PhD Fellowship

Full Time

A medical research organization

A medical research organization with an expanding portfolio of research projects is seeking to recruit suitably qualified, highly motivated and hardworking candidates to fill the following vacant position at its research site in Zomba:

PhD Fellowship

The Training & Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE) seeks to recruit and offer an academic fellowship to a competent and dynamic individual who is willing to pursue a PhD. The research areas will be Public Health, Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, Nutrition, or Nutritional Epidemiology. The fellowship is under the nutrition and infectious diseases theme at TRUE. The successful candidate will embed his/her PhD research work in an exciting research project in Zomba district, southern Malawi. The PhD fellow’s appointment will be for three years.

Positions: 1 post, based in Blantyre (administrative) and Zomba (fieldwork).

Project description

The project seeks to determine the effectiveness and safety of intravenous iron administration during the third trimester of pregnancy compared with oral iron in improving maternal and infant outcomes.
The overall goal is to inform the implementation of IV iron for anaemic women during pregnancy in Malawi and other Lower Middle-Income Countries.

Qualification requirements

At the minimum, the candidate will have an MPH in public health or MSc in global health or related field from a recognised university. The successful candidate should be proficient in spoken and written English and Chichewa and should have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The candidate should demonstrate ample experience with collaborative research and work in a multidisciplinary team.

To meet the full requirements for the fellowship position, the applicant must also submit an application for registration with the University of Malawi, College of Medicine’s PhD program.

Admission regulations and registration details are available at

Duties and responsibilities

The PhD Fellow must demonstrate analytical thinking, creativity and critical thinking in the development of independent research ideas and pursuant of targeted academic goals. The Fellow must have good collaborative skills to enable them to function in a multidisciplinary context. He/she will be responsible for providing support for 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 and will be required to spend considerable time in the field sites.

1. Act as a leader in the day-to-day running of study activities, timely reporting and supervision of project personnel, and management of budgetary issues in liaison with Chief Operations Officer (COO).
2. Integrate closely with team members to develop a thorough understanding 
of relevant study procedures and processes.
3. Responsible for participant engagement and recruitment activities.
4. Undertake fieldwork in collaboration with the investigators/academic supervisors.
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. Data analysis, including coding, and writing academic articles.
9. Responsible for organisational, budgetary and logistical tasks.
10. Disseminate research findings using other appropriate media.
11. Make presentations at conferences or exhibit TRUE work at other appropriate events.
12. Monitoring and communicating progress, maintain work plan and ensure timely of tasks.
13. Other related duties as assigned from time to time.

Person specification

1. Demonstrate the capacity for analytical thinking that leads to the development of independent academic ideas.
2. At least four years of research experience.
3. Experience in managing fieldwork or research project(s).
4. Experience in presenting research results at national/international 
5. Sensitivity to cultural differences and the ability to relate to people from a 
variety of backgrounds, including policymakers and community members
6. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
7. Excellent spoken and written English and Chichewa
8. Excellent organisational and administrative skills, with a high level of attention to detail
9. Ability to work in resource-constrained settings and efficient use of resources
10. Demonstrated commitment to and enthusiasm for a research career


To apply, please include the following information with your application:
1. Your contact details and personal data
2. Your highest degree
3. Your language skills
4. Contact details for 2–3 references

Also, please include the following documents:
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 – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree 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 files)

TRUE 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 complete their details by the following link:

Closing date is 25 January 2021.

TRUE will acknowledge only short-listed candidates.

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