Global health researchers receive $500K grant to build capacity and exchange global talent

March 27/2017


Public health researchers at the University of Toronto received funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Advanced Scholars Program to strengthen the capacity of tomorrow’s global health leaders. Professors Erica Di Ruggiero and Prabhat Jha received close to $500,000 over four years to enable global talent exchange and develop scholars who will improve maternal and child health (MCH) in Canada and four low- and middle-income countries.

Erica Di Ruggiero

Erica Di Ruggiero, Director of DLSPH’s Office of Global Public Health Education and Training

“This program will help build research capacity among scholars to use mortality evidence to improve maternal and child health outcomes and become engaged leaders in their countries,” said Di Ruggiero, Director of the Office of Global Public Health Education and Training at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

The funding will support the Statistical Alliance for Vital Events (SAVE) program through which 20 scholars — 50 per cent of whom are women — from Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Mozambique and Canada will learn to apply novel multidisciplinary research methods to improve MCH surveillance systems and link data to national MCH programs and policies.

Prabhat Jha

Prabhat Jha, founder of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital

“Counting the world’s deaths and finding out why people die provide much-needed evidence and accountability to produce a roadmap to better health, but essential surveillance systems are rare in most low- and middle-income countries,” said Jha, Dalla Lana Chair in Epidemiology and Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

“These scholars will be trained to develop routine, reliable, low-cost, long-term surveillance of health conditions that impact their respective populations, evaluate the success of interventions and improve accountability for health expenditures,” said Jha, who is also founder of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The SAVE program — a partnership between the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Collaborative Specialization in Global Health, and the Centre for Global Health Research — is one of 23 national research projects funded by the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Advanced Scholars (QES) Program that supports doctoral, postdoctoral and early-career level scholars to undertake global research projects.

The QES Program is managed through a unique partnership between Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and Canadian universities. It is made possible with financial support from the International Development Research Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Banner photo by UK Department for International Development via Flickr.