Folkehelseinstituttet - EPIET

acknowledged by EPIET available for next EPIET cohort
Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Infection Control and Environmental Health
Lovisenberggata 8
0456 Oslo

Contact person

Emily MacDonald
Tel. + 47 21 07 63 98

Description of institute

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) was founded in 1929 as a governmental institution in microbiology, vaccine production and immunology. Later, NIPH has expanded with different scientific fields and has now around 1400 employees. The institute has four scientific divisions: Infection Control and Environmental Health, Health Data and Digitalisation, Mental and Physical Health, and Health Services. The Norwegian name of the institute is Folkehelseinstituttet.

The Infection Control and Environmental Health domain is engaged in control and prevention of communicable diseases. The main activities include surveillance of infectious diseases and infectious agents, outbreak investigations and response, specialized microbiological assays, recommendations and programs for vaccination and vaccine supply. The division provides advice to local and central health authorities, to health personnel and to the Food Safety Authorities, in all aspects of infectious disease prevention and control. Research constitutes an integral part of the activities and provides the basis for information and recommendations from the institute.

NIPH runs the National Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS), the surveillance system for hospital acquired infections (NOIS), the National Vaccination Register (SYSVAK) and the national epidemic intelligence activities.

NIPH has a clear public health microbiology profile with various departments covering bacteriology, virology, molecular biology and immunology, including National Reference Laboratories for a wide variety of pathogens, and the National Laboratory for Preparedness. Activities include verification, identification and further characterization of isolates received from clinical microbiological laboratories throughout Norway. The NIPH is responsible for a national quality assessment program in bacteriology and virology and are sending out samples six times each year to about 20 different microbiology laboratories in Norway.
NIPH has extensive international collaboration with representation in the ECDC surveillance networks both in epidemiology and public health microbiology and with research activities both within and outside EU, in particular with countries in Africa and Asia.

Training opportunities

EPIET fellows receive their field epidemiology training in a multidisciplinary environment including medical doctors, veterinarians, public health nurses and epidemiologists familiar with the training program. There is close collaboration with public health microbiologist and fellows in the EUPHEM program. EPIET fellows take part in the day to day work including analyzing and publishing high-quality surveillance data, developing evidence-based guidelines, assisting municipal health officers with outbreak investigation and control (in the field, if needed), working on research projects, and taking part in European surveillance activities and collaboration. Depending on language capabilities, fellows may answer ad hoc inquiries from local doctors and mass media. NIPH is involved in several outbreak investigations each year.
Since 2013 NIPH has also been a EUPHEM training site. A weekly meeting is held with the EUPHEM and EPIET fellows and their project supervisors to discuss current projects and to follow up the fellows’ progress.

Training supervision

The main supervisor is EPIET alumnus Emily MacDonald.  Department supervisors and project supervisors are identified among the general staff (including several EPIET alumni), depending upon the subject matter expertise. A weekly meeting is held with the EUPHEM and EPIET fellows and their project supervisors to discuss current projects and to follow up the fellows’ progress.

Language requirements

English is widely spoken and understood by almost everyone in Norway. The EPIET fellows in Norway must speak and write English well. Conversational skills in Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language) would be an asset, but is not a requirement. Attending Norwegian courses is strongly recommended

Training history

A total of 24 EPIET and Nor-FETP fellows and 5 EUPHEM fellows have been trained at the institute, here summarized by year of graduation: 1999 (1), 2002 (1), 2003 (2), 2004 (1), 2005 (1), 2006 (1), 2007 (1), 2008 (1), 2009 (2), 2010 (2), 2011 (2), 2012 (3), 2013 (2), 2014 (1), 2015 (2 EPIET, 1 EUPHEM), 2016 (3), 2017 (1 EPIET, 1 EUPHEM).
Number of EPIET alumni currently working at institute: 15.

The previous EPIET, Nor-FETP and EUPHEM fellows trained at FHI are happy to answer your questions:
Markku Kuusi (Finnish, 1997-99)
Philippe Guérin (French, 2000-2002)
Egil Bjørløw (Norwegian, 2001-2003)
Line Vold (Norwegian, 2001-2003)
Hanne-Merete Eriksen (Norwegian, 2002-2004, Nor-FETP)
Hilde Kløvstad (Norwegian, 2003-2005, Nor-FETP)
Barbara Schimmer (Dutch, 2004-2006)
Agnes Hajdu (Hungarian, 2005-2007)
Irena Jakopanec (Slovenian, 2006-2008)
Karina Junussova (Estonian, 2007-2009)
Siri Helene Hauge (Norwegian, 2007-2009, Nor-FETP)
Thale Berg (Norwegian, 2006-2011, Nor-FETP)
Gražina Rimšeliene (Lithuanian, 2008-2010)
Tone Bruun (Norwegian, 2008-2010, Nor-FETP)
Ricardo Mexia (Portuguese, 2009-2011)
Janne Møller-Stray (Norwegian, 2009-2012, Nor-FETP)
Bernardo Rafael Guzmán Herrador (Spanish, 2010-2012)
Oliver Kacelnik (Norwegian, 2010-2012, Nor-FETP)
Horst Bentele (Norwegian, 2011-2013, Nor-FETP)
Anneke Steens (Dutch, 2011-2013)
Emily MacDonald (Norwegian, 2012-2014) – EPIET MS-track
Heidi Lange (Norwegian, 2013-2015) – EPIET MS-track
Margot Einöder Moreno (Spanish, 2013-2015, EPIET EU-track)
Didrik Frimann Vestrheim (Norwegian, 2013-2015, EUPHEM MS-track)
Hinta Meijerink (Dutch, 2014-2016, EPIET EU-track)
Natacha Alexandra da Fonseca Milhano (Portuguese, 2014-2016, EUPHEM EU-track)
Mohammed Umaer Naseer (Norwegian, 2014-2016, EUPHEM MS-track)
Lamprini Veneti (Greek, 2015-2017, EPIET EU-track)
Rikard Rykkvin (Norwegian, 2015 – 2017, EUPHEM MS-track)

The current fellows may also provide information:

Laura Espenhain (Danish, 2016-2018, EPIET EU-track)

Lotta Siira (Finish, 2016-2018, EUPHEM EU-track)

Astrid Løvlie (Norwegian, 2016-2018, EPIET MS-track​)

Cecilia Wolff (Swedish, 2017 – 2019, EPIET EU-track)