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Joint SEARO/TDR Small Grants Scheme for Implementation Research in Infectious Diseases of Poverty

The World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO), in collaboration with the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), is pleased to announce the 2016 call for applications for the Joint SEARO/TDR small grants scheme for implementation research in infectious diseases of poverty.

All proposals should address key public health challenges related to such infectious diseases of poverty as tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and other emerging infectious diseases.

TDR is the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, based at the World Health Organization and co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO. It supports research on infectious diseases of poverty that leads to health improvement, strengthened research capacity of the individuals and institutions in developing countries, and implementation strategies and solutions that respond to health needs of these countries. It also supports translating research results into policy and improved health practices, and promotes the engagement of individuals and communities in using research evidence to reduce the disease burden in their countries.

The priorities of this call focus on the challenges facing disease control programmes in the South-East Asian region. In recent years, several of the regional policy statements on the control of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and other emerging infectious diseases, have specifically underlined the need to undertake implementation research to facilitate the achievement of national programme goals. Similarly, the Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) of the South-East Asian region at its 34th Session identified a gap in research capacity to address the challenges of diseases of poverty especially in countries with less developed research capacities and marginalized populations. In addition, it prioritized the need to enable research that addresses ongoing needs and fostering newer areas for research.

Research priorities
All proposals should address key public health challenges related to such infectious diseases of poverty as tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and other emerging infectious diseases and include approaches such as:
  • Implementation research on factors required for improved effectiveness, efficiency and appropriate adoption of new and existing interventions and public health delivery models.
  • Innovative approaches to engaging health professionals in delivering services both in public and private sectors.
  • Innovative ways to stimulate health systems approach and sustain community demand for and participation in major public health interventions.
  • Research on feasible interventions to increase case detection and access to public health facilities as well as evidence of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Knowledge gap related to an operational/programmatic issue that has a direct policy and programmatic relevance.
  • Health systems, health service delivery, community-based approaches or qualitative research topics in the context of the diseases listed above.
  • Social, economic and behavioral research that examines social determinants or their interaction and co-morbidity with non-communicable diseases.

Eligibility criteria
  • Proposals are invited from researchers and health professionals working in disease control programmes of ministries of health, other health sector partners, universities, research institutions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) of the South East-Asian region. Applications from SEAR Member States with limited health research capacity and/or research infrastructure are especially encouraged.
  • Proposals must clearly illustrate how the knowledge gap addressed by the research is relevant or important in the context of strengthening local health systems or disease programmes. The proposals must be of duration of no longer than 12 months.

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