Call for PhD Position for EpiGen-Ethiopia project

  1. General requirements for admission
  • Hawassa University academic staff
  • A Master’s degree should be from a recognized Academic Institute, currently enrolled in a PhD program at the Host Universities.
  • Personal motivation letter including an indication of how PhD status is part of future career aspiration.
  • Sign a contract that the candidate remains active in science as per Hawassa University’s guidelines.
  • A copy of all degrees and academic transcripts should be submitted.
  • Two recommendation letters.
  • At least two service years at organization is an asset.
  • Age ≤45 years old for male and ≤ 47 years old for female at the start of the training.
  • Female gender promoted on each of the themes.
  • Prior experience in genomic-based surveillance, or related field preferable. 

Project title:

Building Scalable Pathogen Genomic Epidemiology Capacity in Ethiopia EpiGen-Ethiopia Project - funded by the GH-EDCTP3/EU

Project overview:

The EpiGen-Ethiopia project is a research grant funded by the Global Health (GH) – European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) – 3 / European Union (EU). The overall objective of EpiGen-Ethiopia is to strengthen pathogen genomic surveillance to provide in-depth epidemiological data to support clinical decision-making and informed public health decision processes in Ethiopia.

EpiGen-Ethiopia is a collaborative effort between EPHI and Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development (AIGHD), University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), ISGlobal-University of Barcelona (Spain), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany), AHRI, St. Paul’s Hospital Millenium Medical College (SPHMMC), Arsi University (AU), Jimma University (JU), Hawassa University (HU) and Baher Dar University (BDU).

Overall, the outcome of the research will help genomic-informed public health decision-making in Ethiopia.

University Host:

Jimma University, Bahir Dar University, Hawassa University, Arsi University, Addis Ababa University

Roles & responsibilities as PhD student

·       Support the overall research agenda of the project, in close collaboration with the Focal Person/Representative of the University.

·       Engage in screening, recruitment, data collection, data analysis and academic article writing for Epi-Gen project.

·       Contribute to timely reporting and progress of the project.

·       Undertake necessary training, in consultation with the local mentors, at each hosting University as part of fulfillment required for PhD.

·       Produce a scientific thesis according to hosting University requirements

Duration of training:

·       This is a full-time 4-year program.

PhD Program Themes

PhD in Molecular Epidemiology (1 position)

This PhD program focuses on the epidemiological, clinical and sequence-based characterization of pathogens in the framework of the molecular surveillance initiative within the EpiGen project. The focus is on clinical bacterial, viral and parasitic isolates from humans that will be collected from different surveillance sites within Ethiopia, e. g. during outbreaks of infectious diseases and within predefined sampling activities, but may also include isolates obtained from animals and the environment. In addition, archived samples from previous activities and studies will be sequenced and analyzed, each including clinical and socioeconomic metadata. The PhD student will be actively involved in the acquisition of the samples in Ethiopia. This includes preparations and consultation of the various sampling sites, as well as troubleshooting in case of challenges, and documentation of epidemiological and clinical metadata including data on time and place of sample collection, patient diagnosis, outcomes, and co-infections. The student will also be involved in the logistics and biobanking of stored samples to be analyzed within this project (incl. metadata). One focus of the PhD-project will be the active involvement in the analysis of the samples in the designated laboratories in Ethiopia. Complementary analyses in the framework of the PhD-project may also be conducted in the European partner laboratories. This PhD program also involves other aspects of molecular surveillance, as working with existing databases in Ethiopia that EpiGen could be using, e.g. DHIS-2 and international databases such as GISAID, NCBI, and PHA4GE. The analyses will describe the epidemiology of the investigated pathogens, including outbreaks and transmission dynamics, and risk factors, integrating approaches from genomic epidemiology. Comprehensive capacity-building activities will be an essential part of the program and might also comprise training in clinical infectious diseases, according to the medical background of the student. 


1.    Applicants should be at the early stage (1-2 years) of their PhD studies at the Host Universities in molecular biology, medical microbiology, infectious disease, genetics, biotechnology, epidemiology, public Health, data science, biostatistics, medical laboratory science or a related discipline.

2.    Applicants should have experience on design valid epidemiological design, design and conduct statistical analysis using appropriate method, Statistical package (R, STATA, EPiInfo, or python- be able to submit evidence), surveillance system and have strong analytical and quantitative skills.

3.    Applicants from EpiGen Ethiopia project member(s) will be given priority

4.    Female applicants are encouraged to apply

5.    Applicants should have research experience (first, second and senior) authorships in published scientific publications are an asset

6.    Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Core competencies:

·       Results Focus

·       Team work

·       Effective communication

·       Building Effective Relationships

·       Knowledge Dissemination and Continuous Improvement

To apply:

Submit the following documents to registrar office:

·       Copies of MSc degree academic record

·       Motivation letter

·       Two pages CV (publication should be listed in your CV)

·       Copy of transcript of PhD courses/course slip

·       Recommendation/support letters

Application deadline :

·       January 10-23/ 2024 G.C

·       Applications after the deadline will not be considered.

·       Prospective applicants are urged to submit their applications either in person at the Main Registrar Office (Room 41) or electronically via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please use the subject line "PhD Position for EpiGen-Ethiopia project" when applying through email. Ensure that all attached documents are in a clear and readable PDF format


·       Eligible short-listed applicants will be notified the date of interview


·       The project will encompass all research expenses. Any additional support for the student will be determined later through discussions.

For further information please contact @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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