SEARO-TDR Small Grants Programme

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 2014 call for applications for the Joint SEARO/TDR small grants scheme for implementation research in infectious diseases of poverty.

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 malaria, tuberculosis, dengue and others, 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 identified a gap in research capacity to address the challenges of diseases of poverty especially in countries with low developed research capacities.

Research priorities
Applications should focus on intervention or implementation research on factors required for improved effectiveness, efficiency and appropriate adoption of new and existing interventions and public health delivery models, including innovative approaches to engaging health professionals working on public health both in public and private sectors. Proposals may also offer innovative ways to stimulate a health systems approach and sustain community demand for and participation in major public health interventions. Research on evidence-based and feasible interventions to increase case detection and access to public health facilities can be proposed. All approaches 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.

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). Applications are especially encouraged from SEARO Member States with limited health research capacity and/or research infrastructure.

The projects must have clear objectives linking clearly with issues and challenges faced in the disease control programme and should be completed within 12 months. It is highly recommended that the proposal be prepared jointly by the disease control programmes of ministries of health, research/academic institutions and/or NGOs. The collaboration should ensure scientific soundness and co-authorship of the proposal and, more importantly, the proposal should clearly describe how the research findings should be introduced into the policy and practice of the relevant programme. The proposal should also address how the collaboration would be sustained at all levels of project development and implementation and include a well justified budget, as well as information on additional funding or support available to implement the project.

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