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NIHR Global Health Research Training Programme Placement and Collaboration Guide

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Published: 24 November 2023

Version: November 2023

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The Global Health Research Training Programme offers two schemes to support the training and academic career development of researchers in our Global Health Research programmes:

  • GHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration
  • GHR Cohort Academic Development Award.

The NIHR encourages collaboration between our GHR Programme awards in order to create synergies between them and ensure that the benefit of the funding is felt more widely than an individual GHR Programme award.

For the GHR SPARC, NIHR GHR Academy members can propose to undertake placements in lots of different parts of the NIHR. Each of these parts has a specific area of focus, with a wide range of facilities, expertise, and hosts a number of academics. This includes the NIHR Global Health Research Programmes and in the UK NIHR Infrastructure/’wider NIHR’ (non-ODA funded). Applicants considering a placement in a non-ODA funded part of the NIHR can refer to the ‘NIHR SPARC: Where Can I Go?’ guide.

For the GHR CADA, NIHR GHR Training Leads can collaborate on applications to propose a tailored programme of activities for their cohorts where the academic training and career development needs align. This includes collaboration between Training Leads in the NIHR Global Health Research Programmes.

Applicants for both schemes are encouraged to consider the list of NIHR Global Health Research Programmes within the:

  • NIHR Global Health Research Units
  • NIHR Global Health Research Groups
  • NIHR Global Health Research Centres
  • NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) Programme
  • NIHR Research on Interventions for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Programme
  • NIHR Global Research Professorships

The programme awards eligible to hold placements for an NIHR GHR SPARC and collaborate for an NIHR GHR CADA are listed below.

You may wish to consider a placement or collaborating with a researcher or research team in one of programme awards’ lead institutions or any of the associated ‘Official Collaborating Institutions’ (partner institution). You should contact the Training Leads/Programme Directors for more details on the partner institutions in the first instance, but you may wish to contact NIHR to confirm the institution you chose is named as an ‘Official Collaborating Institution’ on the GHR Programme’s current collaboration agreement prior to submitting your application.

This document will continue to be updated as we receive information from NIHR GHR Programmes. Where available, the website has been added to awards. Please use the NIHR Funding and Awards website to find out more information about programme awards you are interested in.

NIHR Global Health Research Units

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE-2) NIHR132826

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: The NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE) is a Global Health Research Unit focusing on respiratory health in Asia. Led by the University of Edinburgh and the Universiti Malaya, we aim to deliver low-cost, scalable policy and clinical interventions to reduce respiratory disease and death in Asia. Our partners are from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bhutan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka and so the network draws its experiences from a wide regional background. Our research programme and area of interest and expertise are infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and preventable risk factors. There is a different balance of research across acute and chronic conditions and working primarily with adults or children with respiratory illnesses. In addition to the three programmes of research, we have cross-cutting platforms that increase the ability of our partners to plan, undertake and implement the findings of research in their countries. These four platforms focus on, (in which we have expertise):

  • How to work with partners (stakeholder and community engagement and involvement)
  • Increasing the number of health professionals and researchers who are trained to undertake high quality research (education and capacity building)
  • Maximising the use and value of research data by sharing in safe and secure ways (open science, data and methodologies)
  • Enable eHealth innovations to increase access to accurate information, facilitate healthcare delivery and put evidence-based measures into practice (digital health and innovation)

Research experience could be gained in: Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, the leading cause of child death after the first month of life, and tuberculosis. Non-communicable diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Key preventable risk factors focused on respiratory conditions - tobacco smoking and exposure to air pollution. All these are coordinated under the four platforms; stakeholder and community engagement and involvement, education and capacity building, open science, data and methodologies, digital health and innovation.

