There is a dearth of tobacco science in Romania and no strategy to build the capacity for rigorous, trans disciplinary tobacco control research. We propose to build the capacity of Romanian scientists to conduct high-quality tobacco research and simultaneously enhance the capacity of Hungarian scientists as leaders in tobacco control research in Central and Eastern Europe. Scientists from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of T?rgu Mure_, Romania, Davidson College, NC, USA, and Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary will be the primary partners. They will be joined by colleagues from 11 other institutions. We propose to fill scientific voids by translating a highly successful tobacco research and capacity building project (R01TW007927-01) from Hungary to Romania-a neighboring Central and Eastern European (CEE) Country with shared culture and history. Scientists from the United States who provided mentoring to Hungarian scientists in the original grant will partner with a subset of the Hungarians and provide mentoring to a new cohort of Romanian scientists. Taking advantage of our experience and success in Hungary, the international mentoring team will: (1) Conduct new rigorous, trans disciplinary, high impact tobacco research in Romania by filling strategic gaps and by building the individual capacity of tobacco scientists;(2) Create institutional capacity tht will support scientists and advocates engaged in tobacco research;and (3) Translate research findings into programs and policies to reduce tobacco use in Romania. Collectively this group will carry out seven research projects with emphases on tobacco prevention and cessation, reduction of secondhand smoke exposure, inclusion of vulnerable populations, intervention-oriented research, and research that is strategically designed so that the results will inform programmatic and policy change. Together, the three country partners will create a strategic, well-coordinated plan to disseminate findings from the mentored research proposals to ensure they are translated into programmatic and policy initiatives to curb tobacco use. Ultimately, the research findings will serve as a catalyst for future action-oriented science, and to support innovative tobacco- control interventions in Romania, and to motivate tobacco-control partnerships with surrounding countries.
Tobacco science in Romania is underdeveloped and the country lacks a strategy to build the capacity of scientists to conduct rigorous, high-impact tobacco control research. With estimated daily smoking rates of 31- 37% for adults and 24% among children, the need for actionable tobacco research is critical. We will build individual and institutional capacity for a sustainable network of scholars dedicated to tobacco research in Romania.
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