Pneumococcal carriage surveys for PCV impact analysis in DRC

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Pneumococcal disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children aged <5 years, presenting as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCVs) have been widely effective in preventing pneumococcal disease, but they are ineffective in low coverage, they are costly vaccines to support, and they may increase the incidence of disease caused by non-vaccine serotypes.

The public health impact of PCVs can be estimated by examining the effect of vaccine introduction on the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease or all cause pneumonia but this is a complex and expensive undertaking. This PhD project will measure pneumococcal carriage in cross-sectional surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in two years. The relationship between vaccine, carriage and disease will be modelled using an estimate of ‘invasiveness’ and the results will be used to guide future vaccination policy in DRC. The project will involve field epidemiology, statistical modelling, and will extend into either policy analysis, bioinformatics, or mathematical modelling to achieve its objectives.



Applicants must have attained at least an upper 2nd class degree or its equivalent in a relevant subject and a masters’ degree in epidemiology, public health, microbiology, virology or a related field. Applicants must be fluent (written, spoken) in French and English and, must be Congolese nationals.  

Successful candidates should also demonstrate:

  1. Experience in conducting or assisting research in Kinshasa and/or Kisantu or the surrounding area.
  2. A track record of publishing in peer reviewed journals.
  3. In-depth knowledge of the DRC, especially relevant academic and public health stakeholders within the country and proven successful experience interacting with them.
  4. Ability to work independently within a cross-disciplinary team to meet agreed objectives.

For undergraduate degrees that are not classified, ensure your average score through the four/three years is above 60 (GPA above 3.3). Provide a certified proof of the same from your University.



Studentships are awarded competitively through shortlisting of online applications and subsequent face to face (or online) interviews.


STARTING DATE: Studentships will start as soon as possible.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday 28 August 2022


FURTHER INFORMATION: Please direct all other concerns/questions to Dr. Dorcas Mbuvi [].