Though Africa has only 12% of the world's population, it bears the biggest burden of disease globally. This, coupled with an acute shortage of human resources for health and financial shortages, has caused a large proportion of health care resources to be diverted to curative medical practice, at the expense of public health practice. Operational research, a key component of public health practice has been grossly neglected, yet it is critical for evidence-based decision making. Various approaches have been used in an attempt to improve public health practice in Africa. One of these is the establishment of Field Epidemiology (and Laboratory) Training Programs (FE(L)TPs) in various countries. FE(L)TPs are competency-based training programs that train epidemiologists and public health laboratorians to deal with priority public health issues in their communities through field work placements that take up to 70% of trainees'time. The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) is a networking alliance of FE(L)TPs in Africa. With 11 member programs and over 500 graduates from the programs, public health practice in Africa is taking on a new face, as many of these graduates remain in their home countries where they influence policy and practice in health care. Through this project, we aim to promote evidence-based public health practice in African Ministries of Health by supporting FE(L)TP trainees to conduct research projects that enable them to attain competences as well as address Ministry of Health priorities. More specifically, we hope to support African Ministries of Health to carry out operational research through FE(L)TPs;monitor the progress of research projects of trainees supported by this grant;and promote the dissemination of the findings of such projects to promote evidence-based decision-making. We anticipate that this project will strengthen our existing collaboration with African Ministries of Health, and other local and international partners. More importantly, it is an opportunity for us to make a contribution towards improving the health of Africans through improved public health practice.