Mathematics: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Modelling the impact of policy interventions on the interaction of COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Funding provider: Swansea University and Welsh Government
Subject areas: Mathematical Modelling, Epidemiological Modelling
Project start date:
- 1 July 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-June)
Supervisors: Professor Biagio Lucini, Professor Michael Gravenor, Dr Alma Rahat and Dr Daniel Archambault
Aligned programme of study: PhD in Mathematics
Mode of study: Full-time
An emerging challenge for COVID-19 management is how other diseases will respond to long periods of COVID-19 control. Specifically, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) will normally have infected most children by the age of 2, however this process has been interrupted by social distancing. This may have built up of a large cohort of susceptible children with potential for resurgence. RSV is one of UK’s most common causes of infant hospitalisation, hence there is a need to model the demand on paediatric intensive care units (PICU), alongside ongoing ICU pressure caused by COVID-19.
The project will build a ‘minimum viable model’ for both COVID-19 and RSV (and their interaction). The model will include key interventions (age-structured social distancing and vaccination) and be amenable to analytical mathematical interpretation as well as numerical computations. The goal of the project is to release a mathematically and epidemiologically robust model that will be used by Welsh Government for their planning. Data on RSV surveillance and admissions will be provided by Public Health Wales. Computational resources will be provided by the AccelerateAI supercomputer at Swansea University.
The project will include multi-objective optimisation to investigate intervention trade-offs for the different viruses, and state-of-the-art visualisation to help communication of results to policy makers, aligning with UKRI funded collaborations with Welsh Government.