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The UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows Consortium (UJMT)–a partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, Morehouse School of Medicine and Tulane University–has been renewed for the coming five years. It is one of seven groups to be funded under the new Launching Future Leaders in Global Health (LAUNCH) training initiative, supported by the Fogarty International Center, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, and other participating institutes. With $4.5 million expected over the coming grant cycle, the UJMT program will provide year-long, mentored research training opportunities at established international sites.

Left to right: Friday Saidi, MBBS, MMED (2019-2020 Malawi Trainee), Ben Chi, MD, MSc, and Wilbroad Mutale, MBChB, MPhil, PhD, a faculty mentor, at Bwaila District Hospital in Lilongwe.

The UJMT consortium comprises four top-ranked U.S. universities, along with academic institutions and research organizations across 16 countries. Over the past ten years, the overarching goals have been to train the next generation of global health researchers, foster collaborations between U.S. and international institution, and advance science across a range of topics. This grant renewal will enable the consortium to continue through 2027, leveraging international education and training as a means to improving global health.

A staff sensitization meeting in Uganda with Trishul Siddarthan, MD (2015-2016 Trainee), and William Checkley, MD, PhD, (John Hopkins PI), seated on far bench.

In the most recent grant cycle (2017-2022), Benjamin Chi, MD, MSc, Director of Fellowships and Training Programs for the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases (IGHID), and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, says the program has been particularly successful with over 100 predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows trained, both from the US and low- to middle-income countries. These scholars and fellows published nearly 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and many have gone on to successful and independent research careers. Included among international partners are longstanding UNC-Chapel Hill collaborators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, Vietnam, and Zambia.

“The Fogarty Global Health Fellowship was designed to address the need for in-country research while providing a rich training environment for researchers aspiring to global health careers,” said Myron Cohen, MD, IGHID Director. “We are pleased that this renewal builds upon the strengths of the current program, while addressing new priorities and needs in the field.”

Priorities for this cycle include a new emphasis on research leadership. “While our program has trained outstanding scientists, to date we have not focused intently on research leadership,” Chi said. One of the new features of the program will be a new Research Leadership Academy for Global Health. Other innovations include individually guided research training, novel efforts to connect our growing alumni community, new strategies to diversify the global health workforce, and a structured approach to evaluate program impact.

UJMT Fogarty trainees have studied a range of global health problems including HIV/AIDS, emerging infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, cancer, and reproductive health. With 252 doctoral scholars and postdoctoral fellows trained overall—and over $88 million in independent grant funding subsequently secured by its alumni—the UJMT program has had a profound and positive impact on global health science, trainee career development, and institutional research capacity.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, Carla Chibwesha, MD, MSc, is co-director of the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows Consortium. Kathryn Salisbury, MPH, is the administrative director. Learn more.