The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) is an initiative of eight African universities, four African research institutes, and select northern partners. CARTA offers an innovative model for doctoral training in sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen the capacity of participating institutions to conduct and lead internationally-competitive research.
The multi-disciplinary CARTA program is open to staff of participating institutions who are interested in conducting their PhD research on topics relevant to the broad fields of public and population health. We welcome applications from any discipline, such as public health, demography, anthropology, communication, and economics, among others, as long as the research question aims to contribute to public and population health issues in Africa.
Over the medium-term, CARTA aims to produce a critical mass of high-quality graduates trained to address the complex issues surrounding health and development in Africa, retain them in the region, and provide them with a vibrant intellectual environment, as well as viable and challenging research and growth opportunities. CARTA aims to achieve reforms in higher education by:
- Assisting universities to develop enriching and vibrant academic and research environments; and
- Supporting promising African scholars who teach at affiliated universities to obtain high-quality doctoral training in public and population health-related fields.
CARTA is currently offering a collaborative doctoral training program in public and population health. This program has been developed in response to the great challenges faced by Africa’s institutions of higher education in addressing the training and retention of the next generation of academics in the region. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
Specifically, CARTA seeks to fund candidates who will be future leaders in their institutions; that is, young, capable, and committed individuals who, in time, will ensure that their universities will be the institutions of choice for future generations of academics and university administrators wishing to make a positive impact on public and population health in Africa.
Successful applicants will attend CARTA’s innovative series of Joint Advanced Seminars (JAS) for cohorts of doctoral students admitted and registered in the participating African universities. Both the development and delivery of these courses are jointly-led by regional and international experts. The seminars consist of didactic sessions, discussions, demonstrations, and practice labs. These activities collectively serve to:
- Expose students to key theories and concepts, seminal readings, and research methods of disciplines relevant to public and population health;
- Train students in critical research skills; and
- Build and maintain a network of researchers for scientific collaborations, professional support, and mutually beneficial exchange of scientific resources.
The advanced seminars are offered once annually for four years to each cohort and build skills and conceptual depth from year to year. Each JAS runs for 3 to 4 weeks. Specific topics covered in each JAS include the following:
- JAS-1 builds critical thinking, technical skills, and other core research competencies, and introduce students to the essential concepts and seminal articles of the disciplines brought together under CARTA
- JAS-2 focuses on data management and analysis. Fellows learn to use software packages for qualitative and quantitative data management and analyses. Practice sessions use real research data and current software packages for hands-on training
- JAS-3 focuses on data presentation, the doctoral dissertation, and scientific writing and communication skills to facilitate results dissemination and policy engagement
- JAS-4 addresses professional development including skills necessary to manage and teach large class sizes, raise and manage research funds, grant writing and research management. JAS-4 is also designed to serve as an opportunity for senior fellows to practice mentoring of junior fellows through discussions and laboratory sessions, software training, and general information sharing.
During the 2018/2019 academic year, the CARTA program is planning to offer up to 25 PhD fellowships. The fellowship, which is tenable at one of the participating African universities, includes the cost of fellows’ participation in the advanced seminars; a modest monthly stipend; small grants for research activities; a laptop loaded with relevant software; funds for travel to conferences, as well as costs for participating in joint program activities. The fellowship runs for a maximum of four years. Partner institutions have committed to continue paying fellows’ salaries (or equivalent) and to modify workloads for the fellows to enable them to fully participate in CARTA organized activities pertaining to their PhD program and also to concentrate on their PhD studies. Fellows are encouraged to seek supplemental funding to cover additional costs of their doctoral program.
Participating African Universities:
- Makerere University, Uganda.
- Moi University, Kenya.
- Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
- University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
- University of Malawi, Malawi.
- University of Nairobi, Kenya.
- University of Rwanda, Rwanda.
- University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Participating Research Institutes:
- African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya.
- Agincourt Health and Population Unit, South Africa.
- Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania
- KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya.
- Brown University, USA.
- Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR), Canada.
- Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Switzerland.
- Umeå University, Sweden.
- University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
- University of Warwick, UK.
- University of Bergen, Norway.
- Uppsala Monitoring Centre, Sweden.
- A Masters degree in a relevant field.
- Prior admission into a PhD program is not required for application but awards are contingent on such admission being obtained at one of the participating African universities.
- Applicants for this program must be teaching or research staff at one of the participating African institutions and should be committed to contributing towards building capacity at their institutions.
- Applicants’ PhD research proposal must be related to public and population health.
- Fellowships are only open to people who have not yet registered for a PhD or are in the very early stages (first year) of the PhD program.
- Applicants must commit to participation in all four annual residential Joint Advanced Seminars (JASes), and to engage in inter-seminar activities designed to keep fellows actively engaged and in continual communication with peers and mentors.
- Male applicants must be under the age of 40 years and female applicants under the age 45 years by April 15, 2018.
- Contact the CARTA focal person at your institution to discuss your interest and obtain application materials. The application forms is available here Revised CARTA Fellowship Application Form -Feb 2018.
- Applicants are expected to submit application forms by April 15, 2018 to the Focal Persons at partner institutions WITH A COPY TO THE SECRETARIAT (email@example.com)
- Institutional Selection: Between April 15 and May 15 the institutions select nominees for the full application to CARTA. Institutions must submit a completed University CARTA PhD Fellowships Applications Screening Form on May 15.
- Full application process:
- Pre-JAS Assignments:
- The pre-JAS assignments must be uploaded to the Pre-JAS portal before June 1. The pre-JAS assignments have been developed and are revised every year. Revision entails developing a new numeracy task, obtaining a new set of papers for the critical review of a scientific article task (one qualitative and one quantitative) and ensuring that the plagiarism and ethics courses are available online.
- Nominees complete the Pre-JAS part 1 assignments and submit a full application form between June 1 and June 30. A summary of the tasks and the scores are provided below.
- Critical review of a scientific article (score 100)
- Numeracy task (score 100)
- Critical thinking task (score 100)
- Understanding plagiarism course (score 50)
- AMANET basic health research ethics course (score 150)
- Pre-JAS Assignments:
- Proposal review
- Applicants have an opportunity to revise the proposals submitted for the institutional selection between June 1 and June 30.
- Nominees submit their revised research proposals which must adhere to the CARTA format to the focal person, who will forward it to the CARTA secretariat.
- Nominees submit a reference support letter from the Head of Department to CARTA secretariat.
- Final fellowship decision, which is independent of the university application, will be communicated by CARTA secretariat by November 1, 2018.
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