Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Dr Finbarr Leacy - Biostatistics

The project seeks to carry out a study focused on the evaluation of health policies in the Irish healthcare setting using state-of-the-art causal inference methods. The successful candidate will apply existing propensity score and instrumental variable approaches to nationally representative databases, cohort studies and disease registries; developing extensions of these approaches where necessary.

Project title

Causal inference methods for health policy evaluation in the Irish healthcare setting

Project description

The Irish State operates a medical card scheme which entitles qualifying individuals to a range of health services free of charge. Entry to the medical card scheme is means tested with different eligibility thresholds applying according to an individual’s age and household size.

While there is substantial interest in quantifying the impact of receiving a medical card on health outcomes and service utilisation, addressing this question in a statistically rigorous manner is challenging.

This project will investigate state-of-the-art causal inference methods for health policy evaluation in the Irish healthcare setting. The successful candidate will apply existing propensity score and instrumental variable approaches to nationally representative databases, cohort studies and disease registries; developing extensions of these approaches where necessary.

The student will be based in the RCSI Data Science Centre (www.rcsi.ie/dsc).  

Personal Specification

Essential 

  • An Honours Bachelor degree (grade 2.1 or above) in statistics, mathematics, applied mathematics, actuarial science or related subject with substantial quantitative component, e.g. physics, engineering, computer science, economics.
  • Strong computer skills including experience of using statistical software packages, e.g. R, STATA or SAS.
  • Strong interest in applying statistical thinking to problems in health-related fields.
  • Academic writing skills and experience.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Strong organisational and administrative skills.
  • Ability to work on one’s own initiative as well as in a multidisciplinary, team environment.
  • Willingness to undertake training and career development English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: an IELTS score of 6.5 or above. 

  Desirable

  • MSc in biostatistics/medical statistics, applied statistics, epidemiology, health economics or related subject or equivalent research experience in academia or industry.
  • Experience of programming in R, STATA, SAS, Python or C/C++

Application process

For more details on this unfunded project please email finbarrleacy@rcsi.ie with:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • A 500-word cover letter outlining your interest in and suitability for the position

Mentors Dr Finbarr Leacy