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About our program:

Mental health research and policy development is poised for significant growth. In Malawi, known as “the warm heart of Africa,” the country’s first psychiatrist in a generation completed medical training two years ago. The Malawi College of Medicine enthusiastically supports expansion of its mental health faculty and research. Multiple funded mental health research grants provide a rich opportunity for mentored research experiences, and the Ministry of Health mental health unit is committed to translating research to practice. We will employ a model to accelerate mental health research capacity across the lifespan in Malawi that
emphasizes three complementary dimensions: depth, breadth, and reach. This initiative builds on the strong training track records of and successful collaborations between UNC-Chapel Hill, the Malawi College of Medicine, the Malawi Ministry of Health, and many other partners.

Specifically, we will

  1. train 4 clinical psychiatry researchers and 5 postdoctoral mental health research
    fellows who will participate in leadership training, short courses, mentored research projects, writing
    workshops, and conference attendance, (depth);
  2. hold broad initial stakeholder meetings to prioritize research and policy questions, require cross-specialty collaboration in mentored research projects, co-sponsor an Annual Mental Health conference, enhance mentorship skills among in-country faculty, and sponsor regular mental health journal clubs for a broad audience (breadth);
  3. extend the impact of these researchers through leadership and policy translation training, require collaboration with a policymaker in mentored research projects, and hold a policy translation meeting at the end of the project period (reach).

The Malawian Program for Mental Health Research Training (WARMHEART) will create an expert pool of mental health researchers trained as leaders and able to collaborate with other disciplines and policymakers to address the role of psychiatric illness across the lifespan.


Principal Investigators: 


Program Application Information Forthcoming. For more information in the meantime, reach out to the Fellowships and Training Programs Office.