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Grant Details

Grant Number: 2U2RTW010122-06 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Ahsan, Habibul
Organization: University Of Chicago
Project Title: 2/2 Bangladesh Center for Global Environmental and Occupational Health-Us
Fiscal Year: 2022


ABSTRACT: This is the renewal U2R application for the “Bangladesh Center for Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth)”- awarded along with the linked U01 grant in 2015 to the University of Chicago (UofC) and International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and selected US as well as local academic institutions to continue and augment complementary training expertise relevant to this proposal. The goal of the Bangladesh GEOHealth Center was to strengthen the research capacity of Bangladesh on pressing environmental and occupational health threats. During the current funding period, the Bangladesh GEOHealth Center has positively impacted on the foundation of environmental health research capacity in Bangladesh by training more than 200 students, young and mid-career researchers from diverse background through custom-designed in-country 2-day workshops and 2-week short-courses, and 16 fellows through US- based postdoctoral fellowships and 12-week (one academic quarter) training at the UofC. Evaluation of short courses and workshops in Bangladesh indicated increased knowledge and high satisfaction of the participants. The 16 fellows who received training at UofC have demonstrated outstanding research productivity in term of publications, presentations, grants, and career development. They produced 90 peer-reviewed publications during and after the training period. All 16 US-based fellows reported that they had cooperative and influential, mentor(s) during the training period and the trainees continued to receive guidance from the mentor(s) even after completion of the training. Despite these demonstrable impacts there remains a critical need for additional research capacity in Bangladesh to address the country’s huge environmental and occupational health burden given the acute shortage of researchers trained in modern environmental health research methods, especially data science and mHealth tools and techniques. In this renewal application, we propose to continue and augment our Bangladesh and US- based training activities through i. Workshops (2 day), ii. Short courses (1-2 week) iii. One academic quarter course work at UofC, iv. A master’s degree program (1-year) at UofC, and v. Postdoctoral training (1-year) at UofC. We will refine the training curricula that we used over the past 5 years to incorporate more materials on utilizing advanced technologies and analytical tools (artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), image analysis, mobile health (mHealth) data capture/analytics, exposure data science, etc.) for analyzing environmental health data with the existing materials, all of which will incorporate the linked U01 application’s research focus. A rigorous evaluation system will help the Administrative and External Oversight Committee to monitor and ensure program success. We have successfully implemented the current phase of the training grant, and we believe that our renewal training program will address critical gaps in environmental and occupational health research capacity, and bring benefit to a wide variety of researchers in Bangladesh.


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