RSTMH announces small grant awardees 2018

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Monday, 9 July 2018

We can finally announce our small grant awardees for this year. It’s such a great feeling to award funding to worthy research projects, especially knowing that many of the awardees would not have been able to find grants of a similar size and scope anywhere else.

We’re now very excited to see the impact that this research will have on the awardees’ careers, the field of tropical medicine and global health and on people’s lives around the world.

© Pearl Gan in association with Oxford University Clinical Research University, Vietnam, EOCRU, Jakarta and The Wellcome Trust
© Pearl Gan in association with Oxford University Clinical Research University, Vietnam, EOCRU, Jakarta and The Wellcome Trust

Our 2017 strategy launch brought about some changes to our small grants programme. Members and non-members could still apply, but, if successful, non-members are being asked to join the Society to receive their award and subsequent support. The maximum amount of small grants remained the same at £5,000.

Revamped application and review process

The grants are primarily designed to be used for seed funding a new idea or concept.

The application and review process are designed to be short and straightforward and less demanding than larger grants, thus making them more accessible to researchers applying for funds for the first time.

From this year, we’re pleased to say that we will be providing more support for our grant winners and aligning their work with our other activities. The thematic areas highlighted in our new strategy will also be prioritised.

Huge increase in applications

There will be more communication between RSTMH and the awardees, through emails, reports and blogs that we will share with you. We also hope to foster a community of awardees on and offline, for them to share their experiences and best practice.

In 2017, we received 216 small grant applications. This year, we received 624 applications from people in 52 countries.

We conducted a full breakdown and analysis of all the applications, to see what sectors, topics, geographies and more they represented.

You can read more about the breakdown in a recent blog.

It was a huge team effort to go through all the applications, assess each one individually and finally decide on our RSTMH small grant awardees 2018. We, of course, could not have done this without our group of Global Assessors who were extremely generous in offering their time and expertise.

The winners

Now that all those who have been awarded a small grant have been contacted, we can announce 15 of the RSTMH small grant awardees 2018.

They are: Mr Diego Cantoni, Dr Øystein Haarklau Johansen, Miss Mieguim Ngninpogni Dominique, Mrs B.M.C. Randika Wimalasiri Yapa, Dr Catherine Anscombe, Dr Jerry Joseph Hella, Dr Lilian Nkirote Njagi, Ms Prossy Namuwulya, Dr Clare Elizabeth Warrell, Ms Yamuna Devi Bakthavatchalam, Ms Alejandra Garcia Glaessner, Mr Gert-Jan Wijnant, Mr Patrick Heard, Dr Daniel Becker and Dr Kingsley Nnanna Ukwaja.

Huge congratulations to you all from everyone at RSTMH.

Huge variety in the applications

We recognise this leaves a large number of applicants who have not been awarded. We’re currently in the process of pulling together those that our assessors felt delivered strong applications and are talking to our partners about whether they may be able to assist any of them.

We will be in contact with all applicants who we can’t award by the end of this week.

We are delighted at the depth and breadth of the research being proposed by our awardees.

Topics we are excited to be funding include the structure and function of the Ebola virus, molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in Ethiopia, new and re-emerging causes of measles-like illness in Uganda, melioidosis as a cause of pneumonia in Yangon township clinics and urbanisation and zoonotic infections.

Our awardees also span the globe being based in North and South America, South and East Asia, Europe and Oceania, as well as East, West and Central Africa.

Further opportunities

The process was extremely competitive and we’re grateful for everyone who put so much effort into their applications.

In recognition of this, we are currently looking into funding options for a group of applications who narrowly missed out on funding. We’ll provide periodic updates on this process.

The huge number of applications we received, we hope, will also provide evidence for the case that such small grants are hugely lacking in our field.

We hope, in turn, to secure more funding so as to increase our number of awardees in 2019.

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