Wits University: PhD Research Scholarship 2018 / 2019

The Wits School of Public Health (SPH) invites applications for ONE three-year doctoral scholarship for a candidate interested in researching the social epidemiology of hypertension among adolescents in rural South Africa. The fellowship has been made possible by an endowment from Wits alumnus, dentist and epidemiologist the late Professor Aubrey Sheiham. For more information about this endowment see https://www.wits.ac.za/publichealth/featured-news/.

Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Closing Date: 30 August 2018

Check full details below…



We are looking for a talented, motivated South African candidate who meets the following requirements:

·        A masters’ degree in a quantitative discipline e.g. epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics or a similar discipline.

·        A research interest in health inequalities, inequities and the social determinants of health.

·        English language proficiency as well as good conceptual and writing skills.

·        Openness to interdisciplinary perspectives on health inequities.

·        Collegiality and an interest in team work.

·        A track record and commitment to publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals will be an advantage.

The student will be part of a project team consisting of members of the WITS SPH and Gothenburg University in Sweden and will be expected to nest their PhD within a project on hypertension among adolescents in rural South Africa. The candidate will refine their own proposal within this project and give attention to health inequities in line with the fellowship. The WITS SPH offers a dynamic environment in which to conduct cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research; engage in national and international policy debates; participate in international consortia, as well as publish peer-reviewed papers. The successful candidate will work under the guidance of Dr Sumaya Mall, a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Dr F. Xavier Gómez-Olivé, a Senior Researcher at the Wits SPH and the Research Manager at the MRC/WITS Agincourt Unit.

The fellowship is tenable for a period of three years, and candidates are expected to have completed a PhD by the end of the term. Please note that the successful fellow will need to apply to the WITS SPH interdisciplinary PhD programme and that the scholarship is contingent on acceptance to the programme. If successful, the fellow will receive support to apply to the above-mentioned PhD programme.

How to apply


Dr Sumaya Mall: sumaya.mall@wits.ac.za

To apply for this position, please submit the following documents on http://www.wits.ac.za/vacancies/ or for internal applicants https://iwits.wits.ac.za/

  1. A letter of application, containing a brief motivation for the PhD fellowship
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae highlighting academic qualifications, work experience and list of publications and conference presentations (where relevant)
  3. A three-page concept note for a PhD project nested within the focus area of the social epidemiology of hypertension in adolescents
  4. A sample of the candidate’s academic writing
  5. Copies of certified academic transcripts, including those pertaining to both the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  6. Names and contact details or letters of reference from at least three referees (inclusive of two academics that have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant)




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