Development, feasibility, and evaluation of a multi-component intervention to improve care and support for parents after stillbirth or neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

This workstream will test the hypothesis that implementation of a multicomponent intervention, including a bereavement education workshop for maternity care staff and a bereavement ‘champion’ network to improve postnatal bereavement care in maternity facilities, (facility intervention) and/or access to postnatal telephone peer support (peer support) reduces grief intensity for women following stillbirth or neonatal death at 3-6 months in Kenya and Uganda.

We will conduct a pragmatic stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial in 6 sites. A nested sub-study, in 2 included clusters, will randomise eligible, consenting individual women to telephone peer support or usual care every month during the trial. A concurrent process evaluation will be conducted to evaluate whether interventions have been implemented as planned based on outcomes of fidelity, dose, reach, and adaptations made to the intervention in the study context. Mechanisms of impact will be addressed by exploring acceptability, mediators including barriers and enablers and unanticipated consequences. With the support of the workstream leads and supervisory team, the successful candidate will develop an independent study based in Uganda and Kenya, contributing to the overall workstream aims. 

Funding Package will include:

PhD Registration at - Makerere University

  • Full time PhD registration fees at partner institution for three years
  • Stipend to cover living costs at local rates after full PhD admission
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence allowance for selected in-person Unit meetings and networking
  • Funded visit to UK to meet with UK supervisors and wider research teams

Training opportunities:

In addition to PhD related courses, trainees will receive training in applied health research, understanding of complex intervention testing and randomised controlled trials, process evaluation and implementation. Clinical trials, mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative research. Community engagement and involvement, dissemination skills.

Eligibility & Entry requirements


  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing or Midwifery from a recognized University (Attach transcript and certificate)
  • Obtained master’s degree in nursing, midwifery, public health or other health related field from a recognized University (Attach transcript and certificate)
  • Professional registration with the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council (Attach copy)
  • Understanding of current context of care after stillbirth or neonatal death in Uganda/ Kenya, midwifery, nursing or social science background would be desirable.
  • Previous experience of qualitative research methods and clinical trials would be an asset.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • Fulfil all other requirements for admission at Makerere University as per guidelines at

English Language

The PhD programme at Makerere University is delivered in English and you must ensure that you meet the English language entry requirements so that you have the skills to pursue your chosen course of study successfully and can participate in all aspects of academic life.

Other requirements

PhD programmes will offer combination of in person and remote learning, to maximize flexibility but are offered on a full-time study basis. Therefore, meet the nationality and right to study requirements and also demonstrate in their application the time and commitment for PhD study:

  • Full time hours availability for the three-year programme
  • If seconded from employment, support, and approval from your employer for study time
  • Consistent computer and IT access
  • Internet connection, up to date windows software, webcam and microphone

How to apply


1) an application letter,
2) detailed curriculum vitae,
3) two recommendation letters from professional referees and a
4) three-page concept addressing stillbirth and neonatal death.

Send the notification of completion of application to with a copy to

Closing date: 30thSeptember 2021, Interviews will take place end October 2021

Application link:

For further information, please email: Elizabeth Ayebare at