Researchers at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in rural Uganda have been very successful in collaborations with US institutions to conduct innovative HIV/AIDS and HIV related research. This has thus far meant, however, responding to externally guided projects as a Site PI rather than leading a self- designed or community led project as the Primary PI (see Research Plan - Table 1). This is because MUST is a relatively young university (founded in 1989) and strong basic science and clinical research programs take time and capacity to build. MUST leadership is now aligned in supporting the pivot towards self-direction and has begun to seek and receive research capacity building grants from the NIH and elsewhere. And today, researchers are readying themselves to participate on the global stage, with the understanding that in order for them to be at their most competitive, will also need a higher level of administrative initiative, guidance, support (see Research Plan - Table 2). This proposal is carefully designed to meet the demand by putting forth a comprehensive training and mentoring program that is targeted to address the administrative area that the MUST research community themselves identified as most in need of improvement: the ?Research administration and management? function that is supported by this funding opportunity. If awarded, the MUST Research Implementation Committee (RIC) and UVA mentors will first record baselines and then set goals and deliverables with input from the TAC and MUST research community so that over the next three years, they will design and implement curricula to not only train the RIC but put in place standardized and sustainable processes and systems. This program will also develop MUST RIC mentoring and presentation skills, and finally, regularly assess progress and completion of actions and courses that will lead to skilled and efficient grant management support, successful proposal submissions, and over the medium and long term, obtainment of NIH awards as the primary recipient. Successful completion of the proposed aims will: ? increase the quantity of proposals submitted directly by MUST HIV/AIDS researchers; ? increase the quality of proposals submitted directly by MUST HIV/AIDS researchers; ? increase the number of awards made directly to MUST HIV/AIDS researchers; ? allow MUST researchers to better and directly address NIH's and their region's HIV/AIDS research priorities; ? lead to better outcomes for MUST's patient population and the communities it serves.

Public Health Relevance

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), located in rural Uganda, is home to passionate researchers who are poised to take the lead on research projects and scientific advancements throughout the region which will address the HIV/AIDS and related co-infection and infectious diseases that are so prevalent in the communities they serve. In order to make this important and necessary advancement however, the researchers must be fully supported by highly trained and knowledgeable research managers and administrators. This proposal presents a comprehensive and detailed training and mentoring program that is in direct response to the ?Research administration and management? function supported by this funding opportunity, which will ensure a fully integrated advancement over both the short, mid and long term by MUST's own research staff and enterprise.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Extramural Associate Research Development Award (EARDA) (G11)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Bansal, Geetha Parthasarathy
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University of Virginia
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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