The overall objective of this proposal is the strengthening of interdisciplinary research capacity in Ghana, and at the University of Michigan (UM), to develop and test innovations in training methods and in research products to better address global health challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This focus reflects the situational analysis of the West African region suggesting: a) a dearth of junior-to mid-level researchers adequately prepared to seek and obtain extramural support for independent research endeavors, b) complex social, environmental, and health-related problems requiring innovations and interdisciplinary approaches to research to identify and rapidly implement solutions, and, c) the high potential for successful public health interventions resulting from research projects. Our strategies for achieving the goal of strengthening of research capacity for innovation focus on: a) comprehensive joint training of Ghanaian and US post-doctoral scientists who will become future leaders of global health research;b) the building of institutional capacities through a combination of strengthening faculty collaboration and mentoring skills, and development, testing, and dissemination of research training materials using state-of-the-art distributed learning methodologies;and c) strengthening an alliance of academic institutions with governmental organizations responsible for evidence-based implementation of developed innovations. Specific methods to achieve these objectives include: a) joint training and mentoring of Ghanaian and US post-doctoral fellows organized into interdisciplinary teams in intensive programs of 6 months of study at UM followed by 6 months in Ghana to field test innovations;b) bringing Ghanaian mentor senior scientists to UM with their postdoctoral mentees to cement Ghanaian to US mentor collaboration, strengthen mentoring skills, and ensure smooth transition to the conduct of field studies in Ghana;c) supporting UM faculty and information specialists to spend time in Ghana to providing ongoing mentorship for the post-doctoral interdisciplinary teams.

Public Health Relevance

Ghana, like most LMICs, faces complex health challenges. Strengthening interdisciplinary research capacity is critical for developing innovations to address these challenges. This proposal will accelerate building of a strong cadre of post-doctoral scholars who approach solving global health problems in a fundamentally different way: through innovation and interdisciplinary cooperation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-X (50))
Program Officer
Katz, Flora N
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
Zip Code
Wilson, Mark L; Renne, Elisha; Roncoli, Carla et al. (2015) Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana - Part 3: Social Sciences and Economics. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:8133-56
Calys-Tagoe, Benedict N L; Ovadje, Lauretta; Clarke, Edith et al. (2015) Injury Profiles Associated with Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Tarkwa, Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:7922-37
Long, Rachel N; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri (2015) Understanding the Social Context of the ASGM Sector in Ghana: A Qualitative Description of the Demographic, Health, and Nutritional Characteristics of a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:12679-96
Basu, Niladri; Renne, Elisha P; Long, Rachel N (2015) An Integrated Assessment Approach to Address Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:11683-98
Basu, Niladri; Clarke, Edith; Green, Allyson et al. (2015) Integrated assessment of artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Ghana--part 1: human health review. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:5143-76
Myers, Jonny; London, Leslie; Lucchini, Roberto G (2014) Neurotoxicology and development: human, environmental and social impacts. Neurotoxicology 45:217-9