Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) PhD Scholarships for African Scholars 2021 (Up to R540 000)

Deadline: April 15, 2021

Applications are open for the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) PhD Scholarships for African Scholars 2021. The scholarship is aimed at 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.

HEARD occupies an important interface between research, policy, and advocacy; working with research and advocacy groups to generate innovative ideas and also ensuring these ideas are turned into practical policies to overcome the enormous burden of disease in Africa. HEARD conducts research on the socio-economic aspects of public health, especially the African HIV and AIDS pandemic. The organisation has an Africa-wide mandate with research applicable across the region that impacts on regional policies and programmes.

Fees and Funding

  • The value of each scholarship is R540 000 and will be paid in equal tranches over three years and 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.


  • 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.
  • They must 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 or 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.


Application should include:

  • 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 and Rights; Gender Equality and Health; Health Governance and 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.

Applications must be submitted to Ms Cailin Hedderwick, PhD Programme Manager via by April 15, 2021.

For more information, visit HEARD.