WHO/AFRO Fellowship Programme on Public Health Emergencies in Africa

13 November 2022

Date published: 21 October 2022


The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) invites interested and eligible candidates to submit applications for a fellowship programme on improving the management of public health emergencies in Africa under the COVID-19 Incident Management Support Team (IMST).

Description of the Fellowship

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a challenge to health care systems, particularly in Africa. Every new surge in cases and deaths stresses an already overworked and overstretched workforce, strains resources, and negatively affects health care operations on the continent. The pandemic's uncertain duration means that health care communities must provide opportunities for stability and growth to the health workforce as it adapts to the ongoing situation. Health care leadership is essential in ensuring the continuity of operations based on effective decision-making and enhanced response operations.

However, the gap between emergencies and public health management skills, leadership, policy, and research has become increasingly evident during the pandemic.

Having well-prepared public health managers with the requisite skills to manage any pandemic is therefore critical for implementing a new public health order that will prepare Member States to promptly detect and effectively respond to public health threats.

Through a three-month fellowship programme, WHO AFRO seeks to support 15 aspirational Master’s degree students, PhD fellows, and emergency public health managers and leaders (Fellows) in Africa in acquiring advanced skills and competencies for strategizing, managing and leading health programmes that will positively transform future public health emergency response on the continent.

The fellowship programme seeks to bridge the emergency public health management and research-to-policy gaps and produce well-equipped, versatile managers and leaders as required by the WHO Emergency Response Framework and the International Health Regulations (2005) for emergency response. Additionally, it seeks to navigate the complex environment of public health practice to achieve and maintain a positive impact on health, politics, negotiation, partnerships and health diplomacy.

The fellowship will adopt a hybrid approach, combining face-to-face engagements with technology-based activities in line with WHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) flagship programme, which aims to reinforce and scale up the quality and scope of public health emergency management in Africa over the next five years.

Number of Fellowship to be awarded

A total of 15 fellowships will be awarded to:

  • Five Master’s degree students;
  • Five PhD students;
  • Five mid- and senior-level public health experts.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be citizens of any WHO Member State working on COVID-19, with priority given to citizens of Member States of the WHO African Region.
  • Be registered in a Master’s degree programme (Master’s Fellows).
  • Be registered in a PhD programme (PhD/DPhil Fellows).
  • Be a full-time employee (in the public/private sector or academia) with a Master’s degree or public health qualification or PhD (mid- or senior-level career Fellows).
  • Have professional experience in public health (One Health, medicine, health financing, health economics, health policy, animal health, social sciences, and environmental health).
  • Possess relevant experience that has contributed to the advancement of public health emergency management in Africa.
  • Demonstrate potential for effective public health management that can positively impact the health outcomes of populations.

· Develop an achievable proposal that addresses strategic challenges for improving the management of public health emergencies on the continent.

How to apply

  • Candidates must present the following requirements:
  • A recent Curriculum Vitae
  • Confirmation of registration in an academic institution (for Master’s degree and PhD fellows)
  • Letter of employment (mid- and senior-level experts)
  • A 500-word motivation statement for the Master’s degree students outlining their objectives and plan for the fellowship.
  • A 2000 – 3000-word proposal for all applicants (Master’s, PhD students and mid-/senior-level experts) outlining the proposed project with the following section:
    • Introduction of the subject of research
    • Relevance and pertinence of the subject
    • Brief literature review on the subject
    • Objectives
    • Research plan and activities
    • Potential use of the outcomes of the research
    • Conclusion

Submission Deadline

Applications are due by: 20 November 2022: EMAIL: whoafrofellowship@who.int

Fellowship Benefits

WHO AFRO will provide financial support to the fellows to cover tuition and research fees.