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Call for Applications: 6th Intermediate Operational Research Training 2023 Course

Updated: Mar 2


Background

As part of a comprehensive research capacity initiative, Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima (PIH/IMB)-Rwanda has led five intermediate operational research trainings (IORTs). Over the 12-month course, trainees receive three weeks of face-to-face training and in-person and distance mentorship to develop, implement and write-up a research project culminating in a scientific manuscript per group.


Over the five training cohorts, this course trained 73 colleagues, including staff from PIH/IMB, the Rwanda Ministry of Health (RMOH) and the University of Rwanda-College of Medicine and Health Sciences (UR-CMHS), working on different research projects. In addition to sharing lessons of success and challenges of health program implementation learned from these projects with peers and policy makers, these projects have resulted in 31 papers published and more are under review.

The next IORT will start the week of March 20th - 24th 2023. This training will focus on research related to 1) Non communicable diseases, 2) child health and 3) social support for better health care at the three RMOH district hospitals and satellite health centers supported by PIH/IMB in Rwanda.


Applications are welcome from staff of district-based or central-based MOH, PIH/IMB, University of Rwanda-College of Medicine and Health Sciences (UR-CMHS), University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) and the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC). Interested applicants will apply to lead specific research topics (listed in the application). For each topic, we will select two trainees that will complete the training together and be co-first authors on the resulting manuscript.


Each investigator team will receive three weeks of intensive training starting March 2023 through March 2024. During the 3 training sessions, teams will receive information on the following competencies: refining a research question, literature searches, writing research proposals, designing studies, data collection, data analysis, writing a research paper, and dissemination. Teams will have time in the training to apply the concepts to their own projects and will receive real-time mentorship during that week from a course mentor and a paper research assistant. The team will also receive remote support from the course mentor and RA after the week-long training sessions while they complete their training milestones and interact with other co-authors. The training will be “completed” when the training team has published their manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.


Logistics

All training related costs such as materials, approved training/research travels and accommodation will be covered. Funds will also be provided as needed and as available to support the implementation of the research (data collection, data entry, printing, books, software, and publishing fees). Note, trainees will agree to participate fully in trainings and follow-up for the benefit of skills gained; no per diems or incentives for research participation will be provided.


Eligibility

Any district-based or central-based RMOH staff, PIH/IMB staff, UR-CMHS staff/fellows/faculty, UGHE staff/fellows/faculty, or RBC staff are eligible to apply. PIH/IMB staff will be required to use education leave to complete the training, approximately 18 days over the twelve months, and must have enough days to do so. Each applicant must block out the week of 20 – 24 March 2023, one week in July 2023 and November 2023, dates TBD and communicated, for the training sessions and must be available for these sessions.


Proposal submissions

Applications must be submitted using this link https://forms.office.com/r/GkEaNuc1NH no later than 5pm on March 6, 2023. Late submissions will not be accepted. Applications should be limited to three pages and use the template provided. The applicant should specify which of the research topics they are applying to and can apply for up to two different topics. The application must include a letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor that includes a statement that they can miss work for the three training weeks.


Selection criteria

Proposals will be reviewed and scored by the PIH/IMB Research Committee, the research leads for the projects and leadership of the applicant’s respective institution. The scores will be based on: demonstrated research interest and/or experience, the impact of the research training on the individual’s ability to improve his/her work, the previous experience in the topic selected by the applicant and the training priorities of the applicant’s employing institution. Selection will be announced by the end of the second week of March 2023.

Note: If you have any questions at any point of your application, please contact Carol Mugabo at cmmahoro@pih.org


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