Call for Applications: CARTA PhD Fellowships 2025

The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) invites applications for its prestigious PhD Fellowships for the year 2025. CARTA is a collaborative initiative involving eight African universities, four African research institutes, and eight non-African partners. Our mission is to bolster the capacity of African institutions to conduct globally competitive research, with a particular focus on addressing health and development challenges in the region.

CARTA PhD Fellowship

As part of its innovations, CARTA offers 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. 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.

The multi-disciplinary CARTA PhD fellowship is open to staff members 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. CARTA is committed to gender equity in access to the training programs and governance structure and implements a series of interventions to support the progress of women in academia (see CARTA’s gender position). Women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. 

Successful applicants will attend CARTA’s innovative series of Joint Advanced Seminars (JASES) 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 include didactic sessions, discussions, demonstrations, and practice labs. These activities collectively serve to: 

  1. Expose students to key theories and concepts, seminal readings, and research methods of disciplines relevant to public and population health; 
  2. Train students in critical research skills; and 
  3. Build and maintain a network of researchers for scientific collaborations, professional support, and mutually beneficial exchange of scientific resources.

JASes 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 (March 2025) builds critical thinking, technical skills, and other core research competencies, and introduces  students to the essential concepts and seminal articles of the disciplines brought together under CARTA 
  • JAS-2 (November 2025) 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 (August 2027) focuses on data presentation, the doctoral dissertation, and scientific writing and communication skills to facilitate results dissemination and policy engagement 
  • JAS-4 (March 2028) addresses professional development including skills necessary to manage and teach large class sizes, raise and manage research funds, grant writing, and research management.

In 2025, the CARTA program plans to offer up to 15 PhD fellowships and two additional fellowships reserved for staff members of the Somali National University (SNU), Somalia, who will be mentored by one of the CARTA partners, Makerere University, Uganda. The fellowships, which are tenable at the CARTA African universities, include the following benefits:

  • The cost of the fellow’s participation in the advanced seminars; 
  • A modest monthly stipend; moderate support for research activities; 
  • A laptop loaded with relevant software;
  • Funds to attend one international conference; and 
  • Support to participate in training programs of choice. 

Note: The CARTA fellowships run for a maximum of four years. Fellowships will only cover tuition fees, medical insurance, and travel support for fellows registered at a partner institution different from their own.

Respective African partner institutions need to commit to continue paying fellows’ salaries (or equivalent) as faculty members and to modify their 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. The partner institutions will also need to commit to waive the fellows’ fees if they are registered at the institution where they are employed. Fellows are encouraged to seek supplemental funding to cover additional costs of their doctoral program.

Eligible African Institutions

  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • Moi University, Kenya
  • Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malawi and Associates (through Kamuzu)
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • University of Rwanda, Rwanda
  • University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (Wits can only nominate staff members who are citizens of an African LMIC outside of South Africa)
  • Somali National University, Somalia (through collaboration with Makerere University)
  • African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya
  • Agincourt Health and Population Unit, South Africa
  • Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania


  • A Master’s 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 full-time teaching or research staff at one of the participating African institutions and should be committed to contributing towards building capacity at their institutions.
  • Applicant’s PhD research proposal must be related to public and population health.
  • Fellowships are only open to individuals who have not yet registered for a PhD or are in the very early stages (first year) of the PhD program and are yet to define their research proposal. Fellows seeking support to complete a PhD or secure an additional PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • 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.

Application Procedure

  1. Contact the CARTA focal person at your institution to discuss your interest and obtain application materials. Application forms may also be downloaded below.
  2. At this point, applicants are expected to submit their application forms and reference letters by April 15, 2024, to the Focal Persons at partner institutions WITH A COPY TO THE SECRETARIAT ( You can access the application here. 
  3. CARTA partner institutions will nominate candidates who will be invited for the full application process. The institutional selection will take place between April 15 and May 15, 2024. Institutions must submit a completed University CARTA PhD Fellowships Applications Screening Form by May 15, 2024.
  4. Only those who are nominated by their institutions will be invited to submit a full application between June 1 and July 15, 2024

a. The full application includes:

  • A full research proposal
  • Updated CV
  • Letter of support from their institution committing to modify the workloads for the fellows, to enable them to fully participate in CARTA-organized activities pertaining to their PhD program and to waive the fellows’ fees if they are registered at the institution where they are employed. 
  • Three timed tasks:
    • Critical review of a scientific article
    • Numeracy task 
    • Critical thinking task 
  • Two free online courses:
    • Understanding plagiarism course 
    • Basic Health Research Ethics course 

b. Applications will be accepted ONLY through the official portal. Nominated candidates need to make sure to receive an official ID to log in and submit within the time stipulated by the system. No late or incomplete application will be considered under any circumstance.

5. Final fellowship decision, which is independent of the university nomination, will be communicated by the CARTA Secretariat by November 1, 2024.

Important Dates

  • April 15, 2024: Deadline for submission of initial application materials
  • June 1 – July 15, 2024: Full application submission period
  • November 1, 2024: Announcement of final fellowship decisions
  • March 1, 2025: Commencement of fellowship and in-person JAS1 (3 – 4 weeks)

For more information, contact us at

CARTA is committed to gender equity and encourages applications from women.
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