Epidemiology & Control of Infectious Diseases in Outbreak Settings (EPICID)


Epidemiology provides important tools for the assessment and response to health threats in populations. This is a 3-week intensive course on the principles and methods of epidemiology and the way these inform the control of infectious diseases in outbreak settings. The course uses interactive, simulation-based exercises, as well as laboratory- and computer-based practical sessions to complement the theoretical content.

Please note that the teaching and learning methods will vary slightly depending on whether the course is held virtually or in person. 

The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) is Germany’s largest institution for research, services and training in the field of tropical diseases and emerging infections. The current scientific focus is on malaria, haemorrhagic fever viruses, tissue nematodes and diagnostics development. To study highly pathogenic viruses and infected insects, the institute is equipped with laboratories of the highest biosafety level (BSL4) and a BSL3 insectary. Outstanding scientific achievements in the recent past include scientific work concerning the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The course will be taught by staff with teaching and research experience extending across the disciplines of epidemiology, microbiology, medicine, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, entomology, demography, anthropology, psychology, and public health.

Target audience

The course is relevant to health professionals and other graduates, who work in medical research units, academic departments or health services. Students admitted to a Master's degree programme may also join this course (e.g. tropEd Network).

Entry requirements

Basic training in epidemiology and statistics is required. General computer skills are necessary to be able to work with the software packages R and REDCap. The course is intensive and a strong command of the English language is essential.

Eine Person posiert in einem gelben Biosicherheitsanzug für ein Einzelfoto. Sie trägt dabei eine Schutzmaske und Schutzbrille.
Teaching and learning about biosafety and biosecurity.   ©BNITM

Course content

Course aim

This course aims to provide participants with an understanding of the principles of epidemiology and the control of infectious diseases, in particular within the context of outbreaks, and to develop their skills in designing, conducting and reporting outbreak investigations. Special consideration will also be given to field operations, including laboratory services and diagnostics in the field, infectious disease prevention and control strategies, and biosafety and biosecurity.

Learning objectives

By the of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key principles underpinning infectious disease epidemiology, and the epidemiological steps in outbreak investigations
  • Discuss current issues in infectious diseases and their control
  • Design questionnaires and manage data using REDCap
  • Conduct descriptive statistics, measures of frequency and measures of association using R
  • Discuss field operational issues, including laboratory services and diagnostics in the field, infectious disease prevention and control strategies, and biosafety and biosecurity*
  • Design, carry out, analyse, interpret and report an outbreak investigation as part of interdisciplinary teams

*Please note that the PPE and laboratory demonstration sessions are only covered when the EPICID course is offered face-to-face.

A group of international students solve tasks on their laptop in a learning lab.
In the course room   ©BNITM | Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja

Teaching and learning methods

The course is based on an interactive and participatory teaching and learning approach. Teaching will be through lectures and practical sessions, including case study table top exercises, computer-based tutorials using data entry software REDCap and statistical software package R, as well as simulation-based exercises, such as an outbreak investigation. Students will also get the opportunity to get an introduction into the set up of a mobile laboratory and field operational components, including field PPE, when the course is offered face-to-face.

Assessment procedures

Individual assignment: multiple choice questionnaire-based exam (80%)
Group assignment: short presentation or written report (20%)

Please note: For general short course attendants these assessments are formative (not graded).

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to all those completing at least 80% the course, which must include the exam and the group assignment.

How to apply

Applying for this course

Application period: 01.01.2024 - 31.07.2024

Online application form

Course fee

General admission: 1650 €/1350 € (Early Bird Registration)

Citizens of low and middle income countries/Students: 1200 €/900 € (Early Bird Registration)

If you are a citizen and resident of a country classified as a low or middle income by the UN/World Bank and/or a tropEd student, you are eligible to the reduced tuition fee rate. Please refer to this document to see whether your country is eligible: Country Classification Map

Early Bird Registration: If you register within 2 weeks of acceptance notification, you are eligible to a reduction of your course fee. 

Course fee includes:

  • course work
  • study materials
  • refreshments
  • social event

Registration fee
The Institute charges a non-refundable registration fee of 200 € (credited towards the whole course fee).

Withdrawal and refund policy
A participant who withdraws from this short course:

  • less than 6 weeks prior to start date: 25% of the course fee will be charged
  • less than 4 weeks prior to start date: 50% of the course fee will be charged
  • less than 2 weeks prior to start date: 100% of the course fee will be charged


In order to attend the course, participants may be required to obtain a visa or other permissions. Participants are kindly advised to start the application process as soon as possible as getting a visa for Germany can take time. The Short Courses team can provide supporting documentation if requested, however, it is the participant's responsibility to obtain any visa or other permissions.


The course fee does not include accommodation. There is a very limited number of guest rooms available for rent at the Institute, which are made available on a first-come-first-served basis. A list of hotels and other accommodation nearby the BNITM can be found here: List of Hotels

Key facts

Epidemiology & Control of Diseases in Outbreak Settings (EPICID)
11th to 29th November 2024
This is a 3-week intensive course on the principles and methods of epidemiology and the way these inform the control of infectious diseases in outbreak settings.
Course fee
900 € - 1650 €.
This course is accredited by tropEd.
The application for EPICID 2024 is open from 1st January until 31st July 2024, midnight CET.
Online application form

Contact person