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Network for Oncology Research in Sub-Saharan Africa (NORA) Call for Application for Masters, Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Students to conduct Research within the NORA Research Project

About the project

Cancer causes an estimated 533,000 deaths in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) annually. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the most common in the SSA, making women the more disproportionately affected demographic. The biggest challenges to cancer care in this region are the lack of sufficient data, implementation, monitoring, challenges to comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and multi-level cancer care at all levels of the health system. The widely established benchmark indicators of adequate care are screening uptake, stage at presentation, time to diagnosis, and referral to treatment. Applied research aimed at substantially contributing to decreasing mortality must address key variables along the continuum of care such as, what is the pattern of cancer incidence, cancer stage, cancer survival and how does it change over time? How can the demand for cancer screening in rural and urban communities be increased? How can cancer care be successfully integrated in decentral primary care settings? How can hospital-based cancer registries help trace patient journeys and support standardized treatment referral within a resource constrained setting.

The overall goal of the Network for Oncology Research in Africa (NORA) is to contribute to reducing mortality of Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer in partner countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania) that are part of the NORA consortium. NORA is set to carry out research which establishes evidence-based breast cancer, cervical cancer screening, and treatment pathways applicable in SSA. The research also seeks to generate policy recommendations for effective cancer control strategies. Ultimately, the goal of NORA is to contribute to a significant reduction in breast cancer and cervical cancer mortality in Africa.

In addition, NORA provides the following:

  1. A platform for academics and young scientists with comprehensive methodological and management competencies, enabling them to take on long-term applied research within the framework of national strategies.
  2. An advanced mentoring concept which gives scientists confidence to develop their individual research profiles.
  3. Intensive networking and participation in scientific events geared towards fostering a community of practice, aimed at shaping the African research agenda, and adapting it to population needs.

Requirements for selection:

The project involves capacity building for scientists in the field of cancer research and is therefore offering opportunities for postdoctoral fellows, PhD, and masters students in target research themes along the cancer care continuum to develop their research, leadership skills and future independent research careers.

Students are expected to have:

Post-doctoral position (1)

A PhD, and must be currently enrolled in a Postdoctoral training program in the field of epidemiology, public health, or implementation sciences and conducting research in cancer in Nigeria.

PhD position (2)

A Master’s Degree, and must be currently enrolled in a PhD program in the field of epidemiology, public health, and implementation sciences for themes related to public health in Nigeria.

Masters position (6)

A first degree, and must be currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program within the field of epidemiology, public health, or implementation sciences for themes related to public health and willing to conduct research in breast or cervical cancer as part of master’s dissertation in Nigeria.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Language requirement: Fluency in English (written and spoken)
  2. Interest in cancer research and a commitment to a career path in cancer epidemiology and cancer-related research-training
  3. Enrolled in a Masters, PhD, or Postdoctoral training programme in a recognized training institution prior to application.
  4. Willingness to centre thesis around the NORA research areas of cancer registration, breast and cervical cancer)
  5. Possess relevant skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication and creativity.

Application process:

Eligible candidates are required to submit the following:

  • Updated academic CV with publications relevant to your application.
  • Application letter stating reasons for application and why you are eligible for the role.
  • A Personal statement stating the following:
  1. Description of relevant professional achievements and related experience
  2. Motivation for application
  3. Research interests
  4. Career goals, future growth and career advancement based on this fellowship opportunity.
  • A 3–5-page research concept with background, hypothesis/research question, objectives, methods and reference.
  • Also include a summary not exceeding 350 words with introduction/background, objective, method and expected result.
  • Two academic reference (supporting) letters.

Interested candidates are invited to send their application documents to [email protected]. The application deadline is the 10th of May 2023. Late applications will not be entertained.

About the employment offer:

The project will provide successful candidates with the following:

  1. Stipend as per the project scale for successful Masters, PhD. and Postdoc candidates
  2. Research project and tuition support
  3. Multidisciplinary mentoring across the consortium universities and centers
  4. Possible additional training cost and travel support


Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview by the panel of assessors and interviewers.