LMIC: South Africa Institution: Stellenbosch University, Cape Town Scientific Area: Biostatistics for HIV research design and methodology Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence: Building Biostatistics Capacity for HIV/AIDS Research This application is in response to the FOA ?Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low- and Middle-Income Country Institutions? under the D43 grant mechanism (FOA PAR-16-279) and requests 5 years of support to build biostatistics capacity for HIV research design and methodology and establish an Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence (ACBE) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The creation of a sustainable, multidisciplinary health research enterprise in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is of paramount importance for improving health, promoting development and advancing science in the region. SSA continues to experience a disproportionate burden of both HIV/AIDS and TB relative to the rest of the world that has led to increases prevention programs as well as research activities to try and stop the pandemic. The growth in HIV/AIDS and TB research activities has created a demand for well-trained methodologists who can contribute to the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of research studies and provide mentoring and training of the next generation of researchers. Locally trained methodologists, including epidemiologists, social scientists and (to a lesser extent) health economists are now available in many African countries. However, despite various efforts in SSA, there remains a critical shortage of biostatistics expertise. Biostatisticians are integral members of research teams required for their skills in writing competitive grants, executing statistical procedures, conducting advanced data analysis, publishing in high profile journals and teaching biostatistics at the postgraduate level. To meet the demand for biostatistical experts, we propose to setup an Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence (ACBE) at Stellenbosch University with a mission to implementing high quality training programs in biostatistics to meet the HIV research needs and competitiveness of both Stellenbosch University (SU), and SSA region. The specific objectives of this training grant are to: (1) to build biostatistics capacity through a formal Master level academic program at Stellenbosch University; (2) to build biostatistical literacy among biomedical researchers through short courses in Sub-Saharan Africa; (3) to develop biostatistics teaching capacity through specialized seminars and staff development programs; (4) to setup the Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence; A Center for Biostatistical Excellence is a direct response to one of Fogarty?s strategic plan of building sustainable research environments through centers of research excellence. These research ?hubs? are a way to enrich and sustain the research capacity of an institution by linking it to other sites within a country and across a region. Our proposed ACBE will complement training efforts in other areas of HIV/AIDS and TB research across the SSA region.
LMIC: South Africa Institution: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town Scientific Area: Biostatistics for HIV research design and methodology Public Health Relevance: Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence: Building Biostatistics Capacity for HIV/AIDS Research The scale of the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics in SSA demands that institutions invest in local research capacity to design and evaluate appropriate context-specific interventions. Biostatistics plays a central role in the design and analysis of all public health and biomedical research studies. However, there is a huge shortage of qualified biostatisticians not only in SSA but world over. Innovative biostatistics training programs are needed to meet the demand for locally trained biostatisticians. An Africa Center for Biostatistical Excellence with the mission to provide biostatistical training and research support to the numerous HIV/AIDS and TB research projects in SSA is ideal and overdue.