South African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme: Call for applicants – 2014 intake

The South African Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (SAFELTP) is requesting applications for the incoming 2014 class from qualified health professionals with an interest in public health and commitment to public service.

SAFELTP is jointly sponsored by the National Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Services, the University of Pretoria and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The programme is a combination of didactic and practical training in which the resident is grounded in the academic basics of public health and is assigned to field sites where s/he learn by doing whilst being mentored by supervisors in projects that address key public health priorities.

This residency programme is a 2 year, full time commitment, from which residents graduate with a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pretoria. The 2014 class will begin in January and end December 2015. The programme offers two areas of concentration: a field epidemiology track and a laboratory track.

The growing field of public health and epidemiology in South Africa and globally brings exciting opportunities for graduates. The course develops graduates and professionals from health related professions to become competent in applied epidemiology of diseases and conditions relevant to South Africa plus learn leadership and management skills relevant to public health system management. The training includes investigation of outbreaks, analysis of large health related databases, surveillance system evaluations and completion of a hypothesis driven research project. 

Bursaries/stipends may be available for South African applicants fulfilling predefined criteria. South African applicants working currently within the South African government at various levels, who plan to take study leave to participate in the programme and afterwards return to their workplace, must have written approval from their departments for the two years. Please note that DOH staff that have been funded and granted study leave will be required to continue working for the DOH for at least two (2) years after completing the master’s programme.

Limited places are available for applicants from public health organizations from countries within the region (including Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi). International applicants from these countries should typically be nominated by their respective health ministries and should obtain study leave with full sponsorship (including salary/stipend, tuition fee, accommodation and transport) for the duration of the course. Other applicants from the non-Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries may be considered on a case by case basis.

Key requirements:

  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Applicants should be registered with their respective professional bodies
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook for use in communication, word processing, analysis, presentation and report generation.
  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Non South African/non SADC citizens who are accepted must do the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and have their original degrees accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

Minimal Educational requirements (all degrees should be in a health, laboratory or public health related field from an accredited university):

  • A medical, veterinary or dentistry degree ; OR
  • A doctorate degree in a medical/health related field; OR
  • A master’s degree in a medical or health related field; OR
  • An honours degree with at least 2 years’ applicable work experience ; OR
  • A 4-year bachelor’s degree with at least 3 years’ applicable work experience ; OR
  • A 3-year bachelor’s degree plus at least 5 years’ applicable work experience (see below)
  • Please note that a BTec degree does not fulfill the minimum educational requirements of the University of Pretoria and the SAFELTP.

Work experience requirements

  • Professional experience in a health field or other fields relevant to health
  • Experience of working in the public health system is desirable
  • Applicants for the laboratory track should have working experience within a clinical or public health laboratory

How to apply

  1. If you meet the requirements, kindly download and complete the application and two reference forms that are available on our website
    The completed forms together with relevant certified copies of your qualification certificates, a one page motivation detailing your reasons for applying and a concise two-page CV should be submitted to both SAFELTP via: Veronica Phoi , tel: +27 11 386 6542; e-mail  or and the Human Resources Office (HRO) at the NHLS via: Kgaugelo Mkwanazi,  tel: 011 386 6090, email:

You may also hand deliver the above requirements to Veronica Phoi, SAFELTP Administration Office, Room L6, PRF Reception Building, NICD, No 1 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg. 

  1. In addition, visit the University of Pretoria website and follow the process for applying online (this does not imply that you have been accepted by the University of Pretoria).

Closing date: 30 June 2013

Please indicate the track (epidemiology or Laboratory) for which you are applying. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application has been received by both SAFELTP and the HRO. Applications without the reference number and copies of qualifications will not be considered, neither will those received after the closing date. Reference checks will be conducted.

Please note that all applicants selected for an interview will need to write the benchmark selection test at any university closest to where you reside and submit your results or indicate the time that you will send your results when they are available. The result is one of the requirements for the final selection. Please visit the website of National Bench Mark Test and Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3523 for more information on dates and venues of the bench mark test.

Correspondence will be made with short listed candidates only. If you have not heard within 4 weeks of the closing date, please consider your application to be unsuccessful. For further information please visit the website:  or you can send an email to Dr L Kuonza at  

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