University of the Witwatersrand Internship


The Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis (CRDM) and Centre for Healthcare-Associated infections, Antimicrobial Resistance and Mycoses (CHARM) at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) have recently been awarded a five-year grant (2019-2023), funded by the United States (US) National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center. The programme directors are Dr Anne von Gottberg, Section Lead of the laboratory of the CRDM, and Dr Lee Harrison, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and the head of the Microbial Genomic Epidemiology Laboratory at University of Pittsburgh.

Aim of the program:

The South Africa-Pitt Public Health Genomic Epidemiology Training Program (SAPPHGenE) aims to provide South African investigators with multidisciplinary tools needed to conduct cutting-edge research in public health genomics. The main focus is research on epidemiology and genomic epidemiology of bacterial causes of pneumonia, other respiratory diseases, and invasive bacterial and fungal diseases, including antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. The program will provide a combination of non-degree and post-graduate degree training by a multidisciplinary group of experienced mentors at University of Pittsburgh, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NICD. Trainees will have access to research training opportunities and resources available at the training sites.

SAPPHGenE Internal Scientific Committee: Mignon du Plessis, Nelesh Govender, Lee Harrison, Anne von Gottberg

SAPPHGenE External Training Advisory Committee: Duncan MacCannell, Penny Moore, Alison Morris, Mark Nicol, Rob Warren

You are invited to apply should you be in possession of a BSc Hons degree or high likelihood of obtaining one by the end of 2019, to join us to complete an MSc (full time), registered at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg with primary supervisors/mentors located at the NICD (CRDM or CHARM). Co-mentors will be located in the US and it is expected that recipients will travel to the US for part of their training.

Candidate requirements:

  • Exceptional academic performance
  • Candidate’s motivation letter
  • Strong letters of recommendation and support (e.g., from previous tutors, supervisors or managers)
  • Stated commitment to pursue SAPPHGenE research
  • Highlight likely contributions to research in South Africa

We are offering funds for:

  • Non-taxable payment (~R170,000.00 for MSc students)
  • Tuition fees and university registration
  • Laptop computer with relevant software

For international training opportunities:

  • All travel expenses (e.g., airfare, visa, incidentals)
  • Non-taxable payment for living expenses and insurance
  • Administrative support for visas

Closing Date : 08 November 2019


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