Job offer: PhD Health impact assessment position (UBDPolicy)


The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, is the fruit of an innovative alliance between academic, government, and philanthropic institutions to contribute to the efforts undertaken by the international community to address the challenges in global health.
ISGlobal is looking for a PhD student who will help with the quantitative analysis of a few datasets and learn and apply health impact assessment methodologies as part of the EC funded UBDPolicy project. The project aims to conduct health impact assessment in many cities around Europe to assess benefits, risks and costs of urban and transport planning scenarios and related environmental and lifestyle exposures. 
UBD Policy “the urban burden of disease estimation for policy making” is a 4-years Horizon Europe project grant number 101094639 coordinated by ISGobal.


In Europe, more than 70% of the population lives in urban areas. Cities have long been known to be society’s predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also a main source of pollution, disease and mortality, which is to some extent linked to suboptimal urban and transport planning practices. 

UBDPOLICY aims to improve the estimation of health impacts and socio-economic costs and/or benefits of environmental stressors, advance methodological approaches and foster their acceptance as common good practice for urban areas, to help strengthen evidence-based policy making at city, national and EU level. The project will focus on nearly 1000 cities and environmental stressors including air pollution, noise, temperature/heat and lack of green space. UBDPOLICY will also include physical activity as a main determinant of health and examine the effects of gender and inequality in the impact estimations. 

The project aims to produce a system that will provide updates every three years to be able to monitor progress. It will extensively involve stakeholders and conduct knowledge translation. UBDPOLICY will use transdisciplinary and systemic approaches bringing together a team of, amongst others, experts and practitioners in urban and transport planning, environment and public health, economics, retail and business, education sector, policy analysis, knowledge translation and involve citizens and NGOs.





ISGlobal Campus Mar

What we are looking for

The PhD student will conduct Health impact assessment of urban and transport planning scenarios and related exposures in European cities.  S/he will extend the UTOPHIA tool (Urban and TranspOrt Planning Health Impact Assessment tool) and other HIA tools and methods.  S/he work will produce health and social-economic cost/benefit estimates for nearly 1000 European cities with 3-yearly updates to be able to monitor trends and impacts of urban planning, transport planning and environmental policies, and more in-depth analyses in a few selected case study cities.

Main duties and tasks

To conduct quantitative analysis and health impact assessments. The PhD student will work together with others on the study to conduct the statistical analyses and work on engagement with stakeholders and consortium members.


Strong motivation to engage in interdisciplinary and intersectoral work 
Willingness to participate in consortium training events, dissemination and engaging activities
Strong skills in English, written as well as oral
Degree in public health or equivalent
Experience in health impact assessment
Capable of working with large datasets
Programming in R and/or Python
Skills in writing and reporting
Good organisational skills
Good communications skills
Can work in groups

Training and experience

Experience on the analysis of quantitative data and health impact assessment.


  • Teamwork
  • Problem resolution
  • Learning capacity



Auxiliar task

This job description reflects the present requirements of the post but may evolve at any time in the future as duties and responsibilities change and/or develop providing there is appropriate consultation with the post-holder. 

We offer

  • A 12 months full-time appointment (40h/week) to be extended with a further 24 months (for a total of 3 years) contingent on a satisfactory performance during the first period.
  • An exciting, multi-disciplinary and international research environment with ample opportunities for exchange with scholars from related disciplines at the universities and research institutes in the consortium, as well as with the local partner organizations and local stakeholders.
  • Additional training and networking opportunities through participation in international conferences

The following documents are required

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of highest diploma. The minimum requirement is a diploma qualifying for doctoral studies in the recruiting country (e.g. Master degree). Students in their last year may apply but can only be recruited upon successful graduation. 
  • Contact details of two referees (no recommendation letter)
  • Writing sample (e.g. student’s paper or chapter thesis) preferably in English
  • Passport copy

Eligibility criteria

300 ECTS in relevant Degrees

This job description is not a definitive or exhaustive list of responsibilities but identifies the key responsibilities and tasks of the post holder. The specific objectives of the post holder will be subject to review as part of the individual professional assessment process.
The post holder will adhere to ISGlobal principles contained in People management policy, including Equity, diversity and health safety. The post holder will respect, and accountable to ensure ISGlobal policies and procedures.


Field research

  • Biological sciences
  • Environmental science
  • Medical science


  • Duration: 3 years with annual renewal, fulltime
  • Starting date:  March 1, 2023
  • Contract: (part or full time)  full time
  • Salary Range: NA

Selection Process

The selection process is designed in two phases:
1- Interview phase of a technical nature, with the team that requires the incorporation. To assess the person's skills and CV.
2 - Meeting with HR with the finalist(s) to finish assessing the profile and discuss contractual and institutional issues.

If needed any technical test could be pass. A Psychological Competency Evaluation Test will be required for the structural or transversal positions.

In accordance with the OTM-R principles, a gender-balanced recruitment panel is formed for every vacancy at the beginning of the process. After reviewing the content of the applications, the panel will start the interviews, with at least one technical and one administrative interview. A profile questionnaire as well as a technical exercise may be required during the process.

How to apply

Applicants must fill in the request form and include the following code reference position: PhD_UBDPolicy_Jan23, attach the CV and a Cover Letter. Each attached document must be named with the candidate name and surname. 
The receipt of applications will be open until 20/02/2023
Applications will be accepted until 17.00 CET of the closing date.
Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The interviews could be placed during the reception candidatures period.

Diverse candidacies, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and political views, are encouraged to apply. 

In ISGlobal we are committed to maintaining and developing a work environment in which the values and principles of our organization are respected and equal opportunities between women and men be promoted in each of the areas in which we operate, not tolerating discrimination based on criteria such as age, gender, marital status, race, ethnicity, functional diversity, political leanings, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

ISGlobal supports the initiative #ScienceforUkraine. Therefore, to sustain Ukraine’s presence in the European Research Area and international scholarly community, candidates from Ukraine on all levels of scholarly career are welcome: students, PhD candidates, early career researchers and senior scholars.

We confirm our commitment towards the value of the diversity of our staff and student population and seek to promote peace, equity, diversity and inclusion as essential elements in contribution to improving health worldwide.