Appel à candidatures/Call for applications - bourse/bursary 8000$ - Mental health and well-being among Roma and Egyptian adolescents in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic: Vulnerability and resilience in a positive youth development perspective

Call for applications – Ph. D. students and post-doctoral fellows.Global Health and/or Social Health Inequalities Research Traineeship

Project 2



One of QPHRN’s key objectives is to strengthen population health research capacity in Quebec. The network recognizes the importance of assisting young researchers to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for conducting independent research and to develop a competitive research profile. To this end, the network’s Global Health Axis and its research capacity strengthening program, GHR-CAPS, and the Social Health Inequalities and Equity Axis, is offering several student traineeships. 

Many researchers have data from previous projects that have not been fully exploited. The network’s Global Health Axis and its research capacity strengthening program, GHR-CAPS, and the Social Health Inequalities and Equity Axis, offered its regular researcher members and its post-doctoral fellows the opportunity to receive assistance from a student trainee to conduct analyses and address research questions using their existing datasets. The goal is also to allow researchers to publish new findings that will contribute to the field of global health (i.e., the improvement of health and healthcare for indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees and for populations in low or middle-income countries) and/or to the field of social health inequalities. For the trainees, it’s an opportunity to create new collaborations, to develop their analysis and writing skills and to build their publication record.

Following a call for proposals to the Network's research members, three projects involving data analysis have been selected. The call for applications for QPHRN Ph.D. students or post-doc members to fill the trainee positions for these projects, is now open.

Title of the project

Mental health and well-being among Roma and Egyptian adolescents in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic: Vulnerability and resilience in a positive youth development perspective


Name and first name of the principal investigator/mentor

Diana Miconi
Assistant Professor, Département de Psychopédagogie et Andragogie, Université de Montréal

Description of the project


The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting youth development globally and adolescents’ mental health is at increased risk during this health emergency. For minority youth, the consequences of the pandemic can be even more devastating due to limited access to basic resources, which may hinder their psychosocial development. Roma and Egyptian communities represent the most deprived and stigmatized groups in Albania and share a very similar and concerning situation. Undeniably, their situation has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Building on prior literature and on our qualitative research findings, the present research project aims to investigate risk behaviors and mental health among a sample of Roma and Egyptian adolescents living in Albania during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, within a positive youth development framework and adopting a community-based approach we will investigate: 1) differences in prevalence of risk behaviors and mental health issues by gender, ethnicity and education; 2) potential individual (e.g., positive identity, positive values) and contextual (e.g., school, family, neighborhood) protective factors for positive development. 


A total of 201 Roma and Egyptian adolescents (aged 14 to 20 years) completed a series of validated questionnaires in the form of individual interview with a trained research assistant. Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis, binomial and linear regressions models will be implemented in R software and RStudio.

Expected impact of research

Results will inform prevention and intervention programs to support and protect minority youth's positive development and mental health during and in the aftermath of this health emergency.

Indicative timeline – starts in November 2021



Task description



First meeting

Familiarise with some of the relevant PYD literature

Familiarise with the project and the dataset

Setting the timeline and specific objectives



Data cleaning and preliminary analyses

Literature review for introduction



Draft of introduction section

Draft of method section



CFA models

Descriptive tables



Data analysis (regression models)



Preparation of tables and figures

Draft of results section



Draft of discussion

Writing a first complete draft of the publication

15 -16


Validation - Manuscript submission


Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be enrolled in a doctoral or post-doctoral program and be a QPHRN student member; 
  • To avoid any conflicts of interest and to ensure an equitable selection process, students/postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply for projects that are led by their supervisors or researchers they are already working with; 
  • The applicant must be able to submit a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal within 4 months after their first meeting with the mentor. If there are delays due to the mentor's availability a request for an extension, co-signed by the mentor, will be considered; 
  • There is no limit to the number of competitions a QPHRN student member may apply to, however a Ph. D. student or postdoctoral fellow cannot be awarded more than $10,000 total per year. 

Requirements in terms of skills and motivation & required documents

  • Short CV (3 pages max.)
  • Letter of motivation, that addresses the following: 
    • A brief bio
    • Research interests and experience and how this research project fits to the candidate’s research interests
    • Experience and skills with quantitative data analysis and manuscript writing (some prior knowledge of R and RStudio is highly recommended) 
    • Expectations in terms of learning of new skills and experience from this project
  • Recent academic transcript (a copy is sufficient).
  • Proof of academic affiliation/enrollment (a copy is sufficient)

Bursary / Salary

The terms and conditions for payment will depend on the status of the candidate (PhD student vs. postdoctoral fellow), the academic institution of the research mentor and the regulations and the collective agreements at the institutions involved. If possible, the trainee will receive the payment in the form of a bursary. They will receive the amounts in two installments: $4,000 at the beginning and $4,000 halfway through the traineeship. If a bursary cannot be awarded (due to the regulations and collective agreements at the institutions involved)- the trainee will be remunerated according to the salary scales at the institution holding the funds for up to a maximum of $8000 and over a four month period. Note that bursaries and salaries are subject to provincial and federal taxation rules. 


The traineeship will last four months; weekly hours may vary but overall should not exceed the equivalent of 20 hours/week. A request for an extension will be considered if there are delays due to the mentor's availability. 


Please send your application in a single document via email, with the subject heading:  “ISSE-SMo Competition 2021-2022” to: and Deadline: October 15th, 2021

You must keep a copy of your email as proof of submission and communicate with us if you did not receive an acknowledgment of receipt within 7 days.


There will be an initial selection of candidates by an evaluation committee, which will be created by the Global Health and the Social Health Inequalities and Equity Axes. The evaluation will be based primarily on: i) the candidate’s motivation to work on the topic of minority youth’s wellbeing in a positive youth development perspective, ii) their skills and experience with quantitative research and data analysis in R, iii) the quality of their CV and iv) their academic results. The strongest applications will be forwarded to the researchers responsible for the projects to make the final decision. 


  • The recipient will be required to submit a brief report describing the progress of the work at the mid-point of the traineeship.
  • The recipient must submit a manuscript to a scientific journal within 4 months after the first meeting with the mentor (Beware of predatory journals – Consult : The student or postdoctoral fellow should be offered co-authorship or be acknowledged for their contributions according to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors): Delays related to the mentor's availability may be grounds for an extension. Any such request must be co-signed by the mentor.
  • The recipient must inform the Network of the date their paper is submitted to the journal, and provide updates on the evaluation process, and final decision from the journal. The recipient must also inform the Network of any presentations or other dissemination activities linked to the project.
  • It is mandatory to acknowledge the support provided by the QPHRN, the Global Health axis, and the Social Health Inequalities and Equity Axis in the publication, as well as in any presentation or other dissemination activity linked to the project.
  • A copy of the paper must be sent to the QPHRN to be used as a scientific report.
  • The authors agree to publish the link to their publication on the QPHRN website.
  • The recipient and the research team will be invited to present their paper at the QPHRN's annual research days or online (webinar, or video that could be published on the QPHRN website).