Summer school going digital

The summer school will be hosted via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, the collaborative online learning platform of the University of Antwerp. Participants need to have a stable internet connection, a headset, a computer and a webcam (Google Chrome Browser is highly recommended). The summer school offers a variety of teaching methods. Most sessions will be held “live” as to enable interaction and debate. Some theoretical or introductory sessions may be recorded and shared beforehand.

For the digital edition of the summer school, the fee includes all online lectures, tutoring and interactive workshops, course material and virtual social activities. Technical set-up (stable internet connection, headset, computer and webcam) has to be provided by the participant.

Content description

The course consists of two parts:

Mathematical Infectious Disease Models (Monday-Wednesday)
Mathematical models are increasingly used to study infectious disease transmission and reactive strategies. We handle basic concepts of disease transmission models, parameter estimation and social contact patterns. The tutorials in R range from deterministic compartmental models up to stochastic individual-based models.

Health Economics for Vaccines (Thursday-Friday)
How to evaluate health interventions with the objective to obtain maximum health outcomes for a given health budget? We introduce the general concepts of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis, with practical applications using R and MS Excel. We demonstrate how to generate, present and interpret cost-effectiveness results in the context of uncertainty. We discuss specific issues when evaluating preventive health care technologies such as vaccination programmes.

Evaluation: To award ECTS credits, participants are evaluated on a report of a case-study linked to the course material, which has to be send in one month after the course.

A certificate of attendance will be provided for each participant.

(*Each part can be followed separately, without ECTS credits)

Experience with R is a plus, though we provide basic info upfront and are there to help you.


A provisional schedule (version 3th June) can be found here. Note that not all sessions are confirmed, but the time slots might be subject to change. 

  Mathematical Models Infectious Disease Models   
Introduction to mathematical modeling for infectious diseases  
Inferring model parameters from serological data  
Meta-population and individual-based models  
  Health Economics for Vaccines  
Introduction to health economic evaluation and dealing with uncertainty  
Specific issues for economic evaluation of vaccination programs  


Instructors and funding

The instructors have published an influential body of methodological and applied work on modelling infectious diseases and health economics:

  • Prof. Philippe Beutels (University of Antwerp)
  • Prof. Niel Hens (Hasselt University, University of Antwerp)
  • Prof. Joke Bilcke (University of Antwerp)
  • Dr. Pietro Coletti (Hasselt University)
  • Dr. Lander Willem (University of Antwerp)

This interdisciplinary initiative is organized and funded by

  • Antwerp Summer University
  • Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
  • University of Antwerp
  • Hasselt University
  • Quetelet Society


Target group

Health science professionals, (bio)statisticians, economists, mathematicians, etc. who want to expand their modelling toolbox and/or increase their understanding of cost-effectiveness analysis.



Study credits (ECTS)

Successful completion of the summer school can be awarded with 3 credits according the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

To include the credits in the curriculum at the home institution, participants need an agreement with the responsible person at their university. A certificate will be awarded at the end of the programme.