Research Intern- Malaria Drug Delivery Model

Location: Bellevue, WA, USA

Ref: ri20190130a

Date Published: January 29, 2019

As part of Intellectual Ventures' Global Good initiative, the Institute for Disease Modeling’s (IDM) mission is to guide global efforts towards the eradication and control of infectious disease through the use and promotion of quantitative analysis. The IDM team is composed of research scientists and software professionals who create advanced models of disease transmission, develop computational tools to inform global disease eradication policy, conduct analysis of epidemiologically- and policy-relevant data, and identify critical knowledge gaps. IDM is a highly dynamic organization with a work environment that is defined by innovation and collaboration. As part of our work, we routinely collaborate with groups at the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ministries of health in the developing world, as well as universities and research institutes.

Description of Project:

Disease control strategists usually predict what intervention coverage is required to control or eliminate a disease in a given area. However, it is always unclear as to what coverages one may expect after interventions are rolled out. Prior to intervention rollout, expected intervention’s coverages should be estimated based on local census (population density), geolocation of target area (accessibility) and logistics (man power, supply chain etc.). Such prior estimates will inform on gaps that can be addressed to increase interventions coverages and ultimately their effectiveness.

As an IDM intern, you would collaborate with IDM research scientists, software engineers and health-economists to build a computational tool that projects real-time intervention coverages. Your goal will be to quantify and compute local community health workers movements using satellite imagery and local logistics to inform on intervention coverages in the short and long terms.


  • Review the scientific and programmatic literature covering population raster data analysis, health economy and machine learning approaches to quantifying intervention coverages in a given geographical area.
  • Develop a model to simulate a community health worker movement using a population raster from Burkina Faso.
  • Gather, process, and organize necessary input data to test the models. 
  • Write flexible, reusable software code to analyze raw model outputs and generate insightful summaries and visualizations of the results. 
  • Write summaries of his/her results to be used in research articles, conference presentations, policy recommendations, or white papers

Key Qualifications and Required Skills:

  • Undergraduate upperclassman, master’s student, or early PhD student in a quantitative field (e.g. Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Physics)
  • Proficiency in at least one data-analysis or scripting language (Python preferred)
  • Familiarity with geospatial modeling and GPS data experience
  • Ability to read and summarize research articles, and to discover data sources available in the public literature
  • Attention to detail and high standard for quality of work product
  • Must be a clear and effective communicator
  • data experience is a plus
  • Work extended hours to meet a deadline, and a demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team"

Joining our group provides unique opportunities to interact with global-health policymakers, to collaborate with world-class research laboratories and non-profit organizations, and to contribute to global and national disease control strategies.

We are an equal opportunity employer