EDCTP-TDR Clinical and Research Fellowship Application

The Clinical Research and Development Fellowship (CRDF) scheme is jointly implemented by EDCTP (the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) and TDR. The purpose of the ECDTP-TDR CRDF scheme / programme is to provide funding support to researchers and clinical trial staff from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to acquire essential skills in clinical research and development through placements in host training organizations. The scheme targets early- to mid-career researchers or clinical trial staff who are employed by a legal entity in LMICs where they are currently conducting clinical research activities in the scope of TDR’s mandate.


TDR will fund fellows employed by academic and/or research institutions in any LMIC, not limited to those in the sub-Saharan Africa region,  to be placed in host training organizations, either in or outside Europe, to train and develop new research skills on poverty related infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, Ebola and Neglected Infectious Diseases. ​


For more information about the fellowship and application, please visit: https://www.who.int/tdr/grants/calls/crdf-2019/en/




TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, is a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty. TDR is hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO), and is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO. For more information, visit: www.who.int/tdr

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Low- and middle-income country (LMICs)* researchers working on clinical trials often have limited experience and skills related to organizing, designing, and leading clinical research. The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) organizes a fellowship to support LMIC researchers to obtain these essential skills, building capacity for leadership in subsequent infectious diseases clinical research. TDR is committed to achieving gender equity in its activities and strongly encourages women to apply to this fellowship. 


*LMICs: We define LMICs according to the World Bank definition. A list of LMICs can be found here.


Fellows in this program will have unique training and career development opportunities. They will be expected to learn about how to design, implement, and analyze data from clinical infectious diseases research studies. Upon return to their home country, they will be able to train peers and serve in leadership positions. The fellowship provides unique networking opportunities which will not only benefit an individual’s career, but also strengthen collaborations between clinical researchers and staff in LMICs, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and product development partnerships. One of the former fellows remarked, “This fellowship training has greatly improved myself and built my capacity in terms of research. I understand research, I know how it is conducted…everything from start to finish.” More detailed information about former fellows is available below through our fellowship ambassador program or through the fellow profiles on the fellowship website (click here). 


We encourage all applicants to consider applying. Successful candidates must:

  • be a post-graduate (MSc or PhD) or medical graduate with clinical and/or research experience in infectious diseases and
  • have obtained their first degree within 15 years of submission of the application and
  • have been a researcher or clinical staff member employed for the last 12 months in an institution with a registered legal entity in an LMIC* conducting clinical infectious diseases research and
  • be both a citizen and a resident in an LMIC*. 

Application Procedure  

The application should be sent in electronic format (Word or PDF only) to cdftdr@who.int on the TDR application form. Reference letters must be attached electronically. The following information should be provided:

1. Full name with the family name underlined.

2. Date of birth, gender and nationality (copy of information page of passport or other identification document may be requested later).

3. Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of institution where the applicant is employed. All applicants must have permanent employment.

4. Telephone number and e-mail address for personnel contact and possible interview (if not the same as institutional telephone number above #3) must be included.

5. Educational qualifications, including place of study and graduation date (transcripts and copies of qualifications are not required but may be requested later).

6. A description (1-page maximum) of the applicant’s current post and of the post held immediately before.

7. A description (1-page maximum) of the applicant’s current work/research interests including disease(s) interest.

8. A description (1-page maximum) of competencies and skills the applicant would like to acquire during the fellowship.

9. A description (1-page maximum) of how the applicant, if selected, plans to apply the acquired skills and knowledge after returning to home country/institution.

10. An endorsement from the Director of the applicant’s home institution testifying the ability of the applicant to successfully undertake the training proposed and certifying that the applicant, if selected, will be financially supported as a leave of absence. The Director has also to indicate how the proposed training will strengthen the institution’s capability, to conduct clinical research upon return of the fellow.

11. A list of the applicant’s publications and other abstracts or presentations.

12. A letter of recommendation from two senior scientists/professors that includes their full name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Please scan and include these with the application. 

