NIH announces new $20 million initiative to train early career global health researchers

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Global health researchers early on in their careers now have a new opportunity for mentored research in a developing country. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced Wednesday a new effort to award $20.3 million over the next five years to 400 physicians, veterinarians, dentists and scientists on nearly year-long fellowships at approximately 80 sites in 27 low- and middle-income countries. Eighty percent of the program’s trainees will be post-doctoral fellows, with 20 percent entering as doctoral students.

“The Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars program will provide five consortia of academic institutions with about $4 million each over five years, to support the training activities of a total of 20 partner institutions,” according to the NIH release. Fifteen NIH institutes and centers also plan to contribute financially to the cause. The individual consortia are tasked with developing and supporting the global health research training programs with focused mentoring and “diverse clinical research experiences” in low-resource settings.  HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health will all be studied, as well as chronic non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are responsible for a majority of mortality in developing countries.

The five universities leading the individual consortia are the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California Global Health Institute, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Washington at Seattle, and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

“In combining the enthusiasm of today’s young scientists with the knowledge and wisdom of America’s global health leaders, we are forming a powerful network to produce a new generation of stellar researchers capable of working in the global arena,” said Dr. Roger I. Glass, Fogarty’s director, in the NIH press release. “This program will leverage the considerable experience, relationships and infrastructure the 20 U.S. partners have built in developing countries around the globe, together with the depth and diversity of their subject matter expertise, to ensure our alumni are well-equipped to tackle the world’s most pressing health problems.”

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