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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 145–148 | Cite as

How Can PhD Research Contribute to the Global Health Research Agenda?

  • Susan H. WalkerEmail author
  • Veronic Ouellette
  • Valéry Ridde
Commentary

Abstract

We propose that PhD and post-doctoral researchers are a strong, untapped resource with the potential to make a real contribution to global health research (GHR). However, we raise some ethical, institutional and funding issues which either discourage new researchers from entering the field or diminish their capacity to contribute.

We offer a number of recommendations to Canadian academic and non-academic institutions and funders, and aim to generate discussion among them about how to overcome these constraints. We need changes in the way graduate research is organized and funded, to create opportunities to work collaboratively within established low- and middle-income country (LMIC)/Canadian research partnerships. We urge changes in the way institutions fund, recognize, value and support GHR, so established researchers are encouraged to develop long-term LMIC relationships and mentor new Canadian/LMIC researchers. We ask funders to reconsider additional GHR activities for support, including strategic training initiatives and dissemination of research results. We also encourage the development of alternative institutions that can provide training and mentoring opportunities.

GHR per se faces many challenges. If we address those that reduce our potential to contribute, we can become real partners in GHR, working towards equitable global health and solutions to priority health issues.

MeSH terms

Global health world health international cooperation public health education public health professional international educational exchange 

Résumé

Dans ce commentaire, nous avançons que les chercheurs postdoctoraux et les doctorants disposent d’un potentiel important pour contribuer de manière significative à la recherche en santé mondiale (RSM). Cependant, nous relevons un certain nombre de contraintes éthiques, institutionnelles et financières qui peuvent décourager ou limiter la contribution de ces nouveaux chercheurs.

Nous proposons certaines recommandations aux établissements de recherche canadiens, universitaires ou non, ainsi qu’aux bailleurs de fonds, et nous souhaitons susciter des discussions concernant la manière d’agir afin de limiter ces contraintes. Nous suggérons des changements dans la manière dont les recherches étudiantes sont entreprises et financées, afin de créer des occasions de travail concerté a l’intérieur de partenariats déjà établis entre le Canada et les pays à revenus faibles ou moyens (PRFM). Nous réclamons des changements dans la manière dont les établissements financent, reconnaissent et valorisent la RSM de sorte que les chercheurs établis soient encouragés à développer des relations à long terme avec les PRFM et à agir comme mentors pour les nouveaux chercheurs du Canada et de ces pays. Nous demandons aux bailleurs de fonds d’envisager le financement d’aspects particulièrement difficiles de formation et de diffusion des résultats localement dans le contexte de la RSM. Nous encourageons également la mise en place de nouvelles structures pouvant organiser des formations et offrir du mentorat.

La recherche en santé mondiale fait face à de multiples défis. Mais si nous relevons ceux qui sont défavorables à notre contribution, nous pouvons devenir de réels partenaires de la RSM dans le but d’améliorer l’équité en santé et de trouver des solutions aux problèmes de santé prioritaires.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan H. Walker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Veronic Ouellette
    • 2
  • Valéry Ridde
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health Care and EpidemiologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Faculté de médecine, Unité de santé internationale, Centre de recherche du CHUMUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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