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Eligibility criteria


The PhD programme is open to all health professionals registered with UK professional bodies who want to undertake research focused on the major global health challenges in Africa. You must be:

· Eligible to work in the UK and qualify for home or UK-level fees

· Willing to be based in one of the programme's African Partner Institutions for 18-24 months

· Propose research within the remit of the programme, focusing on issues of public health importance to Africa

Wellcome’s definition of health professionals include but is not limited to:

Art therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, chiropractors, clinical psychologists, dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental therapists, dentists, dieticians, drama therapists, health visitors, healthcare scientists (in life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and biomechanical engineering, and bioinformatics), medical graduates, midwives, music therapists, non-medical public health specialists, nurses, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, optometrists and dispensing opticians, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers, social workers, speech and language therapists, vets.


The programme will cover the fellow’s salary (this will be matched as closely as possible to your current salary), research costs, PhD registration fees, and overseas living costs.

Application Process 
We have a maximum of 5 PhD fellowships to offer per year. We have one application cycle per year over five years, with each round advertised in the last quarter of the year. Applicants apply via the vacancies section of the LSHTM website.
Our application process is split into two stages:


Stage 1 

The application needs to contain the following elements:

1. Application form - completed on the website

2. Supporting letter from academic referee

3. Completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (only used for programme monitoring)


The application form assesses your career history to date, your achievements in research to date, your experience of working in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), your motivation to enrol in this PhD programme, how the fellowship will support your ambitions to develop an academic career an outline of your ideas for a PhD project. It is not expected that you will have identified a definite PhD supervisor and developed a specific project by this stage, although you have broad ideas for your research project, potential supervisory team, UK institution and African Partner Institution. This will enable us to understand the relevance of your proposed research to the CREATE PhD Programme, and to direct you to appropriate supervisors should you be shortlisted.


Applicants will be shortlisted based on this application form by a panel comprising multidisciplinary research experts and health professionals from each of the UK institutions. Due to the high volume of applications, no feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants at this stage.

Stage 2

Shortlisted applicants from Stage 1 will submit an application for one of our five available PhD fellowships. This will include


1) A project details form

2) A detailed budget

3) Endorsement of application and budget from your proposed host UK and African Institutions.


You will need to identify a UK institution from one of our five UK partner institutions where you will register your PhD and an African host Institution from one of our 6 African Partner Institutions (APIs) where you will based when you conduct your research. You will also need a UK supervisor from the Institution where you will register your PhD and an African supervisor based in the country where you will conduct your research and an African supervisor. Your supervisors will support you to develop your project proposal, which will specify research aims, hypotheses, approach, impact, and budget. At both UK and African institutions you need a sponsor . Ensure at an early stage that your supervisors (including any co-supervisors), sponsors and collaborators are able to confirm their contribution to the application.

Each shortlisted applicant will be designated a Programme Director from a UK and African Partner Institution to signpost them to appropriate supervisors and provide guidance on their application. In addition, all shortlisted applicants will be invited to a pre-application webinar to support them to develop a strong proposal.


The final selection will be made based on both your written submission and interview. We will assess:· The importance of the research question, and the scientific merit, feasibility and the likely impact of your proposed project

· Your plans for research training

· The suitability of your sponsor, supervisory team and training environment


Guidance for Stage 2 applications is made available to those shortlisted from Stage 1.

Please see recordings of a Stage 2 pre-application webinar 2022 here


Applications for 2024


·        Stage 1 Applications Open:  Monday 4th September 2023

·        Stage 1 Webinar and Q&A:  Wednesday 11th October 2023 (12:00 BST) 


·        Deadline for Stage 1 applications: Friday 10th November 2023 (23.59 GMT)

·        Stage 1 outcomes communicated: mid-December 2023

·        Deadline for Stage 2 application: Tuesday 26th March 2024 (23.59 GMT)  

·        Interviews: 8th and 9th May 2024


·        Stage 2 outcomes communicated: mid-May 2024





CREATE will provide 25 PhD fellowships to African nationals, matched to the fellowships awarded to UK health professionals. The African and UK fellows will be integrated into this unique programme to tackle some of the pressing public health issues affecting Africa.

Up to 5 fellowships will be awarded every year over 5 years, starting from 2022. Applicants must have the appropriate level of experience in health for the project they intend to undertake (i.e. not necessarily a health professional). Applicants will apply for defined projects spanning a range of disciplines including epidemiology, data science, statistics, social science and anthropology, laboratory science and health economics. Fellows will be part of a close-knit cohort, receiving bespoke research training and professional skills and mentorship to equip them to be future global health leaders.


