Impact of the Fogarty Training Program on Trainee and Institutional Research Capacity Building at a Government Medical College in India

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Annals of Global Health

Background: Strengthening health research is essential to inform public health policies. However, few research training programs have systematically measured their impact on capacity building and most evaluations have been limited to reporting of individual trainee metrics. Hence, we conducted an evaluation of the impact of a five-year training program focused on building both trainee and institutional research capacity at a public medical college in India.

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to assess the individual and institutional research capacity building of a five-year HIV-TB research training program at Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College in Pune, India, supported by the US National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center. In addition to documentation of the number of trainee research projects initiated, the number of research papers produced by the Fogarty Scholars (FSs) available on PubMed was calculated. The institutional impact of this program was assessed by documentation of research training activities conducted by the FSs, as well as by surveys and in-depth interviews conducted at the beginning and end of the program.

Results: Twenty-one mid-level BJGMC faculty were provided training in HIV-TB research competencies. Between 1 April 2014 and 1 April 2019, 13 of these FSs designed and implemented new IRB-approved research studies and contributed to 49 PubMed listed research papers, including 11 first-authored manuscripts. FSs also conducted 36 journal club discussions, mentored 58 student research projects and conducted 5 institutional research method workshops. Pre- and-post-program surveys and in-depth interviews documented a perceived increase in institutional research capacity, particularly in TB research (epidemiology, clinical research, laboratory research). The impact of the Fogarty Training Program on institutional scientific output was perceived to be marginally improved.

Conclusion: The Fogarty Training Program had a significant impact on building individual research capacity. To sustain this impact beyond the five years of Fogarty support, additional governmental and institutional resources, the establishment of dedicated space for faculty research and protected faculty time for research are needed. These findings can inform the design and implementation of future health research capacity building initiatives.

Dhumal G, DeLuca A, Chandanwale A, Kadam D, Joshi S, Kinikar A, Gupte N, Mave V, Gupta A, Suryavanshi N, Bollinger RC. 2020. Impact of the Fogarty Training Program on Trainee and Institutional Research Capacity Building at a Government Medical College in India. Annals of Global Health. 2020; Jul 28: 86(1), p.86. DOI: PMID: 32775217; PMCID: PMC7394206.