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CRVS Fellowship Program

The University of Melbourne, as part of the Bloomberg Data for Health (D4H) Initiative, conducts a Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Fellowship Program to build technical capacity in both individuals and institutions to enhance the quality, sustainability and policy utility of CRVS systems. 

The Program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to work on a CRVS project and receive intensive, one-on-one mentoring by University of Melbourne technical experts, to learn more broadly about CRVS systems and to establish networks within the international CRVS community.

To date, 30 Fellows from 12 countries have participated in the Program. 

Applications for the next CRVS Fellowship Program intake have now closed. The application period for future intakes will be announced in coming months.

Applicants should be from low-to-middle income countries and have established working relationships with one or more of the institutions responsible for the operation and development of their country’s CRVS system. This can include, for example, staff working in a Government institution that is part (or potentially part) of the CRVS system, or people from a university or research institution (e.g. school of public health, medical college) who collaborate closely with stakeholders responsible for the CRVS system.

 
Fellowship activities and outputs

Fellows spend six weeks at the University of Melbourne, where they:

  1. work on their chosen project supervised by University of Melbourne CRVS technical experts, 
  2. receive more generalized training in CRVS systems via a CRVS Bootcamp ,
  3. interact with and learn from global experts at University of Melbourne and benefit from the establishment of networks with other Fellows and CRVS specialists.

The Fellowship project must have direct application to CRVS activities in the Fellow’s country. The supervisor oversees the project design (including regular contact in preparation for the Fellowship), activities and outputs, and provides post-Fellowship mentoring. Fellows are expected to work full-time on their project and to work independently. Prior to arrival in Melbourne, Fellows must have an agreed outline of their project, as well as all relevant data available to be used for their project. Each Fellow is expected to complete a Fellowship report or draft research paper prior to leaving Melbourne, which will be included on the University of Melbourne CRVS Gateway  or potentially published in an academic journal.

A range of potential project topics for Fellows to choose from. Priority topic areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation of CRVS interventions, including:
    • verbal autopsy cause of death data
    • notification of community deaths
    • face-to-face and online training programs (e.g. medical certification training)
  • Empirical research on barriers to notification/registration of deaths in the community
  • Analysis of quality of mortality and cause of death data using ANACONDA
  • Estimation of registration completeness and development of national and subnational mortality indicators from adjusted CRVS data
  • Quality assessment of medical certification and ICD coding

Following the completion of the Fellowship, Fellows are expected to apply their learnings to support CRVS activities in their country. To facilitate this, the Fellow and their supervisor develop a detailed plan for post-Fellowship activities. Fellows are expected to comply with requests for information on impact of the training received.

Fellows are presented with a certificate at the successful conclusion of their Fellowship.

Logistics

Fellows spend six weeks at the University of Melbourne in Australia. There will be intakes of Fellows on specific dates; the next intake is anticipated to be in late September 2019. Funding is provided for travel to and from Melbourne, accommodation, and an allowance to cover meals and incidentals during their stay in Melbourne. Funding is not available for return trips to their country of origin during the Fellowship or for family members’ travel.

Application process

Fellows are selected through a competitive selection process and, after receiving application instructions from University of Melbourne, are required to submit a Fellowship project proposal. Preference will be given to applicants from countries that are part of the D4H Initiative, but applicants from other low-to-middle income countries will also be considered. Fellows are required to meet academic and English pre-requisites.

All applicants for the CRVS Fellowship Program should submit an Application with the following information:

  • An application covering letter addressed that details:
    • Their current employer, roles, responsibilities, qualifications and English language proficiency (length: 1/2 page)
    • The topic (for example: verbal autopsy, medical certification of cause of death) and specific aims of the Fellowship (length: 1/2 page)
    • A statement outlining how they anticipate the Fellowship contributing to strengthening CRVS systems in their country (length: 1 page)
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume (length: 2 pages)
     
  • A recommendation letter from their employer (1 page) that explains:
    • The value of the Fellowship for their country’s CRVS system
    • Why the applicant is suitable for the Fellowship

The application should be sent by email to  crvs-info@unimelb.edu.au and addressed to Dr Tim Adair, Principal Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne.

The next intake is anticipated to be in late September 2019.
For application information and all other enquiries please email  crvs-info@unimelb.edu.au

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