Posted on 27 May 2008.
The UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) invites applications for the award of up to 10 grants in post-graduate training in health research in an academic institution in disease endemic countries. Particular attention will be paid to applications from the following: Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the United Nations; female applicants; applications proposing a local study programme; and Social science applications to health research.
This is a new type of TDR grant that replaces the Research Training Grants (RTG). While the focus of the training and development is the individual grantee, this new approach makes provision for development opportunities for the grantee’s home institutions in order to make improvements to research practices at the institution. Various training technologies will be utilized, including mentorship at different stages of development, and learning contracts.
TDR launched a new strategy in June, 2007, with a vision to foster “an effective global research effort on infectious diseases of poverty in which disease endemic countries play a pivotal role.” TDR’s new vision is realized through a three-pronged strategy: stewardship, empowerment, and research on neglected diseases. DECs should have a prominent role in setting research priorities that are responsive to the need of, and ensure relevance to, sustainable and optimal health impact for the poor. Stewardship provides a collaborative framework and information service for research partners, and empowerment ensures that scientists and public health professionals from DECs can become prominent leaders who initiate and lead research activities.
Description of the grant scheme
TDR Empowerment (also called Business Line 2) envisions a comprehensive, sustainable research capacity development programme. Both individual researchers and their home institutions are supported collectively. With the active engagement of the host academic institutes, the trainees are encouraged to develop into future research leaders and partners in capacity building for health research in DECs. TDR is particularly looking to strengthen capacity in applying social sciences in health research. For this year, only applications for doctorate studies will be considered.
The grant provides the following opportunities:
- Individual post-graduate training in health research. TDR is looking to develop a group of young scientists from DECs who will become leaders in their fields of study, and in initiating research projects that are relevant to their countries. This group of young scientists will be expected to strive for relevance, excellence and high standards of ethics in conducting health research for DECs.
- Relevant capacity development at the home institute and/or academic institute can be considered for optimal training of grantee.
The longer term outcome of the programme is enhanced DEC leadership and capacity, at individual as well as institutional levels, in relevant technical and research management. The programme expects the trained individuals and their institutions to play pivotal, leadership roles in conceptualizing and prioritizing research needs, harnessing resources to respond to needs, maintaining contacts with key stakeholders for research and capacity needs, and communicating the research results to the public. The home institution and the individual should garner a strong presence in the research community in the region, and ultimately become a resource for such leadership training in the region. The individual scientists who are trained by this grant should serve as the focal points in each of the institutes, and will be continuously supported and developed by TDR to become leaders, to take leading roles in initiating relevant research for their countries and region.