Sustainable Development for HIV Health (SD4H) Fellowship

Sustainable Development for HIV Health (SD4H) Fellowship in Kenya

The SD4H Fellowship provides aspiring researchers at Maseno University with outstanding education, mentorship and training in research at the intersection between sustainable development and health. SD4H is career development fellowship sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center (FIC), co-funded by National Institutes of Mental Health. UCGHI manages and supports the SD4H Fellowship.

Program Overview

The SD4H Program at Maseno University, School of Public Health and Community Development (SPHCD), in collaboration with Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), and the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI), will support four PhD and nine Masters students interested in an academic research career at the intersection between sustainable development (e.g. economics, agriculture, animal science, environmental science, etc.) and public health with a focus on improving HIV care, treatment and prevention outcomes.

SD4H students will receive training in clinical and HIV research, research methods, and in the development sciences. After the completion of the training program, graduates will be expected to design, lead, implement and scale innovative, transdisciplinary interventions within Kenya, with an aim of improving HIV prevention and treatment outcomes by targeting food insecurity and poverty, some of the root drivers of poor HIV outcomes. 

The training program will also provide opportunities for Maseno University graduate students interested in S4DH research to take online courses and participate in a bi-weekly SD4H seminar—in addition, these courses will be offered to University of California students.  We will also host annual S4DH/HIV Research and Writing Workshop in years 3-5. Two mentorship trainings will be offered to Maseno University faculty to provide them with specialized tools and techniques for effective mentoring.

The mentored research Fellowship for PhD and Master’s students has four principal components:

  1. Mentorship – A strong, interdisciplinary team of faculty mentors with research experience from Maseno University, KEMRI, and University of California campuses
  2. Sustainable Development for Health education—online and onsite courses
  3. Independent mentored research
  4. Career development to attain short-term goals and transition to an academic position
    Photo by Rachel Burger

The SD4H Fellowship is a sandwich program for PhD students. We anticipate that PhD fellows will require approximately four years to complete the program, including three years at Maseno University (in collaboration with KEMRI) and approximately one year between the University of California San Francisco and University of California Davis campuses. The Program includes the following elements:

  • Maseno University with support from KEMRI (Years 1, 3 & 4)
    • Complete required core courses in public health and community development
    • Bi-weekly seminar on SD4H research
    • Scientific writing seminars
    • Supplemented online courses jointly developed by program faculty
    • Implementation of independent mentored research project in SD4H
  • University of California (anticipated for Year 2 of the program)
    • UCSF Advanced Training in Clinical Research certificate (3 quarters)
    • Develop research proposal and work closely with UC, Maseno University and KEMRI mentors to design and prepare for implementation of their research project in Kenya during Year 3
    • Training in One Health, nutrition and agriculture at UC Davis (if relevant to planned research project)

The SD4H Fellowship is led by multiple PIs, Dr. Louisa Ndunyu at Maseno University, Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi at KEMRI, and Dr. Sheri Weiser and Dr. Craig Cohen at UCSF.

Maseno University