Successful applicants will be matched to one of the six African Partner Institutions in one of five African countries (Ethiopia, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe).   

Eligibility Criteria

  • African national

  • Professional with appropriate experience in health (note - not necessarily a health professional i.e. doctor, nurse etc)

  • Willing to be based in one of the Programme African Partner Institutions (linked to the PhD) for the duration of their PhD

  • Requisite training required to undertake the PhD Project (as specified for each project)


The programme will provide a stipend, research costs, PhD registration and cover training costs.

Application Process

Please find more information below for the 2023 African fellowships available through the CREATE PhD Programme.

See the individual projects listed in the table and links for further information, as well as the application documentation, for each fellowship.

Project Ref #
Project Title
Countries in which research will be conducted
Base Location
University Awarding PhD
African and UK Supervisors – names and contact
Closing date
Understanding the lives of caregivers of older people living with dementia in Uganda: Mapping unmet needs and co-developing solutions
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
Makerere University, Uganda
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit - Asst Prof Eugene Kinyanda, KCL - Dr Rosie Mayston, Makerere University - Ass Prof Noeline Nakasujia
Undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree in a social science subject
Exploring health economics of switching to injectable antiretroviral therapy in African adults living with HIV
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
University of Sussex - Brighton and Sussex Medical School
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit - Asst Prof Eugene Ruzagira, BSMS - Dr Natalia Ivashikina
BSc/MSc in mathematical modelling, statistics or health economics
Exploring metabolic outcomes in African adults living with HIV switching to injectable antiretroviral therapy
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
University of Sussex - Brighton and Sussex Medical School
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit - Prof Moffat Nyirenda, BSMS - Dr Fiona Cresswell
Medically qualified (MBBS/MBCHb) or MSc level epidemiology or statistics
Should Controlled Human Infection Model studies be conducted for vaccine development for Low and Middle Income Countries?
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
University of Sussex - Brighton and Sussex Medical School
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit - Asst Prof Eugene Ruzagira, BSMS - Dr Natalia Ivashikina
Undergraduate degree and MSc training. Experience related to vaccine development
The impact of the gut microbiome on vaccine-specific immune responses among rural and urban Ugandan adolescents
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
Makerere University, Uganda
MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit - Dr Gyaviira Nkurunungi, BSMS - Prof Simon Waddell
MSc in Immunology
Validate a screening tool and develop an intervention for older adults which addresses challenges to mental health and cognitive function
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
BSMS - Dr Maya Semrau, Dr Natalia Ivashikina BRTI / Zimbabwe - Dr Rudo Chingono, Prof Celia Gregson
IELTS in the last 2 years; overall score of at least 7, MSc in Public Health, Health Policy, or Epidemiology completed within last 4 years (see full advert for more details)
Understanding the landscape of substance abuse (SU) among youth in Zimbabwe
The Health Research Unit Zimbabwe, Biomedical Research & Training Institute
King's College London
To be confirmed
MSc in a relevant health-related discipline (Epidemiology or Public Health, Social Sciences, Medical Anthropology) completed within last 4 years
Improving the identification of neonates in Zimbabwe with sepsis
THRU-Zim at the Biomedial Research and Training Institute
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
To be confirmed
MSc in Epidemiology or Public Health, completed within last 4 years

The PhD programme is open to all candidates who want to undertake research focused on the major global health challenges in Africa. This fellowship programme will provide a 3-year research PhD training fellowship. Candidates apply through a localised admissions process at one of the African Partner Institutions (API), but if awarded a fellowship can be registered at either the API or another institution (e.g. a UK institution) dependent on the individual circumstances of the award.


PhD fellowships are to have a duration of up to 36 months. The funding will cover tuition fees (if applicable), a stipend, and project related costs such as travel and training. A full list of the PhD fellowship projects is shown in Table 1. The funding available for specific research projects will be determined by the individual APIs.


Candidates submit an application to their API of choice, for a particular pre-identified project, along with any other required documentation (please consult the local recruitment contact point and/or website for further information).

App Timeline


Application Timelines (2024)


Advertisements for the upcoming African fellowships will be in June.

See individual links above for more information - coming soon.


Application Contacts (2023)


Please get in touch with the following individuals to submit your applications (after completing the necessary documentation indicated in each individual fellowship, as per table above):


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