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WHIL Innovations Post Doctoral Fellowship

The U.Va. Center for Global Health invites applications for a one year WHIL Innovations Postdoctoral Fellowship.

See the WHIL Innovations Presentation!

WHIL Post-doctoral Fellowship Scope and Background

The Water and Health in Limpopo (WHIL) Innovations Postdoctoral Fellowship is designed to advance cross-disciplinary research innovation and international collaboration in global health.  The program builds on a decade-old collaboration between faculty and students at the University of Virginia and the University of Venda in Limpopo, South Africa focusing on the closely-related issues of poor access to water and sanitation in rural Southern Africa and unacceptably high rates of morbidity and mortality associated with early childhood diarrhea.  These issues and their intersections are complex, cutting across traditional fields of medicine, natural, applied, and social sciences, and humanities.  Our goal is to attract scholars from diverse disciplines and train them for academic and applied research careers that will lead the next generation to a better understanding of and ultimately a reduction in global disparities of health and wellbeing.

The program is funded by the NIH Fogarty International Center and will support a one-year Fellowship at U.Va..  Untenured researchers of any nationality and from any discipline who received or will receive their PhD after December 2008 are invited to apply.  It is not necessary that applicants have a ready project but that they be able to demonstrate serious interest in engaging issues of water and health in South Africa and commitment to a cross-disciplinary and international approach to innovation in global health broadly conceived.  We would particularly welcome applications from researchers in the fields of African studies or history, anthropology, demography, economics, nutrition science, psychology, and sociology.

Application Deadline: TBD

Fellowship Expectations

Cross-disciplinary research innovation and international collaboration are at the heart of the Fellowship, and we expect our Fellows to contribute new and meaningful research and to build strong collegial ties relating to water and health in South Africa during their appointment.  Examples of ongoing projects to which former Fellows have contributed include: the development, validation, and preliminary verification of an agent-based model that simulates with empiric data collected by team members from several disciplines the relationship between water source, early childhood diarrhea, and linear child growth; a community-based cohort study that has prospectively assessed the incidence of childhood diarrhea, the rate of child growth, infant feeding practices, maternal health, and the process of child development from birth to two years in over 200 infants from rural Limpopo Province; and the development and assessment of a ceramic water filter factory, a project which has been undertaken in conjunction with a women’s pottery cooperative in the region.         

Fellows who successfully complete the program can in turn expect:

·         to build cross-disciplinary and pragmatic knowledge and skills to engage the issues and emerging field of global health;
·         to conduct an innovative, mentored global health research project in the context of the multi-disciplinary and trans-oceanic WHIL team;
·         to exchange and collaborate in Limpopo with faculty, students, and the WHIL Innovations Postdoctoral Fellows at the University of Venda;
·         to develop a portfolio of research, publication, networks, and course designs that will serve both as a framework for a leadership career in global health and as a resource for future Fellows and the WHIL team.

During their year in residence, Fellows’ primary responsibility will be to work with a mentor and the cohort of Fellows at U.Va. and in South Africa to design and carry out a research project that combines their areas of expertise with those of WHIL.  There will be support and opportunity to work in Limpopo conducting and presenting the project as well as mentoring students at U.Va. and University of Venda.  Fellows will be expected to pursue publication for their work during their appointment.  A variety of short courses, seminars, and regular WHIL meetings will serve to help Fellows become familiar with the issues and the team.  Fellows are not expected to teach but will develop a global water and health learning module related to their work and will participate in an intensive course design workshop.  The Center will also make every effort to connect Fellows with U.Va. departments and scholars in their discipline.  Compensation includes competitive salary, excellent benefits, and funding to support research at U.Va. and in Limpopo.

Fellowship Eligibility 

The WHIL Innovations Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Global Health at the University of Virginia is open to researchers who are not yet tenured and who are no more than five years out of their doctorate.  Candidates do not need to be affiliated with a university to apply.  However, if a candidate holds a tenure-track position, they may not be tenured either before or during the fellowship year.  Candidates with other doctorates or advanced terminal degrees (e.g. EdD, MPH, DSc, DEng, etc.) are also eligible.  Applicants are not required to be US citizens.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted by email. Please send all required documents listed below to WHILFellowship@virginia.edu.

.  A completed application must include:

1.    Completed application form. (Please open the form, download to your computer, complete, save and attach to email with other documents.)

2.    Letter of interest.  Please describe what skills and experience you bring to the Fellowship, what you expect to gain from the appointment, and what you expect the year will enable you to do in your career going forward.

3.    Curriculum vitae.

4.    Two letters of reference.  Letters are required from scholars who are able to describe from personal knowledge your qualifications and should contain a substantial appraisal of your ability as it relates to your field and to your fit with a cross-disciplinary, international research program in global health.