    Deadline for submission of proposals

    All applications must be received at cdftdr@who.int by 28 February 2020, 17:00 (GMT)

        Nominate someone to apply! - Fellowship nomination program

        Do you know a potential candidate for this fellowship? Our nomination program allows you to encourage people to apply. The nomination program is open to all and helps us to identify eligible candidates.


        Please submit your nominee 

          Fellowship Ambassadors

          Do you have questions about the fellowship?

          Would you like some pre-application advice from someone in the fellowship?

          Three former fellows have kindly agreed to serve as Fellowship Ambassadors. This means that they are willing to answer your questions about professional and personal aspects of the fellowship. Brief biographies and contact emails are listed below. Emails will generally be answered within 48 hours of receipt. 

            Dr Atinuke Olaleye from Nigeria                           

            Email: tinukeolaleye@gmail.com

            Dr. Atinuke Olaleye is a board-certified Obstetrician Gynecologist and Senior Lecturer at Babcock University and Teaching Hospital, Ilishan, Ogun State, Nigeria. She is also the Director of the institution’s Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Biotechnology (CAMRAB). She completed her TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines Belgium, in 2018. She is an EDCTP Career Development Fellow, conducting research on parasite resistance to malaria chemoprophylaxis in pregnancy. She is also building capacity for clinical research, and for the establishment of a pregnancy registry in her institution, with the aid of a TDR re-integration grant. She holds a Masters in Public Health degree, and is undergoing doctoral studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Her research interests include the perinatal transmission of infectious diseases and drug/vaccine safety in pregnancy.

            Dr. Olaleye says about her experience: “The TDR Fellowship experience was a great avenue for developing both technical and soft skills that are of immense benefit in my current research work. The networking opportunities provided by the program has also blossomed into partnerships for research and capacity-building of younger researchers in my institution.”

            You can ask Dr. Olaleye about: family/visa related questions, networking opportunities, grant-writing skills, and re-integration.


            Dr. Clara Agutu from Kenya                          

            Email: claraagutu@gmail.com

            Dr. Clara Agutu is a medical doctor with a Master’s Degree in Public Health and in Infectious Diseases. She has a keen interest in infectious diseases particularly HIV, TB, malaria and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). She is enrolled as a PhD student under the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV research Excellence (SANTHE) fellowship award housed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute(KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya. Her PhD work is on improving facility-based HIV testing and understanding barriers to its implementation and scale-up. She worked with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in Belgium as a TDR clinical research and development fellow. There she contributed to phase 2 and 3 trials aimed at improving malaria vaccines efficacy and subsequent implementation in sub-Saharan Africa. She was able to embed skills gained from the fellowship into her current PhD studies. Dr. Agutu was also able to apply for and receive a TDR re-integration grant to support her studies and to implement research in Kenya.

            You can ask Dr. Agutu about: family/visa related things, professional related or re-integration questions.

            Dr. Maame Anima Attobrah Sarfo  from Ghana                          

            Email: animasarfo@gmail.com 

            Maame Anima A. Sarfo is a medical doctor specializing in paediatric nephrology at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana. She completed her TDR fellowship with GlaxoSmithKline Diseases of the Developing World Division at Stockley Park, UK. Dr. Sarfo was initially skeptical on embarking on this fellowship. She did not want to leave her little 3-year-old boy with a nanny in her home country. However, her passion for research, coupled with wanting to know more about the pharmaceutical industry propelled her to work out a manageable plan. This, she said, was the best decision she ever made and she has not regretted.

            She has a Postgraduate Certificate in International Management from the University of Liverpool and is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Trials with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

            She has been involved in Paediatric HIV and TB clinical studies. Most of her clinical trial involvement has been with the  GSK Biologicals malaria vaccine study, which she is currently a part of at the Malaria Research Centre at Agogo in Ghana.


            You can ask Dr. Sarfo about: balancing family and work, family/visa related things, or other topics. You can email her or reach her on WhatsApp +233 268125366

            If you have any questions about the nomination program, please contact:  ​ crdf@seshglobal.org

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