Aga Khan University Hospital PhD Studentship, Institute for Human Development Jobs in Kenya

Aga Khan University Hospital PhD Studentship, Institute for Human Development Jobs in Kenya


Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University (AKU) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents.

An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network, AKU provides higher education in multiple health science and social science disciplines, carries out research pertinent primarily to low- and middle-income countries and operates 7 hospitals (soon 8) and over 325 outreach clinics, all at international standards. It has almost 2,500 students and 14,000 staff.

The University is both a model of academic excellence and an agent of social change. As a leading international institution dedicated to excellence and change, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, relevance, impact and access.

The Institute for Human Development (IHD) is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge with direct relevance for policies, programs, and practices that enhance life experiences at all stages of human development.

In its foundational years, the Institute seeks particularly to become a visible instrumental force, locally as well as globally, for advancing knowledge about the earliest years of children’s development and for harnessing such knowledge for the purpose of shaping policies and interventions that ensure a strong start in life for all children wherever they may live. ​​​​

Job Summary

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for Human Development has recently been funded to set up a training programme called the ALMA. The ALMA network represents African Leadership for Measuring brain health in children and Adolescents. The network is co-led by two new African-run research institutes in Nairobi and Cape Town: the AKU’s Institute for Human Development and the UCT Neuroscience Institute.

The network leaders are joined by four established partners, Kamuzu University of Health Science, University of Zambia, Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Oxford, together with collaborators in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana.

The ALMA network seeks to understand neurobiological mechanisms, case identification, assessment methodology and childhood interventions to maximize long-term outcomes in children as they emerge into adults.

Three main aims motivate ALMA investigators: 1) Advance the science of child and adolescent brain development in Africa with a focus on African singularities; 2) Train an interdisciplinary cadre of African scientists, from early career to independent researcher in psychometrics and neuroscience while promoting gender equity; 3) Strengthen administrative and infrastructural capacity of AKU and its African partner institutions in research management. To meet its objectives, the ALMA network seeks to recruit and train more than 45 fellows (Masters, PhD and Post Doc) over the next 4 years across more than 5 countries.

We are offering three fully paid-for PhD studentships. We are looking for highly motivated individuals who are willing and able to work
full-time on their PhD. The PhD studentship will be hosted at the Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University, with cross-supervision across departments. The training will offer the incumbent an opportunity to carry out their doctoral thesis on one of these three areas:

Adolescent cognitive and mental health: measurements (psychometrics, neuropsychology and/ or neurophysiology), and interventions. These studies can be carried out within the general population, with adolescents living with HIV or with adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease.
Early childhood development: measures (psychometrics, neurophysiology including EEG, ERPs and neuroimaging work and neurodevelopmental work) and interventions.

Use of data science methodology to develop predictive models to identify sources of risk and resilience among at-risk children and adolescents.
Successful candidates will work with their supervisors to refine the topic areas and develop a full proposal within the first 3 months.

The studentship will provide a monthly stipend, tuition fees, conference attendance costs, and any other opportunities for capacity building as agreed upon with the supervisors.


  • Contribute to the implementation of the specific research projects they will be attached;

  • Contribute to conducting a literature review, proposal development, and strategic planning for mutually agreed projects;

  • Support with planning and supervising data collection activities;

  • Support with data management and analysis;

  • Support the project and project team in community engagement and dissemination activities;

  • Support the scientific communication of research findings through mainstream journals, policy briefs, reports and conference presentation, media appearances and engagement of different stakeholders; and

  • Complete a doctoral thesis within three years.


  • Master’s degree in Psychology, Neurosciences, Global Mental Health, Statistics, Public Health, Nursing, Education, or any other allied field;

  • Strong statistical background;

  • Working knowledge of quantitative statistical software;

  • Strong written and oral communication skills that can be demonstrated through published peer-reviewed journal articles, conference presentations and community engagement;

  • Candidates with an interest and demonstrable experience in specialized fields like psychometrics, data science, especially AI/Machine learning methods, and Neurophysiological assessments for brain functioning are encouraged to apply;

  • Strong scientific writing skills;

  • Background in and experience in any areas of human development with a focus on children and adolescents; and

  • Working knowledge of quantitative data analysis using statistical software.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Aga Khan University Hospital PhD Studentship, Institute for Human Development Jobs in Kenya

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