top of page
  • Q: When are the application deadlines?
    See our ‘How to apply’ page.
  • Q: How many offers do you make each year?
    We are funded to award a maximum of PhD fellowships each year, over five years from 2022-2027
  • Q. Are there specific areas of research that the Programme funds?
    The remit of this programme is global health research in Africa. The programme will fund research on health issues of public health importance to Africa.
  • Q: What health professionals are accepted onto the Programme?
    All health professionals and vets who are fully registered with a regulatory body in the UK or Republic of Ireland will be eligible to apply for a place on the Programme. Fellows recruited to a Programme must be healthcare professionals who are registered with a national professional regulatory body (e.g., the General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK/Republic of Ireland. Medical graduates must be registered on a UK/Republic of Ireland (RoI) specialist training programme or must be a registered GP.
  • Q. Am I eligible to apply if I am registered as a health professional in other countries but not in the UK/RoI?
    To be eligible to apply you must have a qualification that allows you to practice clinically in the UK/ RoI and be registered with a regulatory body. Individuals registered as health professionals in other countries but not in UK/RoI are not eligible
  • Q. Do I need to be working clinically in the NHS to be eligible?
    We anticipate that the vast majority, but not all applicants will currently be working clinically in the NHS. Some though may be working in a private setting such as vets and some pharmacists. Fellows recruited to the Programme do not need to be currently practising but must be registered with a national professional regulatory body (e.g., the General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK/RoI.
  • Q. How many years of clinical experience do I need to be eligible?
    Different health professionals have different clinical training pathways, so we do not set out years of clinical experience as eligibility criteria.
  • Q: When is the best time during your medical or dental training to complete a PhD?
    Candidates from medical and dental specialities on an uncoupled training pathway are eligible for enrolment at any point after securing a higher specialist training post. Applicants will usually be either on a run-through training programme or hold an NTN. Applicants may apply during their CT2 or CT3 years as long as they secure a higher specialist training place before the commencement of their PhD. Please enquire if you are unsure about your eligibility on these grounds
  • Q. Am I eligible to apply if I am finalising my undergraduate degree?
    Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply for this Programme.
  • Q. Am I eligible to apply if I am registered for a PhD elsewhere?
    Those who are registered for a PhD elsewhere are not eligible to apply for this Programme.
  • Q. How many times am I eligible to apply if I have previously been unsuccessful?
    Applicants who have unsuccessfully applied to the Programme on two occasions are no longer eligible to apply.
  • Q: Do I need to have intercalated during my degree to be eligible?
    No, intercalation is not a requirement for the Programme.
  • Q: Do I need to have academic (medical or dental) foundation training to be eligible to apply?
    No, you do not. As long as you have evidence of research experience, you will not be disadvantaged if you have not had academic foundation training.
  • Q. Do I need to have a master’s degree that is research based?
    A research-based master’s would demonstrate that you have some of the relevant skills and training to carry out a period of PhD research. However, this is not a mandatory requirement, and some applicants will have gained research experience through other avenues.
  • Q: What kind of research experience do I need?
    Applicants are likely to have previously undertaken research, either through an Academic Clinical Fellowship or clinical primer or equivalent (medical and dental graduates), an internship, residency, clinical primer or equivalent (veterinary) or via an alternative route such as the NIHR ICA/T fellowship, or a Master’s degree with relevant modules. Practical research experience is desirable, specifically demonstrating that you have been involved in the research cycle including design, implementation, analysis, write-up and dissemination of findings. If you are unsure if your research experience is appropriate for an application, please contact the programme team on who will advise further.
  • Q. Do I need to have publications from my previous research?
    Ideally you will be able to demonstrate some output from your research. This could be a peer-reviewed publication but does not necessarily need to be in the form of a publication, as we appreciate that not all professionals have the opportunity or support for producing publications. Other outputs such as policy reports or briefs, data repositories and other impactful outputs will strengthen your application. Presentation of abstracts at conferences does not count for as much as full publications or other written outputs.
  • Q. As a non-medic health professional, how can I be competitive for a PhD fellowship in this Programme?
    We appreciate that not all health professionals have access to a period of funded research during their training. To take this into consideration, all applications will be taken on their individual merit so that the strongest candidates will be shortlisted for interview by an appropriate panel. As well as academic record, criteria used to assess applicants are commitment to global health research, contribution to generation of knowledge, development of individuals and contribution to broader society. We appreciate that these can be achieved in different ways and that traditional research experience and publications is not the only route.
  • Q. Do I need to include a project proposal with my application?
    For Stage 1 applications, we focus on the excellence and quality of the candidates. You are not expected to provide a full project proposal. You do need to indicated what area of research you want to pursue and provide a summary of your proposed research project and any potential supervisors you have in mind. This will enable us to assess your suitability for the programme, and also to help us to direct you to the appropriate institutions and supervisors should you be shortlisted. If you are shortlisted to Stage 2, you will need to develop a full proposal and a detailed feasible budget. You will need to identify a suitable supervisory team who will help you to do this. For Stage 2 , we assess the proposed project, including scientific merit, feasibility and likely impact. We also assess your training plan, the suitability of your supervisory team and your training environment. In addition, we will assess your ownership of the project and your role in developing the proposal and its objectives. Applicants that do not demonstrate sufficient independent thinking are unlikely to be successful.
  • Q. Can I apply to the Programme to part-fund an existing research project?
    No. The scheme does not part-fund existing research. You may embed your project in a larger research study but your PhD project must be your own and not part of existing objectives that the fellowship will provide additional funding for.
  • Q. What sort of research will the Programme fund?
