Since 1992 the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI, Pune, India) has led the training of HIV research scientists, contributed to HIV science on a global scale, and worked with policy makers to translate research into practice. Many of its founding members benefitted from training in rigorous research methodologies through the Johns Hopkins AIDS International Training and Research Program and built the present-day research and clinical trial infrastructure. With time, the lead scientists moved on to lead other national institutes, thus current NARI leadership overwhelmingly acknowledge the need for a structured, sustainable, in-country program that can be passed down through generations of NARI scientists and evolve with the changing needs of the India HIV epidemic. While NARI specializes in the conduct of clinical and behavioral studies, it would benefit from enhanced training in statistical applications, study design, and analysis tailored to clinical and socio-behavioral sciences. This proposal, Building a Research Analytic Initiative at NARI-India (BRAIN-I), aims to develop 1) a NARI-based Master of Science in Clinical and Behavioral Research (MSCBR) to sustain a pool of emerging independent HIV researchers trained in rigorous research methodologies, and 2) a NARI Scholars Program (NSP) for mid- and senior-level HIV scientists to receive advanced, research-tailored training in statistical applications an research methods to expand the scope of NARI clinical and socio-behavioral research. The planning process entails 1) an institutional needs assessment, 2) onsite meetings of the Curriculum Planning Committee (i.e. NARI, National Institute of Epidemiology, and Emory University collaborators) to review NARI research priorities and the needs assessment, to identify partner institute mentors for the NSP and MSCBR teachers and resources to integrate into BRAIN-I, to determine trainee eligibility criteria and recruitment strategies and structured training for MSCBR teachers, and to establish evaluation processes, 3) MSCBR sub- curricula development by cross-institute planning pairs, 4) MSCBR university accreditation, 5) Training Advisory Committee review of BRAIN-I curriculum and activities with subsequent revision and finalization, and 6) D43 submission.

Public Health Relevance

The National AIDS Research Institute (NARI, Pune, India) is the nodal HIV research institute of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR). With the new generation of scientists emerging and the research needs of India and global HIV epidemics evolving, the NARI leadership has overwhelmingly indicated the need for a long-term, on-site, rigorous training program in biostatistics and research methodologies in clinical and socio-behavioral HIV research. Through the 'Building a Research Analytics Initiative at NARI-India (BRAIN-I)' D71 planning grant, we propose to develop a Master of Science in Clinical and Behavioral Research for emerging researchers and NARI Scholar's Program for mid- to senior-level researchers in collaboration with the National Institute of Epidemiology (Chennai, India) and Emory University (Atlanta, USA).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Planning Grant (D71)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-H (57)R)
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Bansal, Geetha Parthasarathy
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National AIDS Research Institute
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