The major goal of the UAB Public Health/Biomedical Research Training Program (UAB MHIRT) is to train and promote the professional development and participation of underrepresented minority students in international biomedical and behavioral research. This will contribute to the cadre of researchers engaged in tackling and reducing health disparities in populations. The program will recruit and train 8 undergraduate, 1 professional and 2 master's students annually for five years. Each trainee will be matched with a research project at a foreign sites in one of the six countries: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana; Kumasi; Institute for Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Guatemala City, Guatemala; Western Regional Health Authority, Ministry of Health, Jamaica; University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya; Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) Lima, Peru and Management for Development and Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Trainees will receive pre-departure training and post-training follow-up from UAB Faculty Mentors. Pre-departure training will include training in research ethics, cultural orientation and scientific methods such as experimental design, data collection and analysis and use of scientific equipment. Trainee research projects will be based on collaborative research between the sponsoring institution and UAB. Research topics include infectious diseases (HIV, malaria, leishmaniasis, intestinal helminths), maternal and child health, nutrition, chronic diseases (diabetes, cancer), and health care service delivery. Once overseas, each trainee will perform research and collect and manage data under the guidance of a Foreign Mentor. Trainees are required to write a final paper based on their project data under guidance from the UAB and foreign site mentors that can be submitted for presentation at a national or international conference and for publication. The program is budgeted to cover travel, living and research expenses for trainees, and provide each trainee with a monthly stipend while overseas. UAB Faculty Mentors may travel to the foreign site once each year, and 2 Foreign Mentors may travel to UAB for collaborative work each year. The program will be evaluated annually for achievement of the specific objectives and overall effectiveness.
The purpose of the application is to train undergraduate, graduate and health profession underrepresented minority students in international biomedical and behavioral research annually. This will increase the number of proficiently trained researchers who understand health disparities populations and contribute to reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. and around the world.
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