As part of HEARD’s commitment to investing in the development of African scholars, we are offering up to 10 PhD Scholarships for 2019.   Under the supervision of Professor Nana Poku and with the generous support of The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the scholarship is aimed producing expertly qualified graduates to advise or to be part of influential policy-making or programme implementing entities in Africa, and to pursue additional research priorities.

Applications are invited from citizens of all African countries. Female candidates and, in the case of South Africa, those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, are especially encouraged to apply.


  • Hold a Master’s Degree in a pertinent subject or a first or upper second class degree together with a track record of professional experience in a health o health-related field.
  • Have demonstrable research experience.
  • Undertake to register for a PhD
  • dissertation (full time) at the University of KwaZulu–Natal (UKZN).
  •  Make a commitment to remain on the African continent for at least TWO years after graduation.


  • A letter of motivation and CV
  • An eight to ten page concept note on one of HEARD’s key thematic research areas: Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights; Gender, Equality & Health; Health Governance & Finance; and Health Systems Strengthening.
  • Certified copies of both your academic qualifications and your full academic records. If qualifications were obtained from non-English speaking countries please ensure that an official English translation is included.
  • A certified copy of your ID/passport.
  • Two letters of reference, at least one of which must be academic. The second can be from an individual of professional standing.


The value of each scholarship is R540, 000 and will be paid in equal tranches over three years. Tranche payments will be conditional on research progress. Successful candidates are required to be based in Durban, South Africa, for the duration of the scholarship, with the
exception of the time during which they may undertake field research elsewhere.


  • Applicants in the process of completing a Master’s degree will not be considered.
  • PhD students may not work while studying.
  • The first scholarship tranche will be released on proof of PhD registration
    and the opening of a South African bank account.
  • If you have not received a reply within 6 weeks of the closing date, kindly consider your application unsuccessful.
    Applications must be submitted to Ms Cailin Hedderwick, PhD Programme Manager ( by 1
    March 2019.
  • More information about HEARD is available at

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