WUA Call For PhD Studentship Applications In Partnership With Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)
The Women’s University in Africa (WUA) is a private institution that was established in 2002 and granted a Charter by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2004 (Statutory Instrument 130/2004) with a mandate to address gender disparity and foster equity in university education. The University, through its department of Family and Health Sciences, has partnered with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in a collaborative research in the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on the Prevention and Management of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. (NIHR132027)
NIHR Global Health Unit on Stillbirth Prevention and Management in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Background and Objectives of the Programme
The NIHR Global Health Unit on the Prevention and Management of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, led from the Centre for Childbirth, Women’s and Newborn Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UK, is an established equitable multidisciplinary partnership between Africa, Asia and UK-based researchers. As an international centre of research excellence, our goal is to end preventable stillbirths and newborn deaths, ensure adequate support for parents and families whose baby dies and reduce associated stigma.
Using a whole systems approach, we work across high burden settings in India, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We aim to develop, test and implement sustainable and cost-effective solutions to strengthen maternity and newborn care, reducing mortality and morbidity through high-quality, respectful and compassionate maternity and newborn care. Activities cover the entire spectrum of maternal and newborn health from preconception to post/neonatal care, with a strong focus on meaningful community and stakeholder partnerships. We co-produce research with women, families, front-line health workers and policy makers. We have methodological expertise across development including evidence synthesis, exploratory (qualitative and quantitative approaches), core outcomes sets, clinical trials and implementation research.
Capacity strengthening for maternal and newborn health research, across all partner countries is embedded throughout the Unit. We have a particular, but not exclusive, interest and experience in developing midwifery and nursing research capacity to address global shortages in these disciplines. Our development programmes span masters, PhD and post-doctoral fellowships as well as project specific and institutional skills training. All staff have regular development reviews, we have an active mentorship programme and facilitate networking opportunities across partner institutions and research sites.
We have exciting PhD opportunity within the NIHR unit at the Women’s University in Africa in Zimbabwe, for a talented individual to develop research expertise in a dynamic supportive environment, guided by experienced multidisciplinary supervisors and the wider Unit academic network. This fellowship will be offered within WS 9 of the Unit, for a project based in Zimbabwe which has a specific focus on development of a core outcome sets for stillbirth research in LMICs under the supervision of Dr Unice Goshomi(Women’s University in Africa, Prof Jamie Kirkman (University of Manchester, UK), Dr Carol Bedwell (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine).
Workstream 9: Development of a core outcome sets for stillbirth research in LMICs
Registration: Women’s University of Africa
This project will focus on developing a core outcome set (COS) for stillbirth research in LMICs. COS are defined as an agreed standardised set of outcomes that should be measured and reported, as a minimum, in all clinical trials in specific areas of health or health care. COS can enhance the relevance of research by ensuring outcomes of importance to health service users and other people making choices about health care in a particular topic area are measured. We will tackle some of the methodological questions experienced within low-resources settings (including outcomes for economic evaluation) based on established priorities. Including 1) Understanding the challenges and best practices of developing a COS within a low resource setting, with particular emphasis on moving forward global patient and public involvement in research through knowledge exchange activities. 2) Capturing novel methods and processes in high quality research undertaken in these challenging settings with respect to core outcome set development. 3) Adding a global component or consideration to core outcome set development methodology to ensure the results are more broadly applicable, and to bring the experience in these challenging settings to ensure widening participation of COS development across LMICs.
Where does the project lie on the translational pathway: T2 (human/clinical research)
Workstream outputs: Tools (guidance packs) to appropriately design and implement Global COS development studies with sufficient LMIC representation; 2) A paradigm shift in COS development practices by empowering researchers to consider LMIC in their designs, increasing COS scope and reducing research waste; 3) Engagement with diverse knowledge user groups, including the Global Health Network and the International Public and Patient Involvement Network as knowledge brokers in the co-production of research in a wide range of countries, stakeholder groups with different cultural, democratic and political contexts; 4) To produce the first generation of COS development experts from an LMIC setting.
Training opportunities: Evidence synthesis, COS methodology, expert consensus including Delphi, qualitative approaches. Participatory and mixed methods. Community engagement and involvement, dissemination skills.
Skills required: Understanding of current context and adverse perinatal outcomes in LMICs. Previous experience of systemic review and qualitative data collection. Midwifery or public health background would be desirable. Previous experience of participatory approaches would be an asset. Strong communication and organisational skills.
Funding Package and Study Route
PhD Registration at LSTM
Successful candidates will study as a full-time, the PhD student registered at WUA. This studentship opportunity will provide funding for the duration of 36 months from the date of registration. This equates to:
- Full time PhD registration fees at WUA
- Stipend to cover living costs at local rates
- Travel, accommodation and subsistence allowance for selected in-person Unit meetings and networking
- Funded visit (year 2 TBC) to UK to meet with UK supervisors and wider research teams
Eligibility & Entry requirements:
Nationality and right to study requirements
Fellowship funding is ONLY available to nationals of countries and territories that are eligible to receive Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). A list of countries and territories that are eligible for ODA is available here: https://www.oecd.org/dac/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/DAC-List-ODA-Recipients-for-reporting-2021-flows.pdf
We are unable to accept applications from candidates from high income countries as stipulated above. Nationality and location will be determined via the information provided within your application. Candidates must also be able to demonstrate that they have right to study in the country that the project is based for which they wish to be considered at the time of application. Applications from candidates that do not meet nationality and location requirements will be rejected upon receipt.
- Obtained (or expected to obtain) an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) and/or a master’s degree in a relevant subject (International qualifications need to be of equivalent standard, as defined by NARIC)
- OR in exceptional cases Professional registration (e.g. Midwife, Nurse or Allied Health Professional) and substantial, demonstrable work at postgraduate level (including research methods training) undertaken for the equivalent of one-year full time
The PhD programme at WUA is delivered in English and you must ensure that you meet WUA’s English language entry requirements so that you have the skills to pursue your chosen course of study successfully and can participate in all aspects of academic life.
PhD programmes will offer combination of in person and remote learning, to maximise flexibility but are offered on a full-time study basis. Therefore, students must also demonstrate in their application the time and commitment for PhD study:
- Full time hours availability for the three-year programme
- If seconded from employment, support, and approval from your employer for study time
- Consistent computer and IT access
- Internet connection, up to date windows software, webcam and microphone
Interested candidates should go through the following procedures:
- Access the following link to the application system: http://www.wua.ac.zw/index.php/how-to-apply
- Attach and e-mail or post the following documents by 30th of September 2021 to:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Admissions Office
Women’s University in Africa
P.O Box GD 32 Greendale
Hand deliver at
Women’s University in Africa
Number 549 Arcturus Road, Manresa Park
- Research proposal (2000-3000 words) –The research proposal should contain:
- Title of Project
- Introduction and Background of the study
- Statement of the problem
- Research objectives/questions or hypothesis
- Justification of the study
- Research Methodology
- Research plan – Briefly outline when and where the different components of the research project shall be carried out.
- Simplified budget – Please provide a budget outlining each cost associated with carrying out the research project and a rationale for each expenditure.
- Personal Statement (see application form)
- Detailed CV
- Closing date for submitting a research grant proposal: 30th of September 2021
- Notification to applicants of the Selection Committee’s decision: 29th of October 2021
- Commencement of PhD studentship: January 2022 (TBC)
Further information: For informal discussion prior to submitting your application please email the following:
1.Prof Jamie Kirkham
2. Dr Unice Goshomi
3. Prof. B. Chisaka