Meaningful reductions in maternal, infant and child mortality due to infectious diseases have been shown to be achievable using simple and low-cost interventions. Yet advances in maternal neonatal and child health have been uneven, and South Asia is among the regions where improvements in child survival have lagged behind. A sustainable infectious diseases research environment in Bangladesh requires local, well-trained practitioners of public health disciplines to design, manage, and analyze data from indigenous research projects and use research results to influence programs and policies with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with childhood infectious diseases in the country. With this training grant, we propose to recruit, train and provide career support to Bangladeshis who will staff local centers of excellence in childhood infectious diseases research in Bangladesh. Four post-doctoral candidates and six pre-doctoral students (three to a doctoral degree and three to a master's degree) will be identified and recruited to the program. Post-doctoral trainees will receive one year of training under the supervision of a JHSPH faculty mentor who will be assigned based on stipulated research interests of the postdoctoral trainee. The trainee will identify research and academic interests and cultivate the desired research skill sets in identifying and analyzing data, preparing research results for publication, grant writing, and participation in teaching courses and conducting seminars. Because this type of training has proven very valuable to our in-country training partners, we propose an increase the number of post-doctoral trainees from two in the current grant to four. Pre-doctoral training will be multi-disciplinary, concentrating on epidemiology, biostatistics, infectious diseases of childhood, nutrition and infection, behavioral science and responsible conduct of research. Enhancement in these and other areas of knowledge will increase the research skills not only of the trainees, but also of other Bangladeshi scientists conducting infectious disease research at our collaborating institutions. This training will be integrally linked to the research projects of participating faculty. Students enrolled in degree programs will design their thesis research for completion at the field sites, hospitals and/or laboratories of JHSPH and its partners within Bangladesh. In addition to these long-term training sequences, we will use short courses given at the JHSPH Summer Institutes and in Bangladesh to deliver training to other Bangladeshi health research professionals. The courses offered in Bangladesh will be new, responsive to specific field research training needs, and devised and taught by faculty from all partner institutions. Participating US and Bangladeshi institutions'research training program faculty are senior professionals with research, publication, and mentoring portfolios that reflect and advance the FIC's strategic goals of fostering a sustainable research environment in LMICs and building alliances for global health research and training.
The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health proposes to renew its research training program with partner institutions in Bangladesh to enhance in-country capacity for research, training, and policy direction on the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in newborns and children, which are major contributors to Bangladesh's burden of disease. Graduate students and post-doctoral trainees will, like the 4 pre-doctoral students and 2 post-doctoral fellows who have been supported by the program's current grant, receive didactic training at Johns Hopkins and conduct their thesis research at well-established field sites in Bangladesh, developing their research skills, enhancing their relationships with established Bangladeshi and international researchers in a global academic network, thus strengthening the next generation of professional leadership in Bangladesh for research that addresses the critical global health challenges of preventable infectious diseases in mothers, newborns and children. Short-term training offered at Johns Hopkins and in Bangladesh will enhance the research technical and administrative skills of in-country research professionals.
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