Call for Applications for the TAGENDI PhD fellowship program



1. Background

TESA Addressing Gender and Diversity Regional Gaps in Clinical Research Capacity (TAGENDI) the PhD fellowship program, is inviting applications for Doctoral Fellowships funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). The purpose of this call is to contribute to the reduction of the gender and diversity gaps by training female PhD candidates from participating TESA member African countries or institutions which include South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in collaboration with European country partner institutions from the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and France. Participating institutions in the different African countries are listed on the TESA website (https://tesanoe.net).


2. Training Program

The training program is designed to address existing gender imbalance within clinical research in Africa. Using established internal and external TESA partnerships th, the TAGENDI PhD Fellowship program will award up to seven PhD fellowships to female applicants based on merit following an established and transparent selection process.


Successful female candidates will carry out their studies after registering with any of the following universities within the network or any other university if justified:

  • University of Cape Town

  • University of Zimbabwe

  • Stellenbosch University

  • Amsterdam Institute of Global Health Development

  • University of Barcelona and ISGLobal

  • University of Namibia

  • University of Malawi

  • University of Botswana and

  • University of Zambia

The training will focus on under-served health research disciplines including:

  • Epidemic preparedness

  • Health Economics (Impact) Biostatistics

  • Computational research

  • Bioinformatics

  • Infectious diseases

  • Neglected Tropical Diseases

  • Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Research on COVID -19

Research on COVID-19 is strongly encouraged, as part of the efforts to strengthen the EDCTP Regional Networks (TESA) so that the network is swift and more resilient in responding to future emerging threats.


The current TESA Advisory Committee will also support this training project providing oversight of the implementation of the fellowship program. A MSc student Mentorship Program will be used in the TAGENDI fellowship to provide coaching support to the fellows selected to this program.

Each TAGENDI fellow shall train and co-supervise an MSc student under her research project and shall collaborate with a team of experts across TESA in several activities which also includes attending networking meetings in the region and networking with other PhD fellows from other EDCTP networks of excellence.


The Consortium will support each successful fellow with a TAGENDI grant that will cover a monthly stipend, travel allowance, research costs and essential equipment such as laptops. Maternity cover and other justifiable eligible expenditures will also be included in the grant.

The PhD fellowship will be for 48 months with a possibility of a six-month extension, if required.


3. Selection of Candidates

The PhD Candidates will go through a rigorous and transparent selection process to ensure that the themes and research areas for selected students are consistent with the scope of the call. As a selection criterion the following aspects will be considered:

  • Be a female scientist

  • Must have at least one published manuscript

  • Be in possession of an MSc or MPhil degree in a relevant field from any recognised university

  • The candidate should have an employment contract with a TESA member institution or have an employment guarantee by the Legal Entity in which they express the intention to continue working at least for the next 3 years after training

  • Candidates from less developed TESA institutions are encouraged

  • The content of the proposed area of study must be aligned with the disciplines of study listed above. It is highly recommended that proposed research projects are focused on emerging diseases, especially COVID-19.

The first stage of selection will be at each TESA site, within each participating country. In each site a harmonized document will be used to guide the selection of the candidate. The second selection stage will be at the consortium level led by the TESA Coordinating centre supported by the appointed TAGENDI selection committee comprised of independent experts from participating sites who will be evaluating the candidate’s applications.


The two-stage selection process is designed to maintain an objective, open and transparent process of assessment and selection of candidates based on merit., The process will remain competitive to ensure that fellowships are awarded to the best candidates. Interested female PhD candidates will be required to submit a written application with details of their academic background and track record in research verifiable through documents like certificates, support letters of support, documentation of the candidates experience in research, evidence of at least one research publication, etc. ,. In the first stage, a local selection committee will be responsible for the review of the applications and shortlisting of eligible candidates. Each site will select and submit one candidate to the Regional TESA Coordinator for compilation and submission to the Coordinating Centre together with all relevant application documents where the TAGENDI Selection Committee will perform the final selection.


The TAGENDI Selection Committee will review all the applications from the different sites and conduct a final assessment of the applications. Candidates will be invited for a virtual or face to face selection interview, if conditions allow. After the selection, candidates will be provided with a formal letter from the Coordinating Centre, detailing the expected support from TESA. Selected candidates will register at the assigned universities and will be required to sign a TAGENDI fellowship agreement expressing commitment to undertake and complete the training.


4. Application requirements - How to apply

The Application package should contain the following:

  • A fully completed application form

  • A comprehensive recent CV including relevant research and work experience (max 2 pages)

  • Certified copies of academic transcripts and post-high school qualifications submitted as ONE pdf file.

  • Certified Copy of National ID or Passport

  • Supporting letters from the institution where the applicant is affiliated.

  • Supporting letters from two professional referees (one must be an academic referee), together with their telephone numbers, institutional addresses and e-mail addresses.

Daytime contact details of the applicant including email, and telephone contacts should be emailed directly to rodrigues.matcheve@manhica.net and copy Dr Francisco Saúte: francisco.saute@manhica.net and Dr Junior Mutsvangwa: jnr.mutsvangwa@gmail.com, no later than one week following the application deadline below.


Requests for application forms and/or more information should be addressed to mutenherwaf@gmail.com or mwansaketty@gmail.com or can be downloaded from the link to be provided.

Submit completed application packages to Rodrigues Matcheve: rodrigues.matcheve@manhica.net and copy Dr Francisco Saúte: francisco.saute@manhica.net and Dr Junior Mutsvangwa: jnr.mutsvangwa@gmail.com


Program-related enquiries, contact: Farirai Mutenherwa: mutenherwaf@gmail.com

and Mwansa ketty Lubeya: mwansaketty@gmail.com


Closing Date for Applications: 29 October 2021 at 5:00 pm CAT.


Incomplete Application forms without the required support documents will not be considered.

Final award of scholarship to selected candidates will be subject to successful university registration for the PhD by January 2022.


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