LMIC: South Africa Institution: Stellenbosch University, Cape Town Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence: Building Biostatistics Capacity for HIV/AIDS Research This application is in response to the FOA "Limited Competition: Planning Grant for Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions" under the D71 grant mechanism (FOA PAR-13-214) and requests 2 years of support to plan and develop an application for establishing an Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence (ACBE) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The creation of a sustainable, multidisciplinary health research enterprise in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is of paramount importance for improving health, promoting development and advancing science in the region. The growth in HIV/AIDS and TB research activities has created a demand for well-trained methodologists who can contribute to the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of research studies and provide mentoring and training of the next generation of researchers. Locally trained methodologists, including epidemiologists, social scientists and (to a lesser extent) health economists are now available in many African countries. However, there remains a critical shortage of biostatistics expertise in SSA. Biostatisticians are integral members of research teams required for their skills in writing competitive grants, executing statistical procedures, conducting advanced data analysis, publishing in high profile journals and teaching biostatistics at the postgraduate level. To meet the demand for biostatistical experts, we propose to setup an ACBE at Stellenbosch University with a mission to build biostatistical capacity and advance methodological research in HIV/AIDS and TB research in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this application is to source funding for the preliminary work needed to establish such a center of excellence.
The specific aims of this application are: (1) to develop an organizational framework for a Biostatistical Center of Excellence at Stellenbosch University;(2) to build collaborations with institutional HIV/AIDS and TB research projects;(3) to establish collaborative links with international, national, and regional institutions;(4) to develop preliminary biostatisics curricula for a Masters degree program and short courses and identify staff development needs;(5) to identify a pool of potential trainees and develop a recruitment plan;and (6) to organize and submit an application in response to the D43 FOA. We will use consultative meetings with stakeholders, experts and site visits to achieve our objectives. An Africa Center for Biostatistica Excellence is a direct response to one of Fogarty's strategic plan of building sustainable research environments through centers of research excellence. These research "hubs" are a way to enrich and sustain the research capacity of an institution by linking it to other sites withn a country and across a region. Our proposed Center for Biostatistical Excellence will complement training efforts in other areas of HIV/AIDS and TB research across the SSA region.

Public Health Relevance

LMIC: South Africa Institution: Stellenbosch University, Cape Town Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence: Building Biostatistics Capacity for HIV/AIDS Research The scale of the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics in SSA demands that institutions invest in local research capacity to design and evaluate appropriate context-specific interventions. Biostatistics plays a central role in the design and analysis of all public health and biomedical research. However, there is a huge shortage of qualified biostatisticians not only in SSA but world over. Innovative biostatistics training programs are needed to meet the demand for locally trained biostatisticians. An Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence with the mission to provid biostatistical consultative services to the numerous HIV/AIDS and TB research projects in SSA and provide training in biostatistics is ideal and overdue.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
International Research Training Planning Grant (D71)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Mcdermott, Jeanne
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Stellenbosch University Tygerberg Campus
South Africa
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