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Student Research Assistant - Pediatric pertussis disease burden and mortality literature review

About IVAC

The mission of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is to accelerate global access to life-saving vaccines through the development and implementation of evidence-based policies. The work of IVAC focuses on disease epidemiology, vaccine economics and supply, monitoring and evaluation of vaccine introduction and Center programs, and advocacy and communications activities to increase the profile of and global action on vaccine-preventable disease.

About the project

This Gates Foundation-funded project aims to estimate the global pertussis morbidity and mortality among children 0-59 months. Systematic review of published and unpublished data related to pertussis exposure, incidence, and case fatality will be used in combination with other data (e.g., vaccine coverage) to estimate disease burden in different settings (e.g., by income strata, acellular vs whole cell pertussis vaccine). Previous attempts to estimate pertussis disease burden globally have been unsuccessful but a new approach using data that has become increasingly available will be used. The project aims to provide estimates for the years 2000-2021, considering potential challenges posed by COVID-19. The outcome of the project will include at least one publication. If successful, these estimates may go through the process to become official WHO global pertussis morbidity and mortality estimates. The Student will have the opportunity to work closely with experts in pertussis epidemiology and systematic literature reviews and meta-analysis, to sit in on closed meetings with WHO and to see how the WHO disease burden estimation process happens.

‚ÄčAbout the Team

Individuals from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, World Health Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and investigators possessing relevant pertussis disease mortality data will be involved. BSPH team members include two IVAC faculty (Drs. Brian Wahl and Maria Knoll) and two pediatric clinicians. We are looking for a Student Research Assistant to participate in a systematic literature review by screening and abstracting literature for relevant data on pertussis seropositivity and case fatality.

Position summary

IVAC is looking for a highly motivated student with the ability to evaluate epidemiological studies for relevance and extract data. Specific activities will include:

  • Screen and review pre-print and published studies
  • Abstract and curate relevant data in RedCap
  • Assist with preparing tables and figures for scientific publications
  • Assist with the preparation of presentations
  • Weekly meetings with the team (remote)
  • Occasional meetings with WHO and BMGF (remote)
  • Providing additional support as necessary or as skills permit.

Expected start to end date: The position is available from June 30, 2024, through December 31, 2024.


  • Current enrollment in a JHU graduate program in public health
  • Have taken and done well in epidemiology classes
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Outstanding motivation and flexibility
  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Fluent in English (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • Experience in data abstraction a plus
  • Experience working with datasets and database packages a plus, e.g., Excel, REDCap

Working hours and location

  • 10-19 hours per week
  • IVAC is based in Baltimore, MD, USA, and work will be performed remotely

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and current CV or resume to Brian Wahl ( with subject line “Pertussis disease burden literature review".