements. Applications relate to the prevention and control of infectious diseases by surveillance, vaccination and other potential interventions. We work closely with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Hanoi, in particular for the analysis of national surveillance data, including serological data.


The job will be to work on a project that investigates the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the vaccine uptake among infants in Vietnam. The hypothesis is that the disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased the vaccine coverage of infants and has delayed it. We will first quantify this decrease and delay and then compute the consequences in terms of risk of childhood diseases outbreaks in Vietnam.


The first part of the job will consist in working on (big) data from the Vietnamese national vaccination registry. Specifically, this will involve data cleaning, documentation, management, vizualization and analysis with statistical and machine learning methods.


The second part of the job will consist in translating the characterized decrease in vaccine coverage or delay in vaccination into a risk of outbreak. Specifically, this will involve the development of a mathematical model of infectious disease transmission and its coding into a computer program for its exploration through simulations.


The research assistant will have the opportunity to develop his/her own research questions later on and evolve his position. The candidate should be academically ambitious, and should have a desire to pursue further study and research.

Key responsibilities and tasks

Manage a big data base.

Perform data visualization and analyses.

Write the computer code in R and C++

Selection criteria


BSc or MSc in Computer Science, Public Health, Epidemiology, Physics, Mathematics, or any another discipline that involves programming literacy.


  • Knowledge in R (ideally) or (less ideal) python or Julia. For the job, the research assistant will have to focus on R since it’s the main language used in the group and other groups at OUCRU.


  • Knowledge in C++ (ideally) or (less ideal) C++ or Java. For the job, the research assistant will have to focus on C++ since it’s the compiled language that integrates the best with R.
  • Knowledge of Git and GitHub
  • Knowledge of UNIX-like systems
  • Knowledge of unit-testing
  • Knowledge in database management
  • Statistical and mathematical knowledge
  • Knowledge in parallelisation and code optimisation


  • Contracted salary: Negotiate (depending on actual experience and education).
  • Optional insurance : In-patient and out-patient medical coverage; Personal accident insurance coverage
  • Two months salary for annual bonus and clothes
  • Annual leave 18 days/year for the first year, a maximum of 30 days
  • Other responsibilities and benefits are based on Viet Nam Labor Law.

How to apply

Interested qualified candidates are invited to send their detailed resume and cover letter in English, including copies of relevant degrees, certificates, either by email or by post to the following address:

Oxford University Clinical Research Unit

Laboratory of Clinical Science

Hospital for Tropical Diseases

764 Vo Van Kiet, Ward 1, District 5, HCMC

Tel: 39237954



* We thank all applicants for their interests but only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.

Contact person

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Phuc

Deadline for submission

21st November 2021

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