Professor Lucie Cluver

Lucie Cluver

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Professor of Child and Family Social Work

University of Cape Town, Honorary Professor, Division of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health

Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and with other international NGOs, to provide evidence that can improve the lives of children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lucie is lucky to work with an incredible and dedicated team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and colleagues. Together they lead large-scale longitudinal surveys and randomised controlled trials of interventions, combined with participatory qualitative research.


Lucie is a PI on several ongoing trials in Southern and Eastern Africa, all part of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Initiative – a collaboration between the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and academics to provide evidence-based non-commercialised child violence prevention programs for LMIC These include the Sinovuyo Teen trial (with Dr Franziska Meinck and Dr Jenny Doubt) – a cluster randomised trial (n=1100, 40 sites) of a program for families with adolescents, the Sinovuyo Kids trial (with Prof Cathy Ward at University of Cape Town and Dr Jamie Lachman) for caregivers of 3-9 year olds, and the Mphatlalatsane trial (with Prof Mark Tomlinson and Prof Lorraine Sherr) for parents of toddlers in Lesotho.

Working with a large and dedicated team in close collaboration with policymakers, Lucie has pioneered research on ‘cash plus care’ – examining the impacts of social protection and psychosocial care on adolescent health She has led three major longitudinal studies: the ‘Young Carers Study’ (2008-2012, with Dr Mark Boyes) was the world’s largest study of risk and resilience amongst AIDS-affected children, following 6000 children longitudinally in South Africa, the ‘Orphan Resilience Study’ (2005-2009 with Prof Frances Gardner) followed 1000 children over four years to identify impacts of orphanhood. Currently, she leads the first community-based large panel of HIV-positive adolescents and community controls, including 1500 adolescents in South Africa (with Dr Elona Toska), which integrates qualitative research led by Dr Rebecca Hodes (University of Cape Town).

The team’s work has won a number of awards, including the ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize (2017), the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2015), the International AIDS Society Young Investigator Award (2014), and the Discovery Clinical Excellence Award (2013). They have published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet Global Health, AIDS, JAIDS, J Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Social Science and Medicine, AIDS Care and Prevention Science.

Funders: European Research Council 'Horizon 2020', The Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, DFID and SIDA-Norad, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the Johnson and Johnson Global Health Programme, UNICEF, USAID-PEPFAR, Ilifa Labantwana, the Claude Leon Foundation, the National Department of Social Development South Africa, the World Health Organisation, the John Fell Fund, RIATT, and the International AIDS Society.


Lucie would welcome applications for D.Phils from students who are committed to policy and programming-relevant research and to helping mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS and family distress on children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Current DPhil Students

Previous Students

Lucie's previous DPhil students have gone on to be successful in academia, policy and practice:

  • Caroline Kuo (2010) - is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University
  • Lena Saleh (2012) - is the Director of Program Planning in HIV Prevention in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Tyler Lane (2013) - is a research fellow in the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University
  • Franziska Meinck (2014) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Beth Vale (2015) - is a researcher in humanities at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)
  • Jamie Lachman (2016) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Elona Toska (2017) -  is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town