The Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke Consortium (VECDor) brings the substantial and complementary expertise of experienced institutions to the Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program. The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has served as the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows (FICRS-F) Program Support Center since 2007, working with 87 partner institutions to nurture 419 competitively chosen pre- and postdoctoral trainees from the US and from 27 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Topics have included infectious diseases, cancer, heart and lung disease, stroke, diabetes, nutrition, behavioral and mental health issues (including substance abuse), women's and children's health, ophthalmic disease, oral health, neurology, and animal-human health. VECDor's highly experienced global health mentors are already working together in the US and LMIC partner institutions, selected as diverse, well-funded research sites in Africa (Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda), Asia (India, China, Vietnam), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico), and the Caribbean (Haiti). Using a highly efficient support center that maximizes the direction of funds to research training, and leveraging multiple sources of financial and in-kind co-funding, we will link with more than 68 T32 and other NIH-funded training programs and with minority institution partners to select and deploy 80 to 100 US and LMIC trainees with outstanding promise for research careers. VECDor will implement a strategic mentoring and trainee support plan across the consortium, including a substantial preparation phase prior to field deployment and continuing after the research year is completed, to ensure the highest quality research publications and scientific meeting presentations, and maximum trainee success in obtaining research and career development grants. Research themes will address all topic and geographical areas of interest to trainees and NIH Institutes and Centers, emphasizing both communicable and non-communicable diseases. We will document the Program's impact through a long-term monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan that tracks the career directions and outputs of all Fellows, using FIC's CareerTrac system, e.g., future employment, K grants, research grants, scientific presentations, and publications. We will further refine our existing web-based tools to share knowledge, foster local and global networking, and strengthen and sustain clinical research skills among global health fellows and alumni. We have brokered substantial institutional and site-based co-funding to leverage NIH resources. VECDor is built on the mutual respect of our US and global partners and our collective track record of research innovation and mentorship. Combining our extensive recent experience in research training program management, robust research funding bases in major diseases of global significance, renowned international research training partners and sites, and enhanced institutional co-funding commitments, VECDor will continue to nurture key members of the global health research workforce of the 21st century, as we have done within the incumbent FICRS-F program.
The Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke Consortium (VECDor) will nurture a new generation of global health researchers through a collaborative training program with overseas research institutions from low and middle- income countries with which our universities have worked for decades. Global health themes are inherently important for developing countries, but are also critical for Americans living in a globalized economy, as our citizens increasingly work and relate to countries with health challenges that may mimic or be quite divergent from challenges at home. Discoveries from research overseas can help at-risk and underserved persons in developing countries, and will expand our ability to address global health risks to Americans, helping protect and treat travelers, military personnel, and expatriates who are exposed or infected overseas.
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