Skip to main content

About Our Program:

Mental health research and policy development is poised for significant growth. In Malawi, known as “the warm heart of Africa,” the country’s first psychiatrist in a generation completed medical training two years ago. Kamuzu University of Health Sciences enthusiastically supports expansion of its mental health faculty and research. Multiple funded mental health research grants provide a rich opportunity for mentored research experiences, and the Ministry of Health mental health unit is committed to translating research to practice. We will employ a model to accelerate mental health research capacity across the lifespan in Malawi that emphasizes three complementary dimensions: depth, breadth, and reach. This initiative builds on the strong training track records of and successful collaborations between UNC-Chapel Hill, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, the Malawi Ministry of Health, and many other partners.

Specifically, we will

  1. train 4 clinical psychiatry researchers and 5 postdoctoral mental health research fellows who will participate in leadership training, short courses, mentored research projects, writing workshops, and conference attendance, (depth);
  2. hold broad initial stakeholder meetings to prioritize research and policy questions, require cross-specialty collaboration in mentored research projects, co-sponsor an Annual Mental Health conference, enhance mentorship skills among in-country faculty, and sponsor regular mental health journal clubs for a broad audience (breadth);
  3. extend the impact of these researchers through leadership and policy translation training, require collaboration with a policymaker in mentored research projects, and hold a policy translation meeting at the end of the project period (reach).

The Malawian Program for Mental Health Research Training (WARMHEART) will create an expert pool of mental health researchers trained as leaders and able to collaborate with other disciplines and policymakers to address the role of psychiatric illness across the lifespan.

Postdoctoral Mentored Research Fellowship

WARMHEART provides a two-year mentored fellowship opportunity for postdoctoral trainees with a PhD in a relevant subject from any recognized university. The fellowship is open to citizens of Malawi or other sub-Saharan African country. We are not taking applications for the fellowship at this time.

MMed Scholarship

WARMHEART provides MMed scholarship opportunities for Malawian trainees interested in psychiatry research. Candidates must apply and successfully be accepted to the MMed in Clinical Psychiatry program at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. The MMed includes both clinical and research training, and consists of two years at KUHeS and two years at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. We are not taking applications for the MMed scholarship at this time.

Principal Investigators:

Bradley Gaynes, MD, MPH (left) Professor, UNC Department of Psychiatry; Division Head, Global Mental Health
Kazione Kulisewa, MBBS, MMed (right) Head of Department of Mental Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences.