Call for Applications: Postgraduate Dissertation Research Award

Project title: Developing A Double-Duty Food-Based Policy Bundle to Assure Healthier Diets In Ghana (Healthier Diets 4 Healthy Lives Project)

The Healthier Diets for Healthy Lives (HD4HL) Project is pleased to invite suitably qualified individuals to apply for a Dissertation Support Award for the 2022-2023 academic year. The award will be tenable at the University of Ghana.

Project Description: 

By 2030, non-communicable diseases are predicted to become the leading cause of death in Africa amidst prevailing challenges of infectious diseases, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies. Unhealthy food environments hinder progress in overcoming this double burden of malnutrition. There is increasing evidence for and recognition of the effectiveness of a set of policies that change consumer food environments and enable more nutritious diets. Food systems and public health experts, including the World Health Organisation, refer to them as “Best Buys” for their cost-effectiveness and feasibility for combating the double burden of malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries. Together, these policies aim to inform and empower; guide and influence; incentivize or discourage consumer action within their food environments. These are achieved through bold, and truthful information for all consumers; healthier food availability in public institutions and markets and adjustment of the relative price of foods to equitably promote health and economic value. Globally, an increasing number of countries are implementing these policies, although few from Africa have done so to date.

The HD4HL project aims to build evidence and mobilize multi-stakeholder actions toward developing a policy bundle for healthier and more equitable consumer food environments that reduce the double burden of malnutrition in Ghana. This project is jointly implemented by Ministry of Health, University of Ghana, National Development Planning Commission, Food and Drugs Authority and Coalition of Actors for Public Health Advocacy.

Specifically, the project seeks to:

  1. Develop, validate, and build consensus for a fit-for-local-purpose nutrient profiling system that allows for open, transparent categorization of foods and the determination of how policies will apply to locally available foods in Ghana.
  1. Generate and synthesise gender-responsive evidence on the impacts of policy actions aimed at equitably shifting the relative price, availability, procurement, and marketing of healthy and unhealthy foods.
  1. Facilitate understanding of pathways for effective policy adoption, implementation, and monitoring of outcomes for changing consumer food environments.
  1. Mobilise and strengthen the capacity of a coalition of public, private and social sector stakeholders critical to the effective development and implementation of evidence-based food environment policies.
  1. Strengthen collaboration and sharing of evidence and experience regionally in order to set food policy standards for African nations that may be followed or improved upon.

The successful student’s dissertation will contribute to one of the specific objectives of the HD4HL project (for more information please visit: https://www.hd4hl.orgOnly applicants currently enrolled in graduate level (masters) programme at the University of Ghana are eligible to apply. 

The Financial Support covers only the research project/dissertation expenses  

Students are responsible for their tuition fees for the duration of their master’s programme.

Other Benefits:

  • Regular seminars, presentations, and discussions with leaders in the field of food environment.
  • Professional development training and mentoring from HD4HL project team.
  • Participation in food environment stakeholder engagement meetings/workshops


All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents may not be considered.

  • Cover Letter
  • Personal statement in support of your application (including specific research interests in food environment and how you think the financial support will benefit your research career)
  • Complete academic CV, including any publications or research output
  • Copies of recent graduate transcript(s)


Please submit your application to by midnight GMT on 20 February 2023 using the Subject Heading: “HD4HL Master’s Dissertation Award”.



Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The successful candidate is expected to be engaged by 01/03/2023.

For further information contact: the HD4HL Project Secretariat via email < OR Telephone: 0248450626.

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