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs:

  • Collaborative abilities
  • Conflict resolution
  • Networking proficiency
  • Mentoring and coaching expertise
  • Communication skills
  • Project management competence
  • Planning and administration skills
  • Senior leadership capabilities
  • Strategic research planning proficiency

Locations of placement/activities: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Germany

Contact: Dr Hana Mahmood, University of Edinburgh, hyahya82@yahoo.com

NIHR Global Health Research Unit and Network for Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease in South Asia NIHR132960

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • Epidemiological relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and Periodontal disease
  • Impact of Behavior change interventions
  • Metabolic profiling, Genomics, GWAS
  • Economic Impact of NCDs and Periodontal disease

Research experience could be gained in:

  • Epidemiological findings
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Genomics
  • Health economics
  • Community engagement and interventions

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs:

  • Data analysis
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Genomics
  • Health Economics

Locations of placement/activities: UK, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Australia

Contact: Dr Vinitaa Jha, Devki Devi Foundation, Max Healthcare, India, vinitaa.jha@maxhealthcare.com


NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Social and Environmental Determinants of Health Inequalities NIHR134801

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • Social Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Inequalities and Justice
  • Knowledge Integration
  • Data Discovery, Linkage, and Preparation
  • Evidence Synthesis, Evaluation, and Modelling
  • Population Health Measurement
  • Engagement, Involvement, and Communication
  • Sustainability and Capacity Building

Research experience could be gained in:

  • public health,
  • health inequalities,
  • epidemiology,
  • simulation modelling,
  • policy analysis,
  • policy evaluation,
  • natural experiments,
  • evaluability assessment,
  • evidence synthesis,
  • qualitative methods,
  • participatory research,
  • data linkage,
  • statistics,
  • geospatial analysis,
  • infectious diseases,
  • neglected tropical diseases,
  • chronic diseases,
  • child and adolescent health,
  • health systems,
  • vaccine effectiveness,
  • digital journalism,
  • community engagement.

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs:

  • Urban health and the science of cities;
  • gender and women’s rights;
  • social listening;
  • social development;
  • geopolitics;
  • environmental data relating to the amazon region;
  • human rights;
  • data visualisation;
  • one health approaches.

Locations of placement/activities: UK, Ecuador, Brazil

Contact: Dr Jon Olsen, University of Glasgow, Jonathan.Olsen@glasgow.ac.uk

Other Global Health Research Units

NIHR Global Health Research Groups

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Controlling Vector Borne Diseases in Emerging Agricultural Systems in Malawi NIHR133144

  • Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Vector-borne disease, Understanding and mitigating infectious disease in agricultural systems, One health approaches to controlling vector-borne disease
  • Research experience could be gained in: Vector surveillance, Malaria and schistosomiasis epidemiology, Ethnography, Vector control trial design, Policy analysis
  • Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs: Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
  • Locations of Placements/Collaboration: Malawi
  • Contact: Dr Chris Jones, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, chris.jones@lstmed.ac.uk
  • View Shire-Vec's website

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Community Food for Human Nutrition and Planetary Health in Small Islands (Global CFaH) NIHR134663

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Dietary assessment, food security, household surveys, community and stakeholder engagement, intervention co-creation along agroecological principles using 'living laboratories', agroecological assessment of food production, qualitative data collection and analysis

Research experience could be gained in:

  • Our project includes assessing dietary quality and food security in populations through household surveys, areas in which we have, as a project, experience and expertise.
  • Similarly, we have experience and expertise in the population based assessment of anthropometry, blood pressure and glucose intolerance (diabetes and pre-diabetes).
  • Our approach to co-creation is based on methods more typically used in the design of agricultural interventions than those in public health, in which public private partnerships are built in 'living labs'. This work is led by the agroecology group at the James Hutton Institute, in partnership in particular with the Western Philippines University (an agricultural and fisheries university).
  • Our agroecological assessment of local food systems follows methodology from the UN-FAO, and while we are learning about these methods, we do have agroecological and food system mapping expertise within the project from which others may wish to learn.
  • All partners in the Caribbean, Fiji and Philippines are highly experienced in community engagement, with each setting having somewhat different approaches and challenges from which lessons can be learnt.
  • We have a team that is experienced in the use of methods in qualitative data collection and analysis, including ethnographic observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. Experience includes engaging with individual community members (including citizen science approaches), households, health care workers, and policy makers.

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs: use of data management and analysis programmes, including quantitative data analysis; project management techniques; systems thinking; ecological and econometric modelling; sustainability assessment and biodiversity monitoring; skills in being an effective trainer / mentor.

