This is an exciting opportunity for up to three potential candidates to register for PhD at UCL while undertaking their research project at Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI).

The award is funded by UCL’s  Division of Infection and Immunity  and is open to applicants who permanently reside in South Africa. The AHRI/UCL PhD Studentship award covers tuition fees and living costs for candidates to undertake a PhD at UCL.

The proposed PhD research must be in the field of medical sciences and/or population health. This covers everything from single molecules through to cells and tissues, to whole organisms and animal and human populations for improved human health and wellbeing worldwide.

Students will be expected to spend most of their time in South Africa, conducting their research at AHRI. Students will also spend time at UCL and while there they will be expected to attend seminars, postgraduate club meetings, and other UCL doctoral student events.


Applicants must:

  • Be domiciled in South Africa at the time of application
  • Have completed, or be about to complete, a Masters degree or equivalent
  • Hold a letter of recommendation from a proposed supervisor at UCL*
  • Be working with AHRI already or hold an approved letter of support to complete a PhD at AHRI*
  • Be willing to stay in London for up to one year during their PhD studies. This time can be split into two periods of six months if required
  • Must hold a valid passport at the time of application

Applications to the PhD studentship are competitive. The selection panel will look at academic achievements of the applicants, their research experience, the quality of the supervisory team and strengths of the proposed project.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a formal interview with the selection panel.

Women are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • If awarded, applicants must be able to take up the award immediately
  • MPhil/PhD students registered at UCL cannot be registered to any other course, undergraduate or postgraduate
  • Applicants are required to apply to both AHRI and UCL

The PhD studentships will fund:

  • All fees for a three-year doctorate at UCL
  • Two round-trip economy air fares to and from SA to UK (per award)
  • Support for reasonable London living costs for up to one year
  • UCL bench fees
  • Support for Durban living costs for two years

How to apply:

1. Please complete the AHRI/UCL PhD Studentship Application form in detail and upload the following documents:

  • Letter of recommendation from your proposed supervisor at AHRI
  • Letter of recommendation from your proposed supervisor at UCL
  • A copy of your academic CV
  • Certified copies of your academic transcripts and original certificates

2. Please also complete the UCL application form and upload all relevant documents.

Closing date is 12 April 2024

*For further information or assistance with identifying an AHRI supervisor and letter of recommendation from UCL, please contact Kamini Gounder via or Aruna Sevakram via with ‘AHRI/UCL PhD Studentship’ in the subject header.