Postdoctoral researchers in climate, air pollution, environmental epidemiology, economy and social sciences (ERC CoG EARLY-ADAPT)

Application deadline:

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, is the result 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.



What we are looking for

We are seeking between 4 and 6 talented and highly motivated postdoctoral researchers in the areas of climate, air pollution, environmental epidemiology, economy and social sciences. The successful candidates will join the research team of Dr. Joan Ballester at ISGlobal within the framework of various research projects (see “Project information” below), mainly the ERC project EARLY-ADAPT (find details in the next paragraph). The team will be at the forefront of environmental research by creating and analysing a novel database of human health in Europe, which incorporates a range of environmental, socioeconomic and demographic variables and novel digital data streams at different spatiotemporal scales. Interest is additionally expressed for candidates specialized in big data, infectious diseases and COVID-19 (see “Competences and duties” below).

EARLY-ADAPT (“Signs of Early Adaptation to Climate Change”) is a 5-year European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ERC-2019-CoG), whose overarching aim is to jointly analyse the multiple drivers of recent trends in human health. Its driving hypothesis is that societies are starting to adapt to climate change, but the effectiveness of early adaptation is heterogeneous in space and time. EARLY-ADAPT will create a daily, continental-wide database with multiple health outcomes, climate variables, seven air pollutants, desert dust and influenza. The database will be used to model the relation between health and the environment, quantify the modifying effect of the societal factors, and perform a predictability analysis to determine the most realistic adaptation scenarios for the projections of future health. The project will allow to detect, understand and quantify the inequalities in adaptation between countries, regions, cities and social groups. More information is available here.


Competences and duties

Candidates are expected to:

  • have a completed, or close to completion, PhD with expertise in environmental epidemiology, biostatistics, mathematics, big data analysis, climate, air pollution, infectious diseases, economy, social sciences or related areas;
  • have a good track record of first-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, preferably in high-impact journals;
  • have experience in the modelling of the environmental, socioeconomic and/or demographic drivers of human health, including non-transmissible and/or infectious diseases;
  • have experience in common programming languages, with particular focus on R, Stata, Python, NetCDF, HDF5 and/or GIS tools;
  • have experience with the management and analysis of large datasets, and particularly, health, climate, air pollution and/or satellite data, as well as novel digital data streams;
  • be fluent in spoken and written English;
  • be willing to apply to individual fellowships to become and independent researcher and define new own lines of research;
  • be willing to work in an inter-disciplinary project team within a highly collaborative research institute.


We are seeking candidates in the following areas, whose main duties will be:

  • Climate and environmental sciences: to analyse and interpret the outcome of climate and air pollution models, and to perform predictability analyses to explore the skill of health forecasts at daily, seasonal and climate change timescales (e.g. see an example here).
  • Epidemiological modelling: to design and implement different techniques to model the relationship between the daily health outcomes and the daily environmental variables at different scales, including analyses at the continental, national, regional and city levels.
  • Economy and social sciences: to describe the relationship between macroeconomic cycles and early adaptation to climate change, and to analyse the socioeconomic and demographic drivers of adaptation inequalities between countries, regions, cities and social groups.
  • Software engineering: details of this position are separately provided here.

All the researchers are expected to closely interact, and to expand their research beyond the respective areas of expertise. In close collaboration with the software engineer, they are all expected to contribute to the definition of the database, the development of software tools, take the lead on data analyses and publications, and contribute to the activities of the group and institution.


As defined by the ERC founding scheme, EARLY-ADAPT is an innovative, purely inter-disciplinary, high-risk/high-gain project, and therefore, the objectives and methodologies might be somewhat dynamically re-defined during the course of the project in order to continuously generate beyond state-of-the-art, high-impact knowledge. As such, the project offers some degree of flexibility to accommodate the interests and areas of expertise of the chosen candidates. Within the general guidelines and main objectives of the project, we will always favour the independent thinking of the researchers, the formulation of frontier research hypotheses, and the exploration of innovative ideas and methodologies spanning across disciplines.


The above-mentioned profiles correspond to the basic research pillars of the project, but additional research lines will be considered if talented and highly motivated researchers in other related disciplines decide to apply. Particular interest is expressed for big data, infectious diseases and COVID-19.



  • Dedication: Full time.
  • Starting date: Any time since today.
  • Duration: 1 year, renewable annually subject to performance.

During the crisis caused by COVID19, standard working conditions will be adapted to sanitary requirements. 

How to apply

Applicants must fill in the request form including the following reference: POSTDOC_EARLY_ADAPT_Apr20.

IMPORTANT: Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.

Given the size and length of the project, the job offer will remain open in order to continuously attract highly talented scientists.

Applications should include the Curriculum Vitae and a supporting statement briefly describing your qualifications and experience with regard to the competences and duties here described (1-2 paragraphs).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.



Project information

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No 865564 (European Research Council Consolidator Grant EARLY-ADAPT) and 727852 (project Blue-Action), and from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCIU) under grant agreements No RYC2018-025446-I (programme Ramón y Cajal) and EUR2019-103822 (project EURO-ADAPT).

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, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, disabilities, political leanings, religion or sexual orientation.