Locations of placement/activities: UK, Barbados, Trinidad, Fiji, Philippines, Canada

Contact: Professor Creencia and Professor Unwin, University of the Western Philippines and University of Exeter, lotacreencia@gmail.com ; n.unwin2@exeter.ac.uk

NIHR Global Health Research Group on homelessness and severe mental illness in Africa (HOPE) NIHR134325

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • understanding experiences, preferences and opportunities for intervention to support people who are homeless and have severe mental illness
  • co-producing and piloting community-oriented interventions, including peer support and social contact interventions to reduce stigma
  • evaluating the impact of interventions and learning from implementation

Research experience could be gained in:

  • severe psychosocial disabilities/mental health conditions
  • complex intervention development and evaluation
  • ethnography
  • participatory action research
  • peer researchers
  • implementation research
  • disability rights
  • mental health measurement
  • social determinants of mental health

Locations of placement: UK, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya

Contact: Dr Phyllis Dako-Gyeke, University of Ghana, gyekenay@yahoo.com

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global Health and Palliative Care (GHAP): expanding access NIHR134440

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Palliative care, global health, oncology, chronic life limiting illnesses, health service strengthening

Research experience could be gained in: designing and evaluating complex interventions in palliative care

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs: research methodology and capacity building, especially for early career and emerging researchers

Locations of placement: UK, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Contact: Professor Klaus von Pressentin, University of Cape Town, klaus.vonpressentin@uct.ac.za

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Disrupting the cycle of GEndered violence & Poor Mental health among Migrants in precarious Situations (GEMMS) NIHR134629

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Hands-on experience in works around migration and health, gender based violence, mental health, precarity and their syndemicity ; relevant research methods, policy reviews and assessments, systematic and scoping reviews, ethnographies, country profiling and situational analysis, developing community of practise.

Research experience could be gained in: In addition to bespoke training modules, there will be opportunities to support the research team with ongoing research as well as create individual assignments to directly contribute to the researchers' interests while adding to the GEMMS overall ambit and works port folio.

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs: Critical Appraisal, Research Methods and Methodologies, PAR, Academic writing and collaboration.
Locations of placement/activities: UK, South Africa, India, Zimbabwe

Contact: Dr Roomi Aziz, University of Essex, roomi.aziz@essex.ac.uk, 

NIHR Global Health Research Group on Digital Diagnostics for African Health Systems NIHR134694

  • Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Digital molecular point of care diagnostics, Diagnostics based on host response to infection
  • Research experience could be gained in: Development, testing, and health system evaluation of diagnostics
  • Location of Placements: dependent on applicant and their needs
  • Contact: Professor Aubrey Cunnington, Imperial College London, a.cunnington@imperial.ac.uk
  • View Digital Diagnostics for African Health Systems' website

Other NIHR Global Health Research Groups

NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research

NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation

Burns Rehabilitation: A multidisciplinary program for burns management, treatment and prevention in low income countries NIHR203082

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • Prevention, treatment, and management of burn injuries in low- and middle-income countries
  • Developing and culturally adapting psychological interventions to improve mental health outcomes for people who have experienced burn injuries
  • Building research capacity and clinical capability for burns in Pakistan.
  • Our programme aims to explore the experience of burn survivors living in Pakistan and co-design a culturally appropriate rehabilitation intervention. We will test the clinical and cost-effectiveness of our complex intervention in a large trial, aiming to improve a hierarchical composite outcome including reduction of all-cause mortality, reduction of all-cause hospital admissions, and health-related quality of life.

Within our programme of work we are also setting up a National Burns Registry for Pakistan, delivering burn prevention and care education via social media campaigns, and engaging with policy makers, and aiming to improve the capacity and capability of early career researchers.

Research experience could be gained in:

  • Qualitative studies
  • Co-designing and culturally adapting psychological interventions to improve mental health outcomes for people who have experienced burns
  • Clinical trials
  • Health economic
  • Designing and evaluating mass social media campaigns
  • Community engagement and involvement
  • Research and clinical capacity and capability building

Locations of placement/activities: UK, Pakistan

Contact: Dr Amy Blakemore, University of Manchester, UK, amy.blakemore@manchester.ac.uk, 

Other NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation

NIHR Global Health Research Centres

NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Non-communicable Diseases and Environmental Change NIHR203247

