2020 African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Program for MSc and PhD Research for East Africans

Deadline: June 19, 2020.

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) has been implementing a project aiming to improve and expand implementation and resourcing of national sanitation policies in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with a specific focus on fecal waste management in urban areas. The primary outcome of this project is established collaborative, evidence-informed leadership in East Africa that will drive progress toward achievement of two consensus-driven goals:

  • Target 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals: access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and an end to open defecation by 2030, whilst paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
  • Ngor Declaration targets 3&4 on sanitation: to establish and track sanitation and hygiene budget lines that consistently increase annually to reach a minimum of 0.5% of GDP by 2020; and to ensure strong leadership and coordination at all levels to build and sustain governance for sanitation and hygiene across sectors, especially water, health, nutrition, education, gender and the environment.

To contribute to the evidence generation and knowledge translation built into this project, APHRC is pleased to announce a call for applications to support Master’s and PhD students in institutions of higher learning in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Through these fellowships, APHRC hopes to build a networked cohort of well-trained scholars able to generate high quality research and interact with policymakers and practitioners on issues around sanitation management policy and practice, especially on fecal waste management.


The fellowship will primarily support research (including data collection and/or analysis). Funds will not be used to support coursework.

Applicants must:

  • Be citizens or permanent residents of Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania;
  • Show evidence of enrollment in a Master or PhD program at a university in Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania
  • Have completed all pre-dissertation requirements; for example, a research concept approved by the Department.
  • Provide a detailed timeframe for completing their dissertation which must be endorsed by the Head of Department or the chair of the dissertation committee;
  • Show competency and ability to complete their research within 12 months for MSc students and 24 months for PhD students


A. Each fellowship award will be up to a maximum of USD 12,000 for Master’s students and USD 25,000 for Doctoral students.

B. This amount comprises a completion award of USD 2,000 that is only payable after successful thesis defense.

C. Applicants can budget for a laptop computer and analytical software (e.g. STATA, SPSS, NVivo, Atlas/ti); research/data collection costs; and participation in one regional or international conference or workshop.


  • Willingness to dedicate uninterrupted time during the course of the program. Students who are not in full-time employment will be given priority
  • The fellowship will support original qualitative or quantitative or mixed methods research that addresses a clear research question, employs appropriate and rigorous design, has an urban focus, and has unambiguous national or regional policy and/or programmatic implication(s)
  • Candidates must demonstrate interest in pursuing a research career and dissertations must be sufficiently linked to future research interests
  • At least one of the fellowships will support research to identify innovative approaches for social or technological innovations in the field of sanitation or hygiene
  • Those interested in gender issues, especially the role of women in sanitation and hygiene decision-making and management are particularly encouraged to apply
  • Candidates should be able to show the link to policy and identify critical policy-implementation gaps


All application materials must be received by 11:59pm (Nairobi time) on June 19, 2020. Applications must include the following documents to be considered (Applications not meeting these requirements will not be reviewed):

  1. A completed application form (can be downloaded from https://www.aphrc.org/). This form must be submitted electronically in MS Word format.
  2. Proof of citizenship or permanent residence in Uganda (e.g. copy of passport or other national identification);
  3. Two letters of reference (at least one must come from the proposed faculty member with knowledge of applicant’s academic potential and must document how the candidate’s proposed research trajectory fits into ongoing research programs in the department). Referees’ contact information must be provided in the application form. For PhD student applicants, one reference letter must come from the academic supervisor at their MSc/MA Thesis, clearly indicating the research potential of the candidate.
  4. Submit your proposed research concept of no more than two pages and a motivation letter.
  5. Evidence that the research concept has undergone faculty level review and received approval from an approved ethical review board and the dissertation committee or is under review for the same.
  6. Candidates from Uganda are encouraged to apply.

The application form and supporting documents should be submitted in a single email to 2020addrf@aphrc.org

OFFICIAL LINK: https://aphrc.org/career/2020-addrf-call-for-applications/

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