Vacancy: Research Fellow

Research Fellow
Part-time (3 years, 32 hours per week) – based in Amsterdam

The position

The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) is seeking a Research Fellow for the fixed-term period of thirty-six months to conduct research as part of the Wellcome Trust funded project entitled “What’s at Stake in the Fake? Indian Pharmaceuticals, African Markets and Global Health”, under the direction of Dr Rene Gerrets.

You will have a PhD in anthropology or a related field, and experience of conducting ethnographic and oral history research. Preference will be given to candidates with the ability to conduct research in Kiswahili and/or an Indian language such as Gujarati.

All applications must be accompanied by a CV and covering letter. Short-listed candidates will be required to provide names of two referees as well as a writing sample (of not more than 10,000 words).

Please direct all informal inquiries to the project investigator, Dr Rene Gerrets, at

Background of the project

Today, the idea that fake drugs threaten global health has become almost common-sensical. Often, these concerns are voiced in relation to how, for example, Africans’ already poor health is further imperiled by fake Indian drugs. Yet when we looked closely at the scientific literature backing up these claims, we found that they were based on unexpectedly weak evidence.

This project responds to this puzzle by critically re-examining our collective common-sense about fake drugs and global health. Initial research suggests that, in addition to the world of pharmacology, worries about fake drugs may be based in social worlds. When the world’s supply of live-saving drugs is beset by worries about safety, governments and citizens face difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources.

Our project’s historical and ethnographic enquiries seek to understand the emergence and circulation of worries about fake drugs for global health, as well as to understand these worries’ effects. For further information about the project, please visit the project website at:

Main tasks & Responsibilities

The Research Fellow will undertake research, administration, and other activities supporting the aforementioned project.

The Fellow will:

  • Conduct ethnographic research, centred in Tanzania, as part of the “Wellcome Trust funded project, What’s at Stake in the Fake? Indian Pharmaceuticals, African Markets and Global Health” project. More specifically, the Fellow’s research will trace ‘pharma worries’, suspicions and ‘fake talk’ among various institutions and stakeholders along drug distribution networks, so as to contribute to answering the following research question: Given Tanzania’s effective drug quality monitoring infrastructure, what accounts for continuing doubt and mistrust in medicines?
  • Keep in regular contact with the PI on the progress of the research, attend regular meetings with the PI, and alert the PIs to any problems that may arise in the conduct of the research.
  • Undertake such specific departmental roles and management functions as may reasonably be required by the PI, including attendance at departmental meetings and participation in other committees and working groups within AIGHD, or at partnered institutions such as the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Medical Centre.
  • Engage in continuous professional development, including participation in relevant professional activities.

The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather to provide guidance on the main aspects of the post. The post-holder will be required to be flexible in their duties.


  • A first degree or equivalent, a PhD in Anthropology or a related field
  • Experience of conducting high quality anthropological and /historical research and analysis, both independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills, particularly with reference to archival research, conference organisation, and public engagement
  • The ability to work effectively with fellow academics and with other staff as a member of a team
  • Engaged in continuous professional development
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English, effective communication skills
  • High quality research published (or in press) and evidence of other scholarly activity, such as conference presentations and funding applications
  • Preference will be given to candidates with the ability to conduct research in Gujarati and/or Kiswahili
  • Able to work independently and takes initiative

AIGHD offers

We offer you an international setting with a high-pace that demands a flexible, assertive and creative attitude. 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. At AIGHD, a fulltime workweek entails 40 hours/week. Secondary benefits include 25 days leave annually (pro rata adjusted to the actual number of hours employed per week), an attractive collective pension plan and a very comprehensive collective health insurance scheme. The position is based at the office of AIGHD in Amsterdam

Please send your application (including CV and letter of motivation) to HR at AIGHD


The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health & Development (AIGHD) is a research and education institute with a mission to address challenges in global health and development by conducting collaborative interdisciplinary research, generating insights and solutions, and educating the next generation of global health leaders.

AIGHD conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research prioritizing infectious disease elimination, antimicrobial drug resistance, chronic care & ageing, urbanization & health, health markets, and economics of human development. It aims to educate and inspire the next generation of global health leaders at undergraduate, post-graduate and professional levels to shape a healthier and more prosperous future for all. AIGHD aspires to accelerate progress on global health objectives by sharing knowledge and insights with global agencies, governments, NGOs, and the scientific community.

No (recruitment) agencies please