    We encourage research across a wide-range of disciplines including epidemiology, lab sciences, clinical research, social sciences, anthropology, health economics, demography and others. We particularly encourage interdisciplinary projects. You should have a supervisory team that has the methodological and technical expertise to support you to answer your research questions. An important part of evaluation of Stage 2 applications is the suitability of your supervisory team, and applications where the supervisory team is not adequate are not likely to be successful.
  • Q. What does my supervisory team comprise?
    This includes your two primary supervisors (one from the UK HEI and one from the HEI in the African country where you will conduct your research). These along with your co-supervisors form your supervisory team. You may also have collaborators. See Supervisory Definitions
  • Q: What funding does the Programme offer?
    See our ‘Funding[RF1] ’ page. [RF1]Provide hyperlink
  • Q. I am employed at consultant level, will Wellcome cover my salary during the PhD?
    The scheme is designed for those in training or at a comparatively early stage of an established post who wish to develop an academic career. A consultant (or equivalent for example above Band 7) salary will not be covered.
  • Q: How long does the funding last for?
    The standard duration of a PhD fellowship funding award is three years (or part-time equivalent) from the date of registration at your host institution.
  • Q. Can I do the PhD on a part-time basis?
    Yes, you can do your PhD on a part-time basis, but only to balance this with caring responsibilities, not at the same time as carrying out other salaried employment. We follow Wellcome Trust policies related to flexible research careers. Full details are available here[RF1] . [RF1]Provide hyperlink (resources)
  • Q: Where will I be registered for my PhD?
    You will be primarily registered at the university at which your UK institution (primary) supervisor is employed. This should be one of the following 5 institutions (QMUL, LSHTM, BSMS, SGUL or KCL).
  • Q: Where will I conduct my research?
    You will conduct your research based at one of the 6 African partner institutions (BRTI, CDT-AAU, MRC-G, MRC-U, Zambart-UNZA, ZVITAMBO). These will be your host institutions when you are based in Africa conducting your research.
  • Q: How much time am I meant to spend in Africa?
    Each UK Institution (where you register for your PhD) will have regulations re the minimum period of time and at what stage of your PhD you are resident in the UK during your fellowship. Ideally, it is expected that you will spend about 18 to a maximum of 24 months of their PhD based in Africa. This can be one continual period or over multiple periods. Applicants who plan to spend shorter periods will have to provide a strong justification, as a core focus of this scheme is for fellows to be based in Africa for their training.
  • Q. Can I retain my NHS employment?
    You will be employed by the university where your PhD is registered and be a member of staff in the Research Fellow grade. To carry out any clinical work if required, you will be asked to obtain an honorary contract with your NHS employer. The independent funding provided as part of this fellowship ensures that you remain supernumerary to the NHS and thus not subject to the demands of service provision during their research training.
  • Q: How much clinical work am I allowed to do while studying for my PhD?
    You are permitted to undertake up to one day a week (to 0.2 FTE) of clinical work if appropriate to your training or helpful for your research question. For craft specialists (e.g. surgeons or midwives), this is increased to 0.4 FTE. A craft specialty is defined as a specialty or profession where manual skill and dexterity is central to the delivery of care, and individuals require dedicated time in an operating theatre environment (or equivalent) to maintain these skills. However, the emphasis is in your research training and this should not be compromised. We encourage you to only take up a clinical role if it adds clear value. The following guidance[RF1] , released In 2017, sets out the principles and obligations of all UK institutions and clinical trainees in receipt of nationally competitive funding for clinical academic research training. Whilst there is no equivalent agreement in place for the clinical training of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, we consider that the same principles of clinical academic training should relate to all health professionals undertaking academic training. Fellows working clinically or undertaking patient-facing research in the African country where they are conducting their PhD research must ensure that they are registered with the appropriate health professional body, and are undertaking appropriate continuing professional education to maintain their registration. [RF1]Hyperlink to resources
  • Q. Can I apply via an HEI and be employed via the HEI during the PhD?
    You will be appointed to the Programme prior to being employed by the HEI of your senior supervisor. Your HEI employment and fellowship funding will start when your PhD starts. For the period prior to starting your PhD, you will be employed in your current role.
  • Q. Do I need support from my clinical employer?
    This will depend on your health profession; for example, medics need to apply for OOPR from their Deanery and TPD in order to take time out of training. However, this may not be the case for other health professionals. We see it as an advantage to be supported by your employer to conduct a period of research, especially if the transition back to a split role of research and clinical work can be negotiated for the post-doctoral period.
  • Q. If I am awarded a fellowship, can I defer it?
    You are expected to start at the beginning of September, however this can be postponed for up to one year from the time of offer if necessary. You are expected to put your reason(s) for postponing in your application. Note that the date on which you enrol for your PhD may be fixed by the host institution (for example at LSHTM you can enrol in September, January, and June). We recommend aligning your start date to be around the time you also enrol for your PhD, however these do not need to be the same date.
  • Q. Can I extend the duration of my fellowship?
    The Fellowship is expected to be three years in duration with fellows expected to submit their PhD thesis within the three year funding period. It can be extended for specified reasons (such as sick leave, maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave, compassionate leave). Grants will be supplemented where applicable. The end date will also be extended by the time equivalent to the period of leave.
  • Q. What happens at the end of my PhD?
    In the final year of your PhD, you will be encouraged to discuss your future plans with your supervisors, mentor and the Programme Management Group. You will be supported to identify funding opportunities for a post-doctoral award to prepare applications for post-doctoral fellowships. However, we anticipate that fellows may choose a variety of career options post-PhD and we will support you to identify appropriate opportunities. Do note, that this Programme does not provide post-doctoral funding.
bottom of page