To address Kenya's health challenges and improve service delivery in HIV/AIDS, Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) and Mental Health, in-country research output in these fields needs to be increased and institutions that have proven research training capacity are best placed to take on this challenge. The primary goal of the proposed program is to develop a 2-year training research program that builds research skills and provides opportunities for mentored research and grant writing for faculty at three Kenyan Universities (University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University and Maseno University. These three institutions have forged a close research partnership with support from the UoN Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grant. The program will be implemented by the UoN which is Kenya's largest and most highly ranked institution in partnership with the University of Washington (UW). The program builds on the foundation laid by the UoN MEPI program and the more than 30 year UoN-UW research collaboration. Three related scientific areas will be addressed: HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and MNCH. The program will be led by Dr Dalton Wamalwa, Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health who is currently leading a Fogarty funded UoN-UW Research training program that focuses on MNCH at UoN and Carey Farquhar Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and director of two large NIH funded Research training programs.
The first aim of the program is to build research skills in epidemiology, biostatistics and implementation science through a structured curriculum consisting of didactic and online courses at UoN and UW. This will be completed during the first year of the 2-year program.
The second aim i s to mentor the trainees to develop and design research projects in their respective fields of interest, disseminate their findings and develop a grant application using pilot data from the projects in the second year of training program. A total of 15 junior faculty trainees will complete the 2 - year training over the 5 year grant perio with 5 junior faculty trained in each scientific area.
The third aim will extend the reach of the program to wider faculty and strengthen the research environment in UoN, KU and Maseno Universities. This will be achieved through short courses in grants writing, increased circulation of Funding Opportunity Announcement s among faculty, regular forums for discussing research ideas and annual networking meetings that bring together faculty from the 3 Kenyan Universities as well as UW. Pre-and post-award management of grants will also be strengthened.
The proposed program will train junior faculty from three Kenyan Universities UoN, Kenyatta and Maseno Universities in research skills, mentored research and mentored grant writing to build a pool of scientists able to address Kenya's health challenges in HIV/AIDS, Maternal Newborn and Child Health and Mental Health. The resultant research output in these areas will result in better policies and service delivery in HIV/AIDS, MNCH, and Mental Health.