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PhD Fellowship (1 Position)

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The Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) is a new University formed by merging College of Medicine and Kamuzu College of Nursing and established by an Act of Parliament (No. 20 of 2019). It is a comprehensive health and allied sciences University and intends to train more health professionals that are globally competent but locally relevant.

KUHeS will be conducting a study titled IMPALA, in collaboration with its national (including the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences) and international partners (including Amsterdam Institute of Global Health, AIGHD).

Overall project aims of IMPALA
The IMPALA project aims to improve the suitability of a patient monitor developed for paediatric patients in Malawi. During the project, the data from two clinical- and several usability-studies will be applied to further improve the monitor and its acceptability. The project will be performed by a multidisciplinary consortium with partners in Malawi (MUBAS), The Netherlands (AIGHD, NeLL, and GOAL3) and United Kingdom (ICL). The project is funded by EDCTP.

The IMPALA project seeks to recruit a competent and dynamic individual who is willing to pursue a PhD under an academic fellowship programme. The research areas will be Biomedical, Social Science, Applied informatics and Machine learning, critical care, infectious diseases and biomedical engineering.

The fellowship and potential PhD is under the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) in The Netherlands. The PhD trajectory will be embedded in the IMPALA project, an exciting multidisciplinary research project at Zomba Central Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Southern Malawi. The PhD Fellowship will be for three years and can lead to a PhD degree if the fellows perform at the doctoral level and fulfil the publication requirements. Details of the Fellowship is as follows:

  1. Biomedical Fellowship
    Biomedical – Project description
    The biomedical aspect of the IMPALA project aims to study the biomedical (clinical and/or laboratory) aspects of patient monitoring with the aim to further improve the outcomes of hospitalised children.
    The overall goal is to reduce in-hospital mortality in children in Malawi by improving early detection of critical illness, allowing timely life-saving treatment.

The post will be based in Blantyre.
Job Summary
The Biomedical Fellow must demonstrate analytical and critical thinking and creativity in the development of independent research ideas and pursuant of targeted academic goals. The Biomedical Fellow must have good collaborative skills to enable them to function in a multidisciplinary and international context. He/she will be responsible for coordination of a study team in the Blantyre study site during the execution of the project. He/she will support the Principal Investigators/academic supervisors in providing leadership, oversight of the day-to-day study activities, timely reporting and supervision of research personnel, and management of the budget in liaison with PIs/academic supervisor. He/she will contribute scientifically at a doctoral level by demonstrating appropriate
leadership in data analysis and manuscript writing. He/she will liaise closely with the principal investigators/academic supervisors locally and internationally. He/she will be required to spend considerable time at the study sites.

Key Duties and Responsibilities
The Fellow will be expected to:

  1. Act as a leader in the day-to-day running of study activities at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, timely reporting and supervision of project personnel, and management of budgetary issues in liaison with the IMPALA Project Coordinators.
  2. Interact closely with team members to develop a thorough understanding of relevant study procedures and processes.
  3. Be responsible for participant engagement and recruitment activities.
  4. Undertake, train, and supervise medical and/or laboratory duties within the project.
  5. Facilitate transcription and translation and ensure the preservation of high-quality data.
  6. Ensure data security, including confidentiality and safe backup.
  7. Ensure ethical conduct of research and support ethics governance, including documenting informed consent and organising the protocol study file.
  8. Undertake proposal writing, data analysis, including coding, and writing academic articles.
  9. Be responsible for organisational, budgetary and logistical tasks.
  10. Disseminate research findings using other appropriate media.
  11. Make presentations at conferences or exhibit IMPALA work at other appropriate events.
  12. Monitor and communicate progress, maintain work plan and ensure timely execution of tasks.
  13. Perform other related duties as assigned from time to time.

Qualification requirements
At the minimum, the candidate will have an MPH in public health or MSc in global health or a related field from a recognised university. A background in medicine and or a relevant biomedical field will bean added advantage. Medical doctors and/or persons qualified in laboratory sciences are especially welcome to apply.

Ideally the candidate would have the following attributes/experience:

  1. Demonstrate the capacity for analytical thinking that leads to the development of independent academic ideas.
  2. Demonstrate commitment to and enthusiasm for a research career
  3. Experience in managing research project(s) and leading teams.
  4. Experience with development and implementation of new (medical) technologies
  5. Experience with methods used in medical and or laboratory science
  6. Experience in presenting research results at national/international conferences
  7. Sensitivity to cultural differences and the ability to relate to people from a variety of backgrounds
  8. Excellent communication skills, both written, verbal and using modern online platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams
  9. Excellent spoken and written English and Chichewa
  10. Excellent organisational and administrative skills, with a high level of attention to detail
  11. Ability to work in resource-constrained settings and efficient use of resources

Potential to pursue a PhD programme

If the Fellows perform at a doctoral level and fulfil the necessary requirements, a PhD program will be
provided through the Amsterdam University Medical Centers. PhD students will be able to obtain a PhD degree by publication when they successfully defend their PhD thesis, which needs to contain at least 3 published first author papers out of at least 5 papers in total. In addition, relevant online
training will be required. Supervision will be provided in Malawi and internationally, candidates will be expected to travel to The Netherlands during their (potential) PhD.

Application Procedure
To apply, please include the following information with your application:

  1. Cover letter describing:
    a. Why you are interested in the fellowship described in the advertisement.
    b. Why and how you wish to complete the project.
    c. What makes you suitable for the project in question.
  2. CV – including contact details, personal data, highest degree, language skills, contact details for 3 referees, completed courses, work experience and a list of projects/theses.
  3. Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than six files)
  4. Letters of recommendation (no more than three recommendations)

KUHeS is an equal opportunity research organisation and does not discriminate according to nationality, gender or religion. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

All interested applicants with the required qualifications and experience should send their applications to indicating “IMPALA PhD Fellowship” on the subject line.

Closing date is 3 September 2021 (extended deadline).

Only short-listed candidates will be acknowledged.

To apply for this job email your details to

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