Modelling interventions to improve engagement of young adults and men in tuberculosis active case finding in high HIV prevalence settings

Active case finding for tuberculosis is a key intervention to reduce the TB diagnostic and treatment gap and find the “missing millions” of people with undiagnosed TB. However, men, young people and people living with HIV have low engagement with active case finding interventions, and interventions to increase uptake could have substantial benefit for transmission, potentially reducing disease burden for men, women and children, and helping to end the TB epidemic. This LIGHT PhD Fellowship will be based at the Public Health Research Group in Malawi and will use statistical and mathematical modelling methods to investigate the magnitude and consequences of priority group under-engagement with TB active case finding interventions in Africa. Transmission modelling will investigate the potential effectiveness of novel, targeted ACF interventions that prioritise men, youth and other priority groups. Linked to a partner qualitative PhD based in Kenya, the PhD student will develop and pilot interventions in high density settings in Blantyre and Kenya.






MSc in quantitative methods, with a focus on infectious disease epidemiology, or statistical modelling


Able to be based at Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust in Blantyre, Malawi


Able to travel to partner research countries (UK, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda) subject to covid-19 related travel restrictions being lifted


Excellent data science skills (particularly GitHub, database management)


Proficient in statistical programming languages (e.g. R, Python, Julia etc)


Excellent presentation skills (scientific writing and speaking)





Strong background in mathematical sciences


Knowledge of tuberculosis and HIV epidemiology and modelling


Experience of engagement with health policymakers and knowledge translation.


Available funding will include programme fees at the off-site student rate, contribution to research support costs and stipend. Stipends will be in alignment with the standard allocation made by each host institute.

For further information, please contact the Primary Investigator at the institution to which you’re applying  (Eliya Zulu/AFIDEP; Bruce Kirenga/MLI ; Peter MacPherson/MLW ; Jeremiah Chakaya/ReSok; John Bimba/ZRC ).

PhD applicants will be required to have at least a basic right to work in the host country and will need to provide evidence of this prior to commencement of the studentship.

The call for applications for the LIGHT PhD studentships is now OPEN

The link to the online application process and guidance notes can be found here.




Recruitment timeline:

Closing date:                    10th December 2020

Shortlisting:                      Week commencing 11th January 2021

Interviews:                        Week commencing 25th January 2021

Notification date:            Week commencing 1st February 2021    

Proposed start date:       May 2021

Further information on the Studentships can be found on the LIGHT PhD opportunities pages