TDR survey shows effectiveness of training program

January / February 2018 | Volume 17, Number 1

A recent publication detailed the effectiveness of TDR's career development efforts targeting scientists in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, is a global effort to combat diseases of poverty, hosted at the WHO and sponsored by UNICEF, the UNDP, the World Bank and WHO.

Published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the article examined survey responses provided by 77 former TDR grantees. The vast majority, 89 percent, were still working in research and most of them said TDR support was a very important factor in their career achievements. The brain drain phenomenon towards high-income countries was low, with 96 percent of trainees returning to their region of origin on completion of their degrees.

About 80 percent of respondents reported having participated in multidisciplinary research activities; women engaged in multidisciplinary collaboration to a higher extent than men. However, only a minority of all have engaged in intersectoral collaboration, an aspect that TDR noted would require further study.

Trainee data are being collected on an ongoing basis in TDR Global, the network of global health experts and grantees that was, in part, set up to follow alumni in more detail and provide them with a mechanism for more frequent input into program development.

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