The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) is a registered non-profit organisation focused on the pursuit of excellence in research, treatment, training and prevention of HIV and related infections in Southern Africa.

We have fantastic opportunities across our businesses for talented people wanting to realize their full potential. Could that be you? If so, we invite you to explore the possibility of joining us to play your part in Desmond Tutu Health Foundations’ exciting future.

To train the next generation of LGBTQI+ researchers in South Africa and increase cutting-edge research on access to health care for sexual and gender diverse people, the LGBT+ Health Division of DTHF seeks to appoint three Graduate Research Fellows for a fully funded research fellowship starting from January 2024. This is an excellent opportunity to build the capacity of early career researchers in the field of LGBTQI+ health through a structured learning program and access to expert mentors. This program is a subsidiary project of the DTHC Khulani Siphile Siphuhle Training Program in South Africa (KiSS-TP;, which seeks to train cutting edge, next generation HIV researchers. The Graduate Research Fellows will be based at the LGBT+ Health Division at Groote Schuur
Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town, Western Cape.

The research fellows will be expected to participate in a full-time research fellowship including
conducting supervised research on one of the following topic areas:

  • Access to gender-affirming care and HIV services for transgender and gender diverse populations
  • System change to create inclusive LGBTQI+ health care environments
  • Psychosocial support program for transgender and gender diverse populations

The fellowship also includes participation in the writing team with the aim to publish study findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, completion of two elective university courses, participation in a bi-monthly seminar program, attendance at a local conference, and participation in the LGBT+ Health Division community engagement and outreach events. The goal is to build the capacity of early career researchers, and advance knowledge and understanding in the field of LGBTQI+ health research.

Minimum Requirements:

  • A Diploma/Advanced Certificate (NQF 6) or Bachelor Degree/Advanced Diploma (NQF
    7), preferably in social sciences, public health or other health-related field
  • Knowledge of health issues of concern to the LGBTQI+ community in South Africa
  • Interest in LGBTQI+ health and HIV research
  • Ability to attend full-time in-person program in Cape Town
  • Computer literacy (MS Office) including data entry
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) skills – fluent in English
  • A mature, responsible and ethical attitude towards work, study and research
  • Ability to take ownership of projects and work independently
  • Able to work as a member of a team
  • Critical and innovative thinking


  • Completion of studies at a Historically Disadvantaged Institution (Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), the University of Venda, the University of Fort Hare, Walter Sisulu University (WSU), the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the University of Limpopo and the University of Zululand)
  • Afrikaans or isiXhosa speaking
  • Experience in a research environment


  • Review literature on access to health care for LGBTQI+ populations relevant to research topic
  • Assist in relevant research protocol development and submissions to ethics committees
  • Work independently to collect data
  • Assist in data analysis and write up of study findings
  • Attend weekly meetings with supervisor
  • Keep accurate records of research progress according to project timelines
  • Develop skills through access to elective training courses
  • Complete required training on information governance and data protection
  • Attend conferences and disseminate research findings
  • Assist in writing articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Assist in identifying potential funding opportunities and writing grants
  • Present progress and findings to supervision panel as well as relevant stakeholders
  • Attend and support organisation of community engagement outreach events

Value and Tenure:
The value of the fellowship is R240, 000.00 per annum (gross before deductions). Start date is January 2024 but flexibility on a start date can be discussed.

Values fit: Passion Innovation Progress Integrity Respect Excellence

Eligible candidates should provide the following in ONE SINGLE PDF:

  • A Letter which MUST include the following (Word Limit: 1000 words maximum):
    o A description of your career goals and how your participation in this research
    training program will advance these goals
    o Your interest in LGBTQI+ health research and how you have engaged with
    LGBTQI+ communities
    o A brief discussion of your interest in one of the program areas:
     Access to HIV services and gender-affirming care for transgender and
    gender diverse populations
     System change to create inclusive LGBTQI+ health care environments
     Psychosocial support program for transgender and gender diverse
  • A CV that includes complete details of:
    o Your work and academic studies
    o The names of at least two academic referees who have taught/supervised the
    candidate at university and can speak to their skills;
  • Academic transcript

Submit in a single PDF file by 10 November 2023. Incomplete applications will not be
Visit the DTHF Career page to view the advert DTHF-092 and apply: DTHF Career Page

NB: Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. We are committed to equity in our employment practices. It is our intention to appoint individuals with the aim of meeting our equity objectives. We reserve the right not to appoint if no suitable candidates are identified. I understand and accept that by applying for this position, I authorized DTHF to process my personal information in accordance with its internal operational requirements. I further understand that the personal information I disclose to DTHF will be processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Protection of Personal Information Act and may include the transferring thereof to third parties for the purposes of verification.
This job may be removed before it expires.
If you have not heard from us within four weeks after the closing date please consider your
application as unsuccessful.
Desmond Tutu Health Foundation is a child-friendly organisation committed to the protection
of children. For more information about the organization please visit our website.

All the best with your applications

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