Robert Koch Institut - EPIET
Available as a training site for Cohort 2018: Yes
Katharina Alpers and Jan Walter
Robert Koch Institut (RKI)
Tel. + 49 30 18 754 36 90 and +49 30 18 754 32 12
Fax. + 49 30 18 754 35 33
Description of the institute
The Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) is the central federal institution responsible for disease prevention and control in Germany. It has about 1,000 employees and is located mainly in Berlin.
The EPIET fellows are based in the Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology. The department consists of the following seven units:
- Data management
- Vaccine Prevention
- Gastrointestinal and Foodborne Diseases, Zoonoses and Imported Infections
- Respiratory Diseases
- Healthcare-associated Infections, Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance and Consumption.
Around 150 enthusiastic professionals from various countries work at the department, most of whom speak English fluently and are very motivated to accommodate fellows from other countries and provide support.
The German Postgraduate Training in Applied Epidemiology (PAE), which is an EPIET-associated programme (EAP), is also placed in the department (www.rki.de/pae ). EPIET fellows are integrated in the PAE-programme and have the opportunity to enroll in the Master of Science in Applied Epidemiology (MSAE) programme (120 ECTS points), which is organized in cooperation with the Charité University and is incorporated into the EPIET- and PAE- training courses and activities.
There is a strong cooperation with the RKI laboratory experts. The laboratories cover virology, bacteriology, parasitology and mycology and serve as a training site for the European Public Health Microbiology Training Programme (EUPHEM).
Germany is a large country with a growing infrastructure for infectious disease epidemiology. EPIET- and PAE-fellows have extensive opportunities to participate in a wide range of outbreak investigations, in the development and evaluation of surveillance systems, in the development and implementation of epidemiological studies as well as in teaching and communication activities. The results of the projects are published in international or national peer-reviewed journals. Short-term international assignments are possible. All necessary support including modern computer equipment, communication and library facilities (providing access to all relevant publications) is available. The fellows are fully integrated into the work of the department and have access to all information and databases of the department. The EPIET fellows participate in the following PAE activities:
- Induction days: presentation of the department and the German Surveillance System
- Weekly PAE meetings with all fellows: presentation of projects and discussion of methods
- PAE scientific seminar (“Jour fixe”) 2-4x/year
- Lab module (1 week) at the laboratories of the institute
- Visits to local health units.
Epidemiologists working in the Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology offer supervision for projects and outbreak investigations. They are familiar with the EPIET training objectives and many of them are EPIET-, PAE- or EIS- graduates themselves (see below). Expert statistical support is provided throughout the training to all fellows.
Even though most supervisors are fluent in English, German is the working language at the department. Therefore, applicants should have at least basic German skills (reading and speaking). Willingness to speak German is crucial especially in outbreak investigations when fellows interact with people outside RKI. Berlin offers a variety of German language courses.
Number of EPIET fellows trained at Department: 19
Number of PAE graduates working at Department: 25
Number of EPIET graduates working at Department: 5
Number of EIS alumni working at Department: 1