EPICID Short Course



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.

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 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
No previous formal training in epidemiology or statistics is required, however, general computer skills are necessary in order to be able to work with software packages REDCap and R. The course is taught in English. Therefore, a good command of the English language is essential. 

Course content

Course objectives

  • To provide an understanding in epidemiological concepts and methods and the control of infectious diseases, particularly within the context of outbreak investigations
  • To provide training in data management using REDCap and data analysis using R
  • To provide training in field operational components in outbreak contexts 
  • To provide an introduction to the management of biohazards
  • To promote interdisciplinary cooperation across the fields of epidemiology, microbiology, medical sciences, and public health in response to infectious disease threats and the management of biohazards

Topics to be covered will include:

  • Principles of infectious disease epidemiology
  • Concepts and methods of epidemiology 
  • Epidemiological steps in outbreak investigations
  • Descriptive epidemiology and basic statistical methods
  • Epidemiology of specific infectious diseases/pathogens (e.g. HF, HIV, Malaria, Salmonella)
  • Introduction to data management using REDCap
  • Introduction to data analysis using R
  • Interpretation and reporting of results
  • Field operational components (incl. mobile laboratories, personal protective equipment)
  • Introduction to biosafety, biosecurity and the management of biohazards

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. 

Assessment procedures

Individual assignment: multiple choice questionnaire-based exam (75%)
Group assignment: short written report (25%)

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

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to all those completing the course.

How to apply

Applying for this course


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  


Course dates

11-29 Nov 2019

Course fee

900 € - 1650 €

Application deadline

1 August 2019, midnight CET



This course is formally recognised by the Hamburg State Medical Chamber.
Dieser Kurs ist von der Ärztekammer Hamburg anerkannt. 

tropEd accreditation (pending)



Dr Dewi Ismajani (Jani) Puradiredja

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 74
20359 Hamburg

Tel: +49 (0)40 428 18-243
Email: shortcourse(at)bnitm.de