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external supervisors

Dr Ben Cooper, Nuffield Department of Medicine

Dr Sarah Walker, Nuffield Department of Medicine


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is responsible for significant mortality and economic harm and will inevitably worsen without substantial changes to global patterns of antibiotic use. There is an urgent need to guide decision making around the implementation of AMR interventions ultimately aimed at limiting antibiotic exposure while ensuring continued successful treatment of infections. 

This project aims to evaluate which decisions around AMR intervention implementation are optimal in different settings globally given available data. Through integrating infectious disease and health-economic models, the student is expected to assess whether the implementation of AMR interventions such as antibiotic stewardship programmes, vaccination, diagnostics, and infection prevention measures

  1. should be agreed now based on the currently available evidence,
  2. could be made conditional on further, carefully specified data collection, after which the benefits and harms would be re-evaluated, or
  3. whether there is so much uncertainty around the benefits and harms of decisions that decision-making should be delayed until further research has been performed, in order to reduce uncertainty around influential parameters and reduce the probability of developing poorly evidenced and/or cost-ineffective policies.

The candidate will work with multiple data sources from high-, middle, and low-income countries for which approvals are already in place. 


The student will be based in the Nuffield Department of Population Health within a broad research consortium of DPhil students and post-docs with expertise in economics, infectious disease modelling, choice modelling, pharmacy, statistics/econometrics, public health, and epidemiology, providing opportunities for skills and career development, both in terms of infectious and economic modelling and more broadly in terms of research careers.

Our group has strong inter-disciplinary links with international collaborators and public health agencies, and represents a unique opportunity to develop models that can be used to inform (inter)national policies around AMR.

By the end of the DPhil, it is expected that the candidate will be able to plan, undertake and interpret infectious disease models integrating health-economic analyses. Attending relevant specialised training courses will be encouraged.


Candidates will acquire research skills through regular supervisory meetings, and by attending relevant seminars, courses, workshops. Attending relevant specialised training courses will be encouraged.


The ideal candidate will have a Masters degree in (health)-economics, statistics, mathematics, epidemiology, or a related quantitative area. Candidates should have a strong interest in data analysis, experience of coding, and pursuing a career in infectious disease epidemiology and economics.