Vacancy: Clinical PhD Student (Based in Tanzania)

Vacancy:  PhD student

Hours: 40-hour work week, Full-time

Location: Shinyanga Region, Tanzania

The position The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) is looking for a highly motivated local PhD student to work on clinical and epidemiological studies within an innovative HIV Test & Treat project in Shinyanga and Simiyu regions, Tanzania. The PhD student will report to the AIGHD lead clinical & epidemiological research in Amsterdam. The HIV Test & Treat project is an international multi-stakeholder project with both implementing and research partners. The PhD student will be part of a larger multi-disciplinary team on site, consisting of scientific, project operational and health care staff.

Background: The Shinyanga HIV Test & Treat project

The new WHO guidelines advocate the so-called ‘HIV Test and Treat approach’: immediate antiretroviral treatment (ART) for all HIV infected persons, independent of clinical stage or CD4 count. AIGHD has been awarded the task of scientific evaluation of a unique HIV T&T project in Tanzania, aiming to put 20,000 HIV patients on ART through T&T and decentralized ART provision through a Hub and Club model. The implementation of the Shinyanga HIV T&T project is led by an Italian NGO (Doctors with Africa CUAMM) through a network of Tanzanian healthcare providers, under the Diocese of Shinyanga. In this context, AIGHD, as the research partner, is responsible for performing multi-disciplinary operational research (clinical, epidemiological, economic and socio-anthropological) under the final guidance of a Principal Investigator (PI) from the United Kingdom and a co-PI from Tanzania.

Main Responsibilities

The PhD student will be responsible for analyzing and writing up (part of) the clinical and epidemiological research that is performed within the T&T project. In order to complete a PhD at the University of Amsterdam the PhD student will also need to complete all the requirements of the AMC Graduate School, including publication of a minimum of 3 first-authorship scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals. The PhD student is expected to complete and defend a PhD thesis within 4 years.

The work will include the following tasks:

  • Write PhD proposal, in collaboration with AIGHD supervisors and PI/co-PI
  • Write concept notes with data analysis plans for each subproject
  • Collaborate with local data manager and operational/clinical staff to gather and collate data required to analyze subprojects
  • Coordinate studies with operational studies performed by Doctors with Africa CUAMM team
  • Perform epidemiological and statistical analyses independently
  • Write scientific papers, follow-up until publication
  • Submit to and present research findings at national and international conferences, and apply for scholarships to attend conferences
  • Write and publish PhD thesis
  • Organize and participate in regular supervision meetings with supervisory team (face to face and via conference call)
  • Maintaining close contact with all relevant co-investigators and study teams
  • Participate in regular meetings with internal staff and core partners
  • Contribute to all project reporting by AIGHD (to ethics committee, international donor, etc.)

Educational qualifications

Academic level: Medical degree or Master degree in Epidemiology, Public Health, Bio-Medical sciences or comparable

Work experience

At least 2 years of professional experience in HIV programs, preferably in the area(s) of monitoring and evaluation, (operational) research and/or (senior) project management. Experience with the following is an advantage: working with a (international) research institution, evidence of co-authorship of peer reviewed publications, and/or quantitative data collection, data management and analysis.

Additional requirements and desired skills

  • Experience and affinity with public health programmes
  • Ability to work proactively and independently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work well in a (multi-national) team
  • Attention to detail, structured and well-organized
  • Excellent computer software skills – Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint)
  • Ability to develop and maintain efficient and effective working relationships among project staff and core partners
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to travel within the project region and to Dar es Salaam (occasionally) as well as to Amsterdam (for course work, and when needed)


Excellent command of both written and spoken English and Kiswahili; Kisukuma is an asset.

AIGHD offers

AIGHD offers an excellent job opportunity in a cutting-edge working environment in global health and development and a salary in line with prevailing sector standards. For more information about the job description please contact Ilona Sips ( General questions, applications including CV and letter of motivation (in English) should be sent to HR Support (

Duration: the opportunity for doing a PhD is a 2-step process. After 1 year the academic progress of the PhD candidate will be evaluated and the experiences and motivation of the candidate to pursue the program discussed. Should both parties decide to continue, the second phase will encompass a 3 year period with the opportunity to complete a PhD degree at the University of Amsterdam.


Closing date: Friday 30 November 2018

About AIGHD Stichting AIGHD takes a problem-oriented approach and transcends the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines to provide sustainable solutions in the field of Global Health. It is a dynamic network focused on research, education and policy advising. The Institute stands for a collaboration among biomedical researchers from the Academic Medical Center (AMC), social scientists and economists from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and from the VU University Amsterdam (VU). In addition, its constituents include a number of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), such as the PharmAccess Foundation, The Health Insurance Fund and the Medical Credit Fund, which have a pivotal place in the consortium. AIGHD links expertise, resources and programs from institutions that are involved in health-related research, education and capacity building. By doing this, it brings a “delivery perspective” to health research, and a “quality aspect” to health care services in countries with more limited resources.

To be considered, you must to be already resident in Tanzania and in full possession of a Tanzanian resident and working permit.