Calculator Development for Risk Assessment - ON-082

Preferred Disciplines: Software Engineering, Software Architechure,  Computer Science, User Experience, Big Data in Healthcare. Level : Masters, PhD or Post-PhD
Company: SafeDose Ltd.
Project Length: 4-6 months
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: Oakville/Mississauga/Burlington, Ontario
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: Focus on Universities with a strong Software Engineering focus. 

About the Company: 

SafeDose Ltd. is an Oakville based consultancy that builds software solutions for human health risk assessors. Human health risk assessors set “safe” levels of exposures to chemicals; levels below which no appreciable risk of harmful health effects to a human population are anticipated. Risk assessors set limits for many different types of chemicals and situations such as worker chemical exposure limits, ingredient/impurity limits in food products, pharmaceuticals and consumer products. They also set limits for chemicals in soil, water and in the air.

Project Description:

When setting limits for chemicals that humans are exposed to, toxicologist’s need to perform many calculations manually. Toxicologists differ in the approaches they use to perform risk assessment, the calculations they apply at different points in the process and the default assumptions they use. As a result, limit values for chemicals can vary, even for the same chemical and exposure scenario. SafeDose is building calculators that will help with this. The developed tools are intended to move risk assessment methodology forward by enabling toxicologists to compare and contrast different approaches and the impact these have on limit values.

We are currently seeking a software engineering student to help build Javascript calculators that use numerical integration and curve extrapolation. The look and feel of the calculators would be similar to online medical calculators like QxMD or the Epocrates BMI calculator. If you look at those calculators and think “I can build that”, this is the job for you! 

Research Objectives:

  • Assist in harmonizing risk assessment methods
  • Improve transparency in these methods
  • Isolate the sources of variaiblity in limit setting and determine whether these are related to differences in exposure scenarios, the substance’s dataset or human judgement


  • Using calculator design documents and publically available data repositories, build and test calculators and integrate with existing SafeDose software

Expertise and Skills Needed:

    • Motivated. ability to work independently
    • Excellent mathematical skills; If you are the type of person who sees the relationship between numbers that others can’t, this is the job for you !
    • Ability to use online collaboration tools (e.g. Skype, Google Drive etc.)
    • Interest in learning about and possibly pursuing a career in big data problems in biology, chemistry and healthcare
    • Java programming skills
    • Flair for developing tools that put the user experience at the Forefront of everything they build

    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Complete this webform. You will be asked to upload your CV. Remember to indicate the title of the project(s) you are interested in and obtain your professor’s approval to proceed!
    3. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Rebecca Bourque, rbourque(a)