Position: Doctoral Fellowship in Health Economics Modelling

On behalf of the TB Sequel consortium, HE2RO and LSHTM are working in partnership to offer a Doctoral Fellowship funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Project Description

The studentship is offered as part of the TB Sequel funded Research Task on the Socioeconomic consequences and Economic evaluation of interventions for TB and post-TB lung disease. To complement the other aims of this research task, we seek a full-time PhD student in health economics and epidemiological modelling. The proposed project will leverage the existing TB Sequel study database and include TB Sequel II data as it becomes available. The PhD student will take on a range of key epidemiological and economic modelling questions around post-TB to build skills in these areas. The studentship provides an excellent development opportunity for individuals with strong mathematical skills who are interested in applying these skills to infectious disease modelling, and individuals with epidemiological training who want to develop mathematical modelling skills.

Research Environment

Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) is a division of the Wits Health Consortium. HE2RO is a research unit founded in 2004 under the auspices of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. It undertakes applied economic and epidemiological analysis to generate relevant, practical information for policymakers and program managers. The Johannesburg-based HE2RO team with expertise in epidemiology, health economics, data management, and quantitative and qualitative research methods will host the student. The student will work closely with TB Sequel and HE2RO staff and will work with Assoc. Prof Denise Evans, the lead of TB Sequel’s Socio-economic Research Task. The student will be registered through the School of Public Health at Wits University (https://www.wits.ac.za/publichealth/). For more information visit www.heroza.org and https://www.tbsequel.org/ and see the attached brochure.

The TB Modelling Group at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a multidisciplinary group of mathematical modellers and epidemiologists with varying backgrounds in physics, mathematics, biomedical sciences and biology. The focus of the research group is to use mathematical and statistical models to better understand the natural history and epidemiology of TB and improve the contribution of the TB modelling to policy decisions and implementation. The Global Health Economics Center (GHECO) at LSHTM is a world-leading group of over 100 academics working on a diverse portfolio of health economics research. The work of GHECO ranges from developing innovative methods and empirical research to policy engagement and impact. Two world-renowned TB. researchers, Asst. Professor Sedona Sweeney and Professor Rein Houben, will mentor and supervise the PhD student.


Funding for this 3.5 year fellowship will cover tuition fees at Wits University, a student stipend of R250 000 per annum, and two study visits to LSHTM in the UK. This is a full-time position, however the student may carry out other funded work at HE2RO to a maximum of 10 hours week to gain additional relevant skills or experience.

Responsibilities and Duties


Applicants for these fellowships must meet the following criteria:


  • The Applicant must meet the requirements for a PhD at Wits University (https://www.wits.ac.za/course-finder/postgraduate/health/phd/) ;
  • Master’s degree in epidemiology, health economics, mathematics, physics or a related quantitative field.
    Non-South African candidates must have proof of evaluation of all foreign qualifications (obtained from
    non-South African universities) evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) or proof
    that the applicant has submitted his/her qualifications to SAQA for evaluation. Failure to submit proof
    will result in the application being rejected. Further information on the process can be accessed by
    logging on to www.saqa.org.za;
  • If not a South African citizen, applicants should have a valid study permit for South Africa. Applicants
    must meet visa and immigration laws of the applicant’s home country and South Africa. The applicant
    must arrange his/her own Visa and/or study permit under the programme for study in South Africa.
    HE2RO will not be responsible for assisting with visa arrangements. However, HE2RO will cover
    cheapest return economy flight and the visa and/or study permit costs for the doctoral applicant;
  • Candidates from low and middle-income countries are strongly encouraged to apply;
  • The candidate must have

o Obtained their Master’s degree in the last 5 years;
o Demonstrated writing and communication skills. A relevant publication record will be

  • Experience with computer programming languages (e.g., R, C++, Python) is desirable;
  • Where English is not the applicant’s first language, applicants should provide an English language
    proficiency certificate. Further information on the TOEFL test can be accessed at: www.toefl.com;
  • Applicant should be self-motivated, able to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • The applicant must be financially responsible for any accompanying family members.

How to apply

Step 1: Applicants are encouraged to contact Assoc. Prof Denise Evans for an informal discussion prior to submitting a formal application to [email protected]

Step 2: To apply, the following documents should be submitted by email to [email protected] (with TB Sequel LSHTM PhD fellowship in the subject line).

  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages) including details of your academic achievements to date, and the names of two referees, one of whom should be able to comment on your academic ability.
  • Copy transcripts of your undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications on a university letterhead. If required, SAQA evaluation can be provided later, but proof of submission should be submitted with the application.
  • English language proficiency certificate, if required.
  • Cover letter of up to 500 words stating why you are interested in undertaking a PhD in this subject area, and how this relates to your previous educational, professional or personal experience.
• HE2RO will only respond to short listed candidates. Short listed candidates will be required to complete a practical assessment in order to demonstrate their analytic skills in addition to the interview. Applicants who have not been contacted within two weeks of the closing date can consider their applications unsuccessful. • HE2RO reserves the right not to fill this position should it deem necessary not to or the project funding be insufficient. This position will remain open until filled. • The award of the fellowship is contingent on the registration and approval of the PhD candidate and the research project by the School of Public Health of the University of the Witwatersrand • Universities set their own internal cut-off dates for applications and PhD applicants must abide by those dates. • Only complete applications for this fellowship and those in the correct format will be considered. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
Other important information: Applications for the Wits School of Public Health (SPH) structured Interdisciplinary PhD Programme must be received by March 31 or August 31 each year. A School of Public Health Selection Committee meets and reviews applications in May and October after which applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application.

Queries should be directed to Assoc. Prof Denise Evans, Principal Researcher, Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office. E-mail: [email protected]

Closing Date10/03/2023
University of the Witwatersrand
Position TypeContract
Detailed Job description
Mail your application to [email protected]

Stay up to date

Receive newsletters and keep up to date with developments at HE2RO.