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • Strengthening primary health care and essential public health services for non-communicable disease prevention and management in communities affected by rapid environmental change
  • Developing and evaluating multi-sectoral interventions that have dual benefits in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases and hazardous environmental exposures at the population level or environmental impact
  • Strengthening engagement of communities in the generation and use of evidence and advocacy for health and environment policy change

Research experience could be gained in:

  • Digital Health
  • Food systems research
  • Primary Health Care
  • Implementation Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Community Engagement & Involvement
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Pragmatic trials
  • Heat research

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs:

  • Community Engagement & Involvement
  • Policy Analysis
  • Research Capacity Strengthening

Locations of placement/activities: India

Contact: Dr Niveditha Devasenapathy, The George Institute for Global Health/India, ndevasenapathy@georgeinstitute.org.in

NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Multiple Long-Term Conditions NIHR203257

Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:

  • Multiple Long-Term Conditions
  • Digital technology to improve patient care
  • Primary care research
  • Community engagement and involvement
  • Trials

Research experience could be gained in: The NIHR GHRC for MLTC aims to transform care provision for people with MLTC in India and Nepal through integrated, technology-enabled, patient-centered health system intervention. We propose to engage communities across the study sites in Anakapalli and Jodhpur in India and Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchowk in Nepal to co-design, implement and evaluate a health system intervention comprising of electronic decision support, assisted telemedicine and patient-facing application.

Areas for potential collaboration to address training needs:
Statistical methods to quantify the burden of MLTCs from existing datasets
Health economics
Implementation science

Locations of placement/activities: UK, India, Nepal

Contact: Professor Shifalika Goenka, University of Leicester, UK, Shifalika.goenka@phfi.org

Other NIHR Global Health Research Centres

NIHR Global Research Professorships

The Missing Billion: Using participatory approaches to improve access to healthcare for disabled people in Uganda NIHR301621

  • Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: We are developing and testing a three component approach to improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities in Uganda. It consists of establishment of community groups of people with disabilities to identify and overcome issues with access to healthcare healthcare worker training on disability audit of healthcare facilities to promote accessibility. The placement is likely to be in the UK, although we could have a discussion about a placement in Uganda. It will involve supporting the research team in the development and implementation of the intervention, the analysis of pilot data, or undertaking complementary data analyses or systematic reviews.
  • Research experience could be gained in: Implementation of research projects in LMICs, quantitative or qualitative data analysis, systematic reviews.
  • Location of Placements: UK, Uganda
  • Contact: Professor Hannah Kuper, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, hannah.kuper@lshtm.ac.uk
  • View The Missing Billion's website

NIHR Global Health Professorship in Healthy Ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa NIHR302394

  • Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements:
    Formative phase of screening and intervention development for older people. Or geriatric curriculum development for undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Research experience could be gained in: Functional capacity of older people, medical education in Southern Africa
  • Locations of placement: UK, Zimbabwe
  • Contact: Professor Celia Gregson, University of Bristol, celia.gregson@bristol.ac.uk

NIHR Global Health Professorship Mitigating Chronic Respiratory Disease through the lens of Multi-Morbidity

  • Research Themes/ Areas of Interest/Areas of Expertise and Strengths for Placements: Better ways to diagnose and manage chronic respiratory disease in low- and middle-income settings.
  • Research experience could be gained in: Data analysis, clinical trials, respiratory diagnostic testing
  • Location of Placements: UK, Brazil
  • Contact: Professor John Hurst, University College London, j.hurst@ucl.ac.uk

Other NIHR Global Research Professorships

  • Developing a vaccine to prevent death from melioidosis in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus in low- and middle-income countries NIHR300791

  • Stopping mothers dying from sepsis in Africa NIHR300808

  • Preventing Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance in Africa NIHR301627

  • Arresting the HIV epidemic in rural South Africa: Using innovations in intervention design and evaluation to reduce sexual transmission of HIV in adolescents and youth. NIHR301634

  • Calling time on avoidable morbidity from asthma in African children NIHR302418

  • Advancing Research to Reduce Alcohol Related Harms -Lessons for Policy, Practice and Sustainable Development in India NIHR302421

  • Increasing newborn survival in low resource settings: harnessing real-time data, digital innovation and community engagement to improve newborn healthcare NIHR302422