Appel à candidatures/Call for applications - bourse/bursary 8000$ - Gender and WASH [water, sanitation, and hygiene] in schools: Participatory visual research from Southwest Cameroon

Call for applications – Ph. D. students  
Global Health and/or Social Health Inequalities Research Traineeship
Project 3


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 three 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 to fill these trainee positions is now open.

Title of the project

Gender and WASH [water, sanitation, and hygiene] in schools: Participatory visual research from Southwest Cameroon

PI/mentor: Dr. Jennifer Thompson

Affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre de recherche en santé publique (CReSP), Université de Montréal 


Description of the project

This project brings together the areas of global health, water and sanitation, education, gender studies, and participatory visual research. Access to water and sanitation in schools is critical in supporting and advancing education outcomes. In many contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa, a lack of reliable access to water and appropriate sanitation facilities is a significant barrier to student learning and wellbeing at school. However, water and sanitation are often considered within the more technical realms of engineering and infrastructure. This tends to leave knowledge gaps in how the social issues related to water and sanitation are understood for example in relation to everyday routines and practices, stigma and discrimination, and decision-making and power. Seeking the voices and knowledges of those most affected by water and sanitation issues—including youth—is important for understanding the social complexities related to water, sanitation, and health within education. Critically, water and sanitation are gendered issues. Gendered social norms mean that girls and women are often expected to bear more responsibility for water-related work such as fetching water, cleaning, and care. Girls and women are also more affected when there is a lack of access to toilets. The dataset to be analysed was collected through photovoice and participatory video workshops at an urban secondary school in Southwest Cameroon where young people produced photographs and short videos to identify, represent, and discuss their experiences about water and sanitation in school. The data include photographs, videos, and narratives (in English) produced by 24 students (9 girls and young women and 15 boys and young men), as well as researcher fieldnotes that document the research process. There are different analytical possibilities for the dataset (e.g participatory, visual, gender, reflexive approaches) depending on the intern’s areas of expertise and interest, and the selected audience for the paper. Analysis will address the following questions: What are young people's health concerns related to water, sanitation, and hygiene at school? How can a gender lens deepen understandings of health and WASH issues in schools? What are the possibilities and limitations of a participatory visual approach in exploring WASH issues in schools?

Indicative timeline

Starts: November 2021

An appropriate timeline and analytical plan will be co-developed by the intern and the mentor in a way that combines the intern and mentor areas of expertise and interest. The intern will be expected to attend weekly mentorship meetings and to share works-in-progress. The timeline will take into consideration the epistemic nature of writing, and how analysis also occurs through writing. Throughout the 4-month period, the intern will also be invited to join a writing group and attend other relevant webinars and workshops in the areas of gender and education, WASH, and participatory visual research to support the analytical process.




Task description



Orientation to the project: Introduction to the project; Reviewing the timeline and setting specific objectives; Identifying key bodies of literature and possible target journals.



Orientation to the dataset: Gaining familiarity with the dataset, transcribing visual data; Reviewing relevant literature; Developing paper outline and analytical approach.



Deep engagement with the data I: Conducting analysis, keeping analytical memos; Reviewing relevant literature; Revising paper outline and target journal as needed.



Deep engagement with the data II: Conducting analysis and writing; Reviewing relevant literature; Writing sections of the publication.



Manuscript development: Writing a first full draft of the publication.



Manuscript revision: Feedback and revision on multiple drafts; Reviewing additional literature as needed.



Manuscript submission


Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be enrolled in a doctoral program and be a QPHRN student member (post-doc fellows are not eligible for this project); 
  • To avoid any conflicts of interest and to ensure an equitable selection process, students 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 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: 
    • Research or practitioner experience in one or more of the following areas: WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), health, and/or education in Global South contexts, particularly from a gender perspective;
    • Scholarly training and experience with qualitative analysis and writing. Work with visual methods is an asset; and
    • Research and/or community-based experience working with communities or youth in a participatory way.
  • 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 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 for submission: 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 the candidate’s skills and experience (related to the project in question), the quality of their CV, and 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).