Q1: How do I get assigned to a project and a mentor?

Your first meeting with Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker will help determine the assignment of your mentor, project and project outcomes. Before your arrival, it is encouraged to engagethe recommended reading that will giveyou a better understanding of adolescent research and the type of work the DTHFdoes. As part of the IAVI Fellowship selection process, the panel will consider candidates who would complement and enhance upcoming and running projects, based on the Fellows’ stated interest, experience and qualifications. The type of projects that past Fellows have worked on include:

  • Clinical Trials (with partners such as HIV Vaccine Trials Network, International Partnership for Microbicides, Microbicide Trial Network, HIV Prevention Trials Network)
  • Implementation Science
  • Epidemiologic and qualitative research investigations into the fundamental drivers of disease

Q2: What is an average day like during my fellowship?

At DTHF, our working hours are from 8am-5pm with a 1-hour lunch break. You are to discuss all project outcomes with your mentor and create a project plan of how you are to achieve your project outcomes before the end of your Fellowship. If you don’t plan to be on site for a full day as you will be working from another location or if you fall ill and/or need to leave site early for an appointment or in case of an emergency please advise both your IAVI Mentor and your IAVI Programme Administrator. Communication is key!

At the beginning and at the end of each working day, please check in and out with your mentor and the IAVI Programme Administrator.

Q3: Are flights apart of the IAVI fellowship package?

Yes, DTHF will cover return flights from your home country to Cape Town as part of your IAVI Fellowship offer. Before your flights can be booked, you need to apply for your visa if your home country is not South Africa. Unfortunately,  DTHF and IAVI are not in a position to help you with your visa application or to advise you on which visa would be best for you. We will however equip you with any documentation you may need, such as; an itinerary, a letter confirming your accommodation during your Fellowship, your award letter and a letter to the South African Embassy stating the terms of your Fellowship.

Your flights to Cape Town need to be booked 48 hours after your visa is approved. Your IAVI Programme Administrator will arrange this booking for you and will send through your confirmed travel arrangements. Requests for specific travel arrangements need the approval of your Programme Manager or Principle Investigator. Typically, we will attempt to have you travel the weekend before the first week of your Fellowship or two days before your Fellowship is to begin. This will allow you to settle in and familiarise yourself with your surroundings before your Fellowship is scheduled to begin.

Please note that DTHF is unable to cover airport transfer from your home to the airport in your home country and from the airport in your home country back to you home. DTHF will however cover costs for your airport transfer upon your arrival at Cape Town International Airport and your departure from Cape Town International Airport.

Q4: Where will my accommodation be during my fellowship?

As part of your IAVI Fellowship, your accommodation will be booked for you by the IAVI Fellowship Programme Administrator. As you will primarily be based at our Head Office, we always endeavour to book accommodation that is close to our Head Office at the University of Cape Town, Faculty of Health Sciences, in Observatory.

Once you have arrived at your accommodation, arrangements will be made for you to pick up your keys from security, unless otherwise advised.

You will be required to contact your accommodation as soon as possible to arrange a time to sign your contract. This contract will then also need to be signed by a member of our finance team and returned back to the administrators of your accommodation.

Please note that the accommodation based at UCT Housing is UCT property and thus all rules and regulations of the university apply.

Q5: How does the stipend work?

Your stipend will be paid monthly and will not be paid immediately upon your arrival. A Supplier Details form will need to be filled out to ensure payment of your stipend, as payment into a bank account outside of South Africa is not possible. Your Supplier Details form will then need to be processed and your stipend will be paid within your first month of your Fellowship. Your stipend will be paid in South African Rands.

This stipend is a means to cover such costs as groceries, transport and other living expenses. The IAVI Fellowship Grant covers all accommodation expenses and flights.

Q6: Can I return to my home country during my fellowship?

In order to fulfil the requirement of the IAVI Fellowship Programme, multiple trips to your home country is not advised, though medical emergencies or other special circumstances may require you to take leave from your Fellowship to travel back to your home country. In this case, you will need to advise your IAVI Programme Administrator immediately. These arrangements will need the approval of the Programme Manager or Principle Investigator; and your mentor will need to be advised before your intended departure. Please note that the Fellowship only allows for one flight to Cape Town for your Fellowship if you are travelling from outside of Cape Town and one flight back to your home country. So if you require to take leave to travel back to your home country during your Fellowship please note that in order for you to return to Cape Town to complete your Fellowship you will be required to buy your own flights back to Cape Town and again back to your home country upon the completion of your Fellowship.

Q7: Am I entitled to leave during my fellowship?

For Fellows awarded with one of the 3 month Fellowships, please be advised that we do not encourage any vacation leave to be taken. Cape Town has many great places that can be visited on weekends for day visits or you can choose to spend an entire weekend, staying one or two nights, at a chosen holiday destination within Cape Town or in a neighbouring town.

For those IAVI Fellows who were awarded a 12 month IAVI Fellowship, approval for leave for a vacation must be given by your mentor, project manager and principal investigator. Those who are here for a 12 month Fellowship are entitled to 12 days leave and 4 days sick leave, provided the Fellow works Full-time (40 hours per week).

Leave needs to be requested by the Fellow at least 48 hours before the requested leave start date. Leave can be requested by emailing your Mentor stating the dates you wish to take leave and which date you will be back in the office. Leave can be taken once approved by your Mentor and your IAVI Programme Administrator will need to be advised of your leave period.