The depth and duration of training needed to mold an independent scientist needs two major foundational pillars. The first is an academic environment and the second is funding (for salary and research) to support the trainee such that he/she can experience/benefit from the environment. In Uganda, as is the case in most of sub-Saharan Africa, a particularly vulnerable period of training both in terms of environment and funding is that following formative didactic graduate training. There are several funding streams for Master's or Ph.D. degree training in Africa but few opportunities for comprehensive support after graduate training as scholars attempt to transition to independence. In the U.S., this post-graduate training is often accomplished by NIH """"""""K Award"""""""" programs, both at an individual and institutional level. K Awards are not, however, open to non- U.S. residents, and we are not aware of similar mechanisms sponsored by sub-Saharan African countries. To address the need for career development in the post-graduate period, the Mentoring/Career Development Core of the Uganda-UCSF Consortium on Prevention and Early Detection of HIV-associated Cancer will:
Aim 1. Bolster the overall environment for mentoring/career development in clinical and translational research at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) in Uganda. Patterned after a institutional K Award programs in the U.S., this aim will be achieved by the creation at the IDI of a weekly Career Development Seminar, specialized didactic instruction, teaching opportunities, and training of mentors.
Aim 2. Mentor and provide protected time for three emerging Ugandan principal investigators working in the field of HIV-associated malignancies as they develop their academic and leadership portfolio and mature towards independence. By again drawing upon the lessons learned from K Award funding in the U.S., three emerging Ugandan principal investigators will have a substantial fraction of their time supported for the conduct of research in area of HIV-associated malignancies and other scholarly activities intended to develop their expertise, credibility, leadership, and independence.
Aim 3. Award funding for pilot research projects to be conducted by emerging African scientists on topics related to the prevention and early detection of HIV-associated malignancies. With the assistance of an institutional commitment from UCSF, we will award each year in the funding cycle two grants of up $25,000 (direct cost) for pilot research projects related to the Consortium's research themes.
This project is bringing together scientists from both the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Uganda to study cancer and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. One goal is to build capacity in Uganda such that African researchers can begin to lead sophisticated research projects on their own. To address this, we will create a supportive environment for career development at the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda and provide salary support for several emerging scientists such that they have time for their work.
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