HIV Implementation Science Research Training Program

Investigator: John Metcalfe, MD
Sponsor: University of California Berkeley

Location(s): Zimbabwe


The  University of California, Berkeley (UCB)/University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/Stanford University/University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Fogarty HIV Implementation Science Research Training Program will provide multi-disciplinary training in support of implementation science research to physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and scientists at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), in order to strengthen the capacity of UZCHS to conduct high quality, innovative, and locally relevant HIV/AIDS research. The  training program builing on a > 20 year History of collaboration in HIV/AIDS-related research and training, will target current and future faculty of UZCHS; it will augment and strengthen the research training available in multiple departments of UZCHS (e.g. Medicine, Dentistry, Medical Microbiology, Pediatrics and Child Health, Community Health, and Obstetrics and Gynecology) in both the short and long term, enabling it to fill some of the many currently vacant faculty positions with individuals with the state-of-the- art training in disciplines required to conduct high quality HIV-related research, particularly studies that assess the impact of interventions or that compare the relative effectiveness of various strategies and approaches to scaling up Prevention and treatment activities (e.g. Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Informatics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Health Policy and Policy Analysis, and Economics) and thereby augment its ability to provide masters and doctoral level training to future generations of investigators from Zimbabwe.

Trainees supported by this program will either be enrolled in existing doctoral degree programs at UZCHS or, in selected circumstances, be current UZCHS faculty who may or may not already possess a doctoral level degree, but who require additional doctoral level research training. Trainees will spend limited blocks of time (i.e. blocks of a quarter or a semester at a time) in the U.S. at one of the participating U.S. institutions, where they will take advanced courses not available at UZCHS; receive mentoring for their dissertation or (non-dissertation) research at the planning stage and assistance withAnalysis, interpretation, and preparation of abstracts and manuscripts at the data Analysis stage; and benefit from other types of career development and faculty mentoring activities. They will also improve their classroom Teaching skills and receive instructional materials they can use to give courses once they return to Zimbabwe. Dissertation (or non-dissertation) research projects of the trainees, will, whenever possible, take advantage of data and biological specimens being collected through current collaborative HIV/AIDS-related research projects and HIV/AIDS-related prevention and treatment programs in Zimbabwe (e.g. through the NIH-funded UZ-UCSF Clinical Trials Unit and its ACTG, HPTN, MTN, and IMPAACT projects) and through work being done by PEPFAR-implementing agencies, or build on these projects, benefiting from the existing research infrastructure.

Trainees will be eligible to compete for and receive modest funding for their dissertation (or non-dissertation) research project, and those who successfully complete their doctoral degree (or other training) and remain on the UZCHS faculty will be eligible to apply for and receive modest funding to initiate a post-training research program at UZCHS. Priority will be given to HIV/AIDS-related research training and research that focuses on or relates to innovative Prevention strategies; scaling up and implementation of Prevention and treatment approaches; and impact assessment. In addition, because of its great importance as a cause of Morbidity and mortality in Zimbabwe, research and research training related to tuberculosis (TB) will be given high priority, especially when directly linked to ongoing UZ-UCSF collaborative studies of the incidence, transmission patterns, diagnosis, and treatment of TB and multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB). All trainees will receive training in the ethical issues involved when planning, conducting, and analyzing the results of human research studies. The result of the training program will be an increase in the number of faculty in multiple departmentsof UZCHS conducting high quality HIV/AIDS- and TB-related research that is locally relevant and that contributes to enhanced Prevention and treatment programs.