Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellowship – MRC Unit The Gambia

The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia (MRCG) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are pleased to announce an interdisciplinary two-year Fellowship in Planetary Heath. The Fellowship is supported by The Peter Piot fellowship programme through funding for the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health (CCCPH) at the LSHTM. The Fellowship funding will be awarded for research that can improve understanding and capacity to prepare for and respond to environmental change and its health impacts in Africa, including climate change, land use change and urbanization. The Planetary Health program will seek to foster the professional development of a new generation of specialists to understand the health impacts of environmental change.

Format of the Fellowship
The two-year Fellowship will give an early career researcher the freedom to pursue novel research in the field of planetary health, including climate change and the implications of land use change, environmental destruction and degradation, and the evaluation of policies and measures to address these risks. The fellow will be able to work with world-class LSHTM faculty, including those at the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, from a broad range of disciplines including epidemiology, health systems, mathematical modelling, data science, diagnostics, social science, anthropology, clinical research and more. Based on their research interests, applicants are asked to submit a research proposal as part of the application. Applicants should identify a location for the research, and, if relevant, a collaborating African institution. Project proposals must be feasible in terms of identified supervision and budget.

The Fellow must be a national from sub-Saharan Africa*. The successful applicant will be based primarily at the MRC Unit The Gambia (Key contact: Dr Kris Murray, [email protected].uk) and will be expected to move to The Gambia, if not already based there.

*Sub-Saharan Africa, as defined by United Nations Development Programme, includes the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leona, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Requirements of the Fellowship
The fellow will spend substantial time during the period to focus on their proposed project. They will be receiving mentorship from combinations of mentors from LSHTM CCCPH, local collaborating institutions and MRC Units. They will be expected to present their work both internally and at international meetings. The fellow will be expected to be active participants in the Fellowship scheme by contributing internally and externally to relevant CCCPH meetings and activities, and to engage with the two other Planetary Health Fellows. They will be expected to participate in the wider activities of research groups or themes they are involved in at the MRCG at LSHTM.

The fellow will receive a competitive research fellowship stipend of £25,000 per annum. In addition, the fellowship will pay for the fellow’s accommodation, annual holiday airfares and contribution to children’s school fees. They will also receive a modest research budget. Relocation and visa support will also be available for international applicants.

Eligibility Criteria
Applications from individuals based at LMICs research institutions are strongly encouraged. Proficiency in the English language is a requirement for the Fellowship. Applications will be assessed on submitted documents and scored against the following criteria:

Completed PhD degree within the last 3 years. We will accept applications from candidates who are confident that they will complete their PhD by 1 September 2023. Fellowships will only be awarded to people who have completed their PhDs.
Demonstrated interest and experience in research on the links between health and environmental change.
Ability to conduct a research project relating to environmental change and health that is of high scientific quality and has potential to make a clear impact on human health and that is deliverable within the duration of the Fellowship programme.
Clear route for Fellowship work to benefit communities disproportionately affected by environmental change and/or traditionally under-served or under-resourced in adaptation or mitigation response measures.
Potential for the project to generate novel interdisciplinary insights or methodology.
Clear plan for the Fellowship to contribute to career development.
Potential for the project to deliver a positive impact that lasts beyond the end of the Fellowship.

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