12-month pre-Master & pre-PhD research internships

Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme (MLW)

Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme (MLW) is committed to promoting research and research training led by Malawian & and international scientists. The aim is to improve the health of people in Malawi and elsewhere in the region. MLW has a unique translational research portfolio that links an excellent laboratory
research base to strong hospital and community-based research and high-level policy formulation.

The MLW Research Strategy is built around six thematic areas: (1) Infection Biology, (2) Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health, (3) Clinical and Experimental Medicine, (4) Vaccines, (5) Population Health and (6) Social Science. Researchers are organized into 22 research groups, and these are described on the MLW website:

The KUHeS research agenda is broad ranging from disease-focused thematic areas such as HIV, malaria, and cancer to multi-disciplinary thematic areas such as reproductive health, nutrition, and child development and health policy. Details of areas of research interests of KUHeS faculty members and research organizations at KUHeS can be accessed on these websites: https://www.kuhes.ac.mw.

There are  exciting training opportunities for which we will accept applications between now and 15 April 2024 – see below for details of the opportunity.

An information session will be held at MLW in Nyika room on 29th March from 12:00 – 13:00
Email training@mlw.mw to indicate if you will attend and to reserve your seat.

Applications must be sent to training@mlw.mw. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

All documents should be saved using file names starting with the following pattern:

Information on research groups/themes can be found at https://www.mlw.mw and https://www.kuhes.ac.mw/. For any other questions and clarifications, please contact the MLW Training &
Development team at training@mlw.mw

12-month pre-Master & pre-PhD research internships

We are looking to award pre-MSC/MA and pre-PhD research interns at MLW, for up to 12 months. While the exact numbers funded depend on the quality of the application and the total budget requested, we expect to fund 4-to 5 internships.

We are offering the following:
• Pre-Master Internships for bachelor’s degree holders.
• Pre-PhD internships for master’s degree holders.

Successful candidates demonstrate their potential to develop into independent researchers over time and, with senior support and mentorship, to develop competitive international MSc and PhD training fellowship applications within the period of their internship.

Awarded budgets will range from £14,000- £17,000 for pre-Master interns and £18,000 – £23,000 for pre- PhD interns per person. These funds include a monthly taxable stipend plus eligible research costs, such as research consumables or relevant personal development activities, including short courses and travel. Non-allowable costs include tuition fees, pension, life insurance, supervisor allowance/honoraria, and indirect costs.

Please note that projects with ethics approval already in place or evidence of an expedited ethics approval process will be seen favourably.

Application process

Applications must include the following:

  1. An application letter detailing your suitability for the internship, motivation, and career ambition. This letter should also identify the research group you would like to work with and why.
  2. A letter of support from your proposed internship supervisor with a proven research track record in the applicant’s chosen research thematic area. The supervisor has to be part of either an MLW or KUHeS research group.
  3. A detailed CV, including information on academic performance and achievements to date, including any awards and personal distinctions, research grants and fellowship funding received, and any relevant outputs, including publications & and presentations.
  4. A 300-word research concept, outlining the objectives of the research project you plan to work on during the internship. No budget is needed at this stage.
  5. A 200-word internship plan, detailing, for example, what skills you plan to develop during the internship, what output(s) you hope to generate, and which MSc or PhD programmes and scholarships you plan to target.
  6. Photocopied certificates and transcripts.

Assessment process
Internship applications will be assessed on the following: academic performance and potential of the candidate, quality of the proposed research, supervisory team and training environment, alignment of the research to MLW-KUHeS research areas and proposed career track and planned next training level, application
presentation, and interview performance. Applications will need to show how the scholarship will help the candidate develop a competitive MSc or PhD degree training application.

Before being interviewed by a panel of senior scientists for the final selection of successful candidates, shortlisted candidates will be given 4 weeks to:

  • Develop their internship proposal and submit a 2-page (1,000 words) research concept and internship plan, under the supervision of the proposed supervisors, including a budget.
  • Obtain and submit a laboratory approval letter from the MLW / KUHeS laboratory manager, if the project will be lab-based. Please only request this from the laboratory manager once you are shortlisted.

Further information
A no-cost extension of up to three months maximum may be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Training and Development Committee on a case-by-case basis. The minimum application period for a no-cost extension is two months before the contract ends.