Doctoral (PhD) Study at CPMH

The vision of the CPMH is to be a collaborative inter-institutional multi-disciplinary centre that conducts high quality research on public mental health, and uses evidence for teaching, consultancy and advocacy to promote mental health in Africa. We welcome applications for research-based PhD degrees addressing topics relevant for public mental health in Africa. Successful application will depend on the candidates’ academic record, quality of the application as well as the availability of a suitable supervisory team. Please note that CPMH has limited supervisory capacity. We will consider PhD applications three times during the year with the following deadlines:

  • 31 March
  • 31 August
  • 15 November.

CPMH PhD students are required to:

  • Register for study at the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health at the University of Cape Town
  • Comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practises for postgraduate study
  • Enter into a bi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding with his/her supervisor(s).

Academic Criteria

Applicants require:

  • A prior Master’s degree in a foundational discipline relevant to public mental health (e.g. psychology, public health, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, health economics)
  • Experience in mental health, health or a development-related field for at least three years
  • Research experience gained in at least two previous studies
  • Good academic writing skills.

Application Requirements

  • Completed application form, including:
    • Photograph
    • Signed declaration
    • Research proposal (see format in the application form)
    • Names of 2 referees. We will contact them directly.
  • Certified copies of original academic transcripts
  • An example of your own academic writing skills such as an article that you have authored. (Please do not submit a co-authored paper as we require an example of your writing skills.)
  • Please do not include any additional material (such as a separate CV) in your application package. Provision has been made on the application form for all information required for the selection process.

Fellowship opportunities

We have no fellowship opportunities currently. Information regarding fellowships will be posted on the CPMH website should any become available. See the UCT postgraduate degree funding noticeboard for other funding options.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Claire van der Westhuizen at for an application package.