PhD opportunity

The Aurum Institute in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, CHAI Zimbabwe and KNCV invite suitable candidates to apply for PhD bursaries where they will contribute to an exciting new project that focuses on preventing TB in people living with HIV. The project,: Opt4TPT, is evaluating programmatic implementation of old and newer pharmacological options available to treat tuberculosis infection (TB preventive treatment) in three countries Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Individuals from respective implementing partner organisations in the three project countries are encouraged to apply. Closing date: 22 April 2021

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The Aurum Institute, JHU PhD bursaries in Preventing TB in people living with HIV, programmatic evaluation of TB preventive treatment

Closing date: 22 April 2021. Applications received after the closing date will only be considered if the position has not been filled.

The International Division and Implementation Research Division at the Aurum Institute, the TB Centre and Johns Hopkins University, CHAI, Zimbabwe and KNCV Ethiopia are offering a PhD bursary to support a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded project entitled “Optimising the delivery and cascade for tuberculosis preventive treatment among people living with HIV: a multi-country program evaluation’’. Details of the IMPAACT4TB and Opt4TPT study can be found here: ( and


The overall aim of the research is to generate critical knowledge to improve the uptake of TB preventive treatment and health outcomes. To achieve this goal an integrated work-stream will be used to characterise patient-level- factors and clinic-level aspects of TB preventive treatment use and delivery. The proposed research will be leverage the IMPAACT4TB, a project introducing and scaling up a new short TB preventive treatment regimen, 3HP in 12 high TB burden countries. The proposed research will be conducted in three of these 12 countries including, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The successful candidate will form part of an interdisciplinary research team from Aurum Institute Johns Hopkins University, CHAI and KNCV

Eligibility criteria

  • At least an MSc or corresponding degree in epidemiology, health economics, statistics, medicine, pharmacy, or in international health or masters in  in public health, infectious disease or related field of study
  • Ability to commit four-five years to complete the PhD
  • Citizen of a sub-Saharan African country
  • Permanently residing in any of the three study countries

Experience and skills

Experience or skills in one of the following:

  • Identification of gaps in programmatic implementation of health interventions and conceptualisation of research
  • Proposal writing
  • Quantitative data collection methods and analysis (including statistical analyses and software platform for analysis such as STATA), experience with/willingness to learn qualitative data collection methods and analysis.
  • Design of quantitative data collection tools and experience/willingness to learn the design of qualitative tools
  • Health economic data collection and analyses
  • Excellent organizational capability and ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English



The PhD grant will cover tuition fees for PhD for four years

Conditions of the award

  1. We seek particularly to attract young African candidates, below the age of 35 years.
  2. The successful applicant will be required to apply for postgraduate studies to the relevant institution, and will be expected to commence the PhD around July/August 2021.
  3. Successful applicants will be registered with University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, or a suitable institution in Ethiopia or Zimbabwe

Application requirements:

Applicants should submit, combined into a single PDF: (i) a cover letter that includes a short description of their experience and research interests, and how these relate to the position; (ii) a CV; (iii) copies of academic transcripts and certificates (as available); and (iv) email addresses of at least two references who have been directly involved in their previous postgraduate studies, and (v) candidates should put together a short concept (no more than 2 pages) on a potential study that could be nested in the parent Opt4TPT study and form part of the PhD. Applications should be submitted to the following email address with a subject header: Opt4TPT PhD application.

Selection process:

  • Please discuss with your local Opt4TPT team / organization regarding appropriateness of applying for a PhD as part of Opt4TPT and the provision of dedicated time to pursue PhD studies.
  • Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the selection committee.
  • Interviews of short-listed candidates are likely to take place in April 2021. If you have not heard within one month of the deadline, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

Application deadline for 2021 matriculation at University of the Witwatersrand: 31 August 2021.

For enquires about the project and applications please speak with Opt4TPT study leadership at the respective institution.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

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