Research Assistants with an opportunity to undertake a PhD

Submitted bybjibendi onThu, 02/18/2021 - 15:38


Hararghe Health Research Partnership (HHR) is a collaboration between Haramaya University (HU) and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to advance Health Sciences research by strengthening capacity in research and surveillance, ensuring best practice in research and informing health policy in maternal and child health in Ethiopia.

CHAMPS Ethiopia will recruit six full-time research assistants through Haramaya University who will have the opportunity to register at the LSHTM PhD programme. The research staff will be recruited in two cohorts of three each, one year apart. These opportunities are open to any Ethiopian with the appropriate educational achievements however, 2 of the 6 positions are reserved for graduates or academic staff of Haramaya University.

The purpose of our research degree training programme is to develop the careers of Ethiopian scientists in the areas of research relevant to HHR. These positions will focus on research on maternal and child health and will encompass several disciplines including epidemiology, social science, clinical research, pathology, bacteriology and molecular medicine.

The strategic goal is to train PhD graduates and seek opportunities to retain them in the HHR partnership either by taking on science roles in CHAMPS or by obtaining their own post-doctoral grants to work in the research partnership. 

The overall objective is to attract the brightest research students in Ethiopia to become members of the academic community in Harar and to build up a synergistic research group within the Haramaya University (HU) Health Science campus focused on the research priorities of the Hararghe Health Research Partnership.

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Studying at LSHTM

The research assistants will need to develop a proposal for registration LSHTM under the supervision of both LSHTM and local supervisors and will need to follow the registration requirements and procedures of the university, the monitoring and supervisory requirements and to pass an examination at LSHTM. The projects will be constrained by the priorities of the CHAMPS project and other research grants held jointly by LSHTM and Haramaya University under the collaboration HHR.

The examination will be by presentation of a thesis and private interview with expert examiners appointed by LSHTM. There are no taught courses and no written examinations under normal circumstances.

The regulations governing the management of PhDs at LSHTM are given here in the file attached " academic-manual-chapter-09.pdf 

Of relevance for the applicants registering for the LSHTM PhD programme, there is a required period of residency in London (this has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic) which gives the students the opportunity to experience the academic environment at LSHTM and to pursue specialist courses. 

PhD students are not required to attend courses but they may choose to do so from among the wide range of modules given to the MSc students. The students will be expected to present and defend their theses within 36 months of their original registration.

The applicants will be appointed as a research assistant at the HU and receive a stipend of 17,500 ETB per month throughout the course (36 months).

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Important Deadlines



Deadline for expression of interest

February  28,2022

Invitations to apply sent out

March 07, 202

Deadline for online applications


March 14, 2022


Invitations for interview

March 21 2022

Final selection by interview


March 28, 2022


Notifying Successful Applicants

April  04,2022

The application process will progress in three phases:

In the first phase: Interested applicants will be invited to register an expression of interest by entering their credentials online. The questionnaire will collect identification information – name, date of birth, sex, email address, current occupation and employer, date of completion of any degrees or work experience, grades in school leaver/BSc/MSc examinations.  These expressions of interest will be reviewed on the basis of: (a) compliance with the admission criteria and (b) excellence in academic achievement. 

Apply to the Program

In the second phase: applicants selected from the first phase will be sent a link to an online application form. This will include wider details about education and employment, additional skills (technical, languages, software) and will allow the applicant to explain why he/she was attracted to this position and how it will help him/her to realise his/her career objectives. The applicants will be given a list of the potential research projects they would like to participate in and asked to rank their preference if successful. Applications will be assessed by the shortlisting panel on the criteria above (a-b) and on broader evidence of ambition in science, experience in research and communication and linguistic skills.

In the third phase: Applicants who passed the first two phases will be invited to interview.  The applicate will be invited to give a 6-minute presentation which may include up to 6 slides on a subject of their choice. They will be encouraged to present a critical review of either a piece of research that they have done (e.g. for a dissertation) or a recently published scientific paper. The primary objective will be to demonstrate that they can think critically about the work they present and respond intelligently to questions. 

The criteria for selection at the interview will be:

  • Intelligence – good comprehension and intelligent responses to scientific questions
  • Innovation – ability to imagine new solutions that are still realistic and feasible
  • Experience and skills – matched to at least one of the PhD proposals

Decisions on awarding the research assistant positions will be made by the interview committee which will include representatives of LSHTM, HU and a third independent academic institution.

Applicants will be ranked and the top rank applicant will be invited to select his/her choice of research area; the next ranked applicant will next be invited to choose next and so on. The interview committee may provide guidance to the applicants on what projects are suitable for them; they may also restrict the choices of particular applicants if their skills match only one or two of the projects on offer. Whilst the committee will be guided by the selections of the applicants – the allocations of applicants to research projects will be done by the committee taking into account the whole field of successful applicants.

Applicants at interview who do not make the top rank will be given feedback on their performance.