Call for Applications for Masters (MSc) and Doctoral (PhD) Fellowships

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Call for Applications for Masters (MSc) and Doctoral (PhD) Fellowships

About CIDRZ:

The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) is a non-governmental research organisation working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and supports work across 300 health facilities in the country. It is renowned for its work in HIV and TB prevention, care, and treatment, as well as more recent work on vaccines and diarrhoea under the Enteric disease and Vaccines development research unit (EDVRU). The unit provides a platform for state-of-the-art technologies and research support environment (i.e. research methodology and analyses) which can be utilized effectively for vaccine discovery, and early development and testing of clinical products including vaccine evaluation.

With funding from the European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Partnership, the EDVRU calls for applications for the award of an MSc and PhD by research from suitably qualified individuals. Qualified individuals will be required to be registered with a recognised university.

Study Title:

A Phase 3 double-blinded individually randomized placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new all-in-one formulation of oral inactivated ETEC Vaccine (ETVAX®) in children 6 to 18 months of age in Zambia.

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Roma Chilengi and Dr. Monde Muyoyeta 

Project Summary:

Diarrhea is one (1) of the top five (5) leading causes of death among children below the age of five years, globally. It is estimated that one in ten deaths in children under five is attributed to diarrhea. Enterotoxigenic E.coli (ETEC) is one of the major causative agents of moderate-to-severe (MSD) diarrhea among children both globally and locally in Zambia.

Therefore, this project focuses on evaluating an oral ETEC vaccine called ETVAX® in a Phase 3 field efficacy trial against ETEC-associated diarrhoea in Zambia. The primary objective of the phase 3 trial is to evaluate the safety of a new all-in-one formulation of ETVAX® and determine vaccine efficacy in children aged 6 to 18 months. Prior to the Phase 3 trial a 12-month epidemiological surveillance study will be set up to determine diarrhea aetiology, calculate the incidence of MSD ETEC-associated diarrhea, and describe the frequency of ETEC colonization factors and enterotoxin types in children under 3 years old in Zambia.

Research Questions:

The following are the research questions that this study seeks to answer:

  1. What is the incidence of MSD with confirmed ETEC aetiology in children under three years old in Zambia?
  2. What are the prevalent colonization toxins and factors (CFs) in diarrhoeagenic isolates of ETEC infections in children in Zambia?
  3. What are the other common pathogens causing diarrhea in Zambian children?
  4. What is the safety and efficacy of a new all-in-one formulation of oral inactivated ETEC Vaccine (ETVAX®) in children 6 to 18 months of age in Zambia.

Study Design:

This is a multi-site, surveillance, and randomized control trial which will run for 4 years at five health facilities in Lusaka. The surveillance system for both community and facility based passive case detection of MSD will be set up at George Clinic, Kanyama Hospital, Matero Hospital, Chainda Clinic and Chawama Hospital during the first 12-months of the project prior to commencement of the RCT.

Overall Responsibility:

Working under the Principal Investigators and Laboratory Lead and in close collaboration with other team members in the lab and the clinics, the student(s) also will oversee their specific project’s aspects on the study (i.e. data collection, sample collection, processing and storage, development of assays and testing samples etc.).

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ensure accurate collection of data, processing, and storage of study samples from study clinic to central lab
  • Set up and pilot study assays
  • Run all the study related assays
  • Analyze data
  • Participate in development of manuscript to submission
  • Other study related tasks as assigned by PI

Specific Deliverables:

  • Manuscript(s) for publication
  • Thesis for PhD/ MSc at a recognized university in the School of Biomedical Sciences

Application requirements: interested applicants are required to submit the following documents

  • Two (2) paged summary of proposed research work to be undertaken during the PhD/MSc program
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Recommendation letters from at least 2 academic and/or professional referees.

Applications should be sent with the subject line Applications for Masters (MSc) and Doctoral (PhD) Fellowships to Healthcorps@cidrz.org

The closing date is 8th July, 2020.

 

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