The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is calling for applications from doctoral students with strong commitment to a career in training and/or research for the African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowships (ADDRF).
The ADDRF Program seeks to facilitate more rigorous engagement of doctoral students in research, strengthen their research skills, and provide them an opportunity for timely completion of their doctoral training.
Expected Outcomes
The fellowship program is expected to result in several high-quality doctoral dissertations from sub-Saharan African universities. Successful applicants will be required to publish at least one peer-reviewed article from their dissertation within two years of completing their thesis. The program is expected to contribute to the production and retention of skilled capacity at various academic and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Worth of Awards
The fellowship will primarily support research (including data collection and/or analysis). Funds will not be used to support coursework.

  • Each award will be up to a maximum of US$15,000. Specific items may include field research, a monthly stipend for up to 12 months, and other research materials (e.g., laptop computer, specialized software or books, etc).
  • Applicants may also include the cost of one local or regional conference where the results of the dissertation may be disseminated.
  • Successful candidates will attend at least one week-long training workshop (Attending the workshop(s) is mandatory). During the workshop, grantees will receive training and mentorship on various aspects of research (design and methods, ethics, data analyses, scientific writing, proposaldevelopment and communication of research results, etc).
  • The students’ home institutions may receive an institutional overhead to support the department and dissertation committee in ensuring timely review of dissertation chapters


  • The ADDRF will award about 20 fellowships in 2013. These fellowships will be awarded to doctoral students who are within two years of completing their thesis at an African university.
  • Dissertation topics showing great promise of contributing significantly to resorts to strengthen health systems (governance, equity, health or population-related issues) in the region will be given priority. In this phase of funding and in consideration of IDRC’s health programming priorities, candidates whose dissertation topics address health policy or health systems issues will be given special consideration.
  • The Program has also reserved a small number of fellowships specifically for doctoral students conducting research on health inequities in urban areas or the reproductive health of marginalized urban communities. These fellowships are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Applicants must:

  • Be citizens or permanent residents of a sub-Saharan African country
  • Be undertaking doctoral training at a recognized African university
  • Have completed all pre-dissertation requirements
  • Provide a detailed time-frame for completing their dissertation which should be endorsed by the head of department or the chair of the dissertation committee,
  • Have a research topic that has been approved by their doctoral dissertation committee, as well as the official body overseeing ethical review of the research protocol, and be able to complete their dissertation within 24 months of the start of the fellowship.
  • Candidates whose dissertation topics address health policy or health systems issues and show great promise of making substantive contribution to strengthening health systems in Africa will be given priority.
  • The fellowship will support original qualitative and quantitative research that addresses a clear research question, employs appropriate and rigorous design, and has unambiguous national or regional policy implication(s).
  • Candidates must demonstrate interest in pursuing a research career and dissertations must be sufficiently linked to future research interests.
  • The dissertation should ideally be related to other work going on in the department or should have received strong endorsement and support from the department.
  • Female applicants and those from Francophone and Lusophone countries are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

  • The name of the applicant should be included in the email subject line when being submitted
  • A completed application form (can be downloaded from the scholarship website.
  • This form must be Submitted electronically in MS Word format.
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residence in a sub-Saharan Africa country (e.g. copy of passport or other national identification);
  • Two letters of reference (at least one must come from a faculty member with extensive knowledge of applicant’s academic history and performance and must document how the candidate’s dissertation research fits into ongoing research programs in the department). Referees’ contact information must be provided in the application form.
  • Evidence that the research protocol has undergone review and receive approval from an approved ethical review board and the dissertation committee or is under review for the same.

All application materials (applications in French will also be considered) must be received by January 15, 2013 in order to be reviewed. Applications must include the following documents to be considered (Applications not meeting these
requirements will not be reviewed):

For more information on the Fellowship, click hereTo fill the application form, click here (PDF)