Dear Applicant: Prospective Ph.D. Student

Thank you for your application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (SHPPPH) at the University of Venda for the academic year 2023.

Your application has passed the first stage of the selection process and it is now entering the second stage of the selection process which will be by means of the concept paper presentations.

See details of the concept paper presentations attached.

NB: A copy of your Concept Paper should reach the co-coordinator not later than 17 February 2023). Any paper received after the due date will not be considered.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Manganye BS
Department of Public Health
Faculty of Health Sciences on behalf of the Acting Executive Dean
Tel: 015 962 8424

1. Introduction

Your concept paper must be developed along this guide. Ensure that a copy of your concept paper reaches the Co-ordinator( not later than Friday 17th February 2023. Any paper received after the due date will not be considered.

2. Layout

  • Text font Arial
  • Font size 11 in general, size 11(CAPITAL LETTERS) for Title and chapter headings (e.g. Introduction, Methods …)
  • Line spacing – use 1.5 lines
  • Insert page number on bottom centre

3. Sections

Topic: Must be precise

The cover page must include the title, your name, and contact details (Cell number and email address).


  • Brief background where relevant and current literature is presented pertaining to the topic area. Demonstrate that you are familiar with the central concepts and information relevant to your study.

  • Provide a rigorous motivation regarding how this study will make an original contribution to the knowledge base of the discipline

  • The problem statement and motivation– conceptualization and contextualisation of the problem.

  • The study goal and objectives

  • Briefly justify describe and justify the conceptual/theoretical framework applicable to your study(if any)

Research Methodology: 2 Pages

Provide a detailed, practical explanation of your research plan i.e. what you actually intend to do. Avoid lengthy theoretical explanations (e.g. definitions of what a sample is etc.), except where you are using less familiar methods. Avoid quotations from the literature, but do back up your statements with citations, using specialised relevant methodological literature.

As a general guide, provide:

  • A brief introduction to the study approach and design (e.g. qualitative or quantitative, mixed methods, etc.).
  • Define the population, sample, sampling method and recruitment activities. Be as specific as possible, e.g. give intended sample size and motivation for sampling method.
  • Describe the methods of data collection (tools, recording, etc.). For quantitative tools, provide evidence of reliability and validity of the tools. For qualitative tools, provide the scope of the kinds of questions that will be asked, showing how these will help to answer the research questions.
  • Describe how you will analyse your data.
  • For qualitative studies, briefly explain how you will enhance the trustworthiness and rigour of your study.

Ethical Considerations: not more than one page

Explain the relevant ethical procedures you will follow (informed consent, voluntary participation, anonymity etc.)

Reference List(Harvard or APA)

List only sources that are cited in the body of the concept paper/proposal. (No bibliography)


List all papers presented at conferences (Oral/Poster)

List all publications, awards etc


The evaluation panel will take into cognizance the following:

4.1. Presentation structure

  • Logical flow (Title, Brief background, problem statement, purpose/Aim, research approach and design)
  • Understanding of the relevant research design and methods
  • Purpose/Aim
  • Coherence
  • Skills (communication, ability to drive points home, language usage,
  • Time management

4.2. Engagement

  • Articulation/ critical/logical thinking etc.
  • Understanding of policies etc.
  • Exhibition of potential to engage in research activities

4.3. Concept paper (Not part of the presentation)

  • Structure
  • Conceptualization
  • Relevance
  • Provide a rigorous motivation regarding how this study will make an original contribution to the knowledge base of the discipline

4.4. Theoretical/conceptual frameworks

  • Relevance and applicability

4.5. Contributions of the study to the body of knowledge
4.6. Referencing:

  • Proper citations – in text and reference list etc.)
  • Consistency



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