The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana in collaboration with the Research and Development Division of the Ghana Health Service, and with funding support from the World Health Organization (through TDR, The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) has instituted an international postdoctoral training scheme in implementation research (IR) on infectious diseases of poverty. This type of research addresses health system related issues and bottlenecks that limit access to and scaling up of already proven health interventions.
Postdoctoral training is an important step in a research career and provides opportunities to develop independent research themes, innovation and mentorship soon after completion of a doctorate degree. This postdoctoral programme is designed to develop a cadre of competent researchers to address health care implementation bottlenecks, identify optimal contextual approaches and promote the uptake of research findings in relation to controlling infectious diseases of poverty. TDR in partnership with NMIMR, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, and the Research and Development Division of the Ghana Health Service will provide postdoctoral training for nationals of Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) in implementation research; up to 6 postdoctoral fellowships are available in the first round of this scheme.
Priority thematic areas
These thematic areas encompass research topics that aim to unravel the underlying factors contributing to inequity and low/poor access to health services and interventions in countries, in relation to TDR’s mission to foster an effective research effort on infectious diseases of poverty and promote the translation of innovation to health impact. Applicants are invited to submit proposals to conduct research in any of the thematic areas listed below:
- Effective prevention and control of communicable diseases
Studies that are aimed at identifying and finding solutions to barriers limiting the effective implementation of national strategies for the control / elimination of malaria, TB, yaws, leprosy, Buruli ulcer, filariasis and other neglected tropical diseases.
- Bridge the equity gap in geographical access to health services
This thematic area encompasses research topics that aim to unravel the underlying factors that contribute to inequity including low/poor geographical access to health services and interventions in countries. It focuses especially on research efforts to identify options for accelerating the implementation of the community-based or other forms of health planning services that brings services closer to the uncovered populations, with a focus on the impact on the burden of infectious diseases of poverty.
- Sustainable financing for health care delivery and financial protection for the poor
Under this thematic area, research focus is to identify factors and issues relating to the effective implementation of comprehensive health financing strategies, strengthening public financial management and accountability systems in the health sector, and increasing the coverage and efficiency of national health insurance schemes to the poor, with a focus on the impact on the burden of infectious diseases of poverty.
- Improve efficiency in governance and management of the health system
This is aimed at reviewing the existing health sector leadership and management programmes with the view of providing evidence to support improved efficiency, with a focus on contributing to a decreased burden of infectious diseases of poverty. The health sector of many countries is undergoing reforms, including some levels of decentralization. Within this thematic area, studies that focus on understanding optimization of the health sector in a decentralized setting, especially with the well-performing national disease programmes or that will lead to deepening stakeholder (public, private and community) engagement(s) in the health system are highly encouraged.
- Improve quality of health services delivery
Gaps in quality health care delivery and patient safety persist in many LMICs and constitute barriers in their struggle to effectively address health needs of large segments of their populations. Research in this thematic area may include studies that evaluate the rational use of medicines, assessment of health facility, security and safety from the perspectives of health worker and clients, and studies that assess quality assurance programmes, with a focus on the infectious diseases of poverty. Research aimed at improving supply chains including measures to ensure commodity security and availability of medicines as well as improving response and management of epidemic emergencies and strengthening the referral system are other examples of studies under this theme.
Please note that all the research will be conducted in Ghana. However, the research areas must be centred in one of the thematic areas described above and also be of relevance to candidate’s home country.
- Applicants must be nationals of LMICs and should have completed within the last 18 months a PhD., MD/PhD or equivalent degree in public health disciplines relevant to control of infectious diseases of poverty. Applicants from LMICs in any of the 6 WHO regions compete equally.
- Applicants must be highly motivated, possess strong research and conceptual skills and be interested in developing novel research approaches and themes.
- Individuals should have proven abilities to organize and execute research projects with minimal supervision and perform independent work, and document the results to a high standard.
- Applicants must have strong written and oral communication skills in English. Experience in supervision and training of junior professional staff is desirable. Applicants must also have the ability to work in an inter-disciplinary research environment involving collaborations with other staff of NMIMR, Ghana Health Service and officials in the health system.
- Applications from women are strongly encouraged.
Successful candidates will be engaged by the NMIMR at the Research Fellow grade on a year’s contract, renewable one time for an additional year based on satisfactory performance. Individuals will be responsible for developing their research protocols, obtaining the necessary ethical approvals and conducting all the required research under the auspices of NMIMR and the GHS.
How to apply
The complete application package should include the following:
- the applicant’s CV
- one page motivation statement
- letters of recommendation with contact information from two (2) referees
- the applicant’s proposed research project in one of the thematic research areas described above using the Application and Proposal Development Form attached
The supporting statement should set out how the applicant’s qualifications, experience and training are relevant to the training programme. This is an essential part of the application and failure to provide this information may disqualify the application. Statements such as “see attached CV” will not be considered an adequate response.
Details and the full application can be found at: postdoc.noguchimedres.org/who_training.html
Electronic copies of the application package should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copies may be mailed to:
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
University of Ghana
P.O. Box LG 581, Legon
Tel: +233-302-501178 ext. 2441
Deadline of application submission:
Applicants should send both electronic and hardcopies of their applications to the Coordinator of the Post-Doctoral Office by December 31, 2016 (18.00hr GMT).
Notification of award
Successful applicants will be notified and will be expected to commence the fellowship soon after but not later than March 1st 2017.
Below is the Link to the WHO/TDR Reporting Guidelines for Implementation and Operational research.
TDR’s mission is “To foster an effective global research effort on infectious diseases of poverty and promote the translation of innovation to health impact in disease endemic countries.” TDR’s experience in research capacity strengthening (RCS) in developing countries in the past 40 years includes supporting individuals' education and training through fellowships and scholarships; implementing learning by doing programmes for specific skills; supporting mentorship programmes to complement academic programmes; establishing national and international training and research centres of excellence; and developing networks and collaborative research projects.
About Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR)
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) is a high-profile African research institution that has the capacity to train researchers and equip them to address health research needs of countries and compete effectively for international funding. It is currently running a 2 year postdoctoral programme in biomedical research for young African scientists that is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The TDR-funded international postdoctoral training will build on the existing one to offer fellows international research exposure, and facilitate their networking and collaboration with other institutions. The Institute has a good track record in collaborative Implementation Research in Ghana with the 3 regional research centres in Navrongo, Kintampo and Dodowa of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) where fellows may be embedded for part of their fellowship.