World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
Joint Small Grants Programme for Operational Research in Communicable Diseases
Call for Applications 2009
The Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), invites applications for the Joint Small Grants Programme for Operational Research in Communicable Diseases.  The programme is co-funded by the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office and TDR.  
The Small Grants Programme aims:
To facilitate and strengthen control-oriented operational research in selected communicable  diseases; and
To strengthen the research capacity of key individuals and institutions in countries of the Western Pacific Region.
In line with the above objectives, WPRO currently prioritizes research proposals which:
  • focus on operational research issues addressing programmatic gaps
  • originate from less developed and resource-constraint Member States
  • are submitted by institutions which have less developed research capabilities especially as far as qualified human resources is concerned
  • are submitted by young scientists or new researchers as principal investigators
  • target neglected and highly vulnerable population groups such as ethnic minorities.
  • target validation of new tools to further our understanding of the epidemiological characteristics of selected communicable diseases
  • are part of a broader research program contributing to fill unaddressed research gap(s)
This year, the Small Grants Programme in the Western Pacific Region will support research activities that meet the above-mentioned objectives and focus on the following communicable diseases: Food borne trematodiasis, cestodiasis, schistosomiasis, dengue, soil transmitted helminthiasis, yaws and leprosy.
Areas of research
  • Epidemiological studies including validation and use of new tools (e.g. GIS) to further our understanding of the epidemiological characteristics of communicable diseases of public health importance in the Region (e.g. multi-determinants of health and risk factor analysis).  
  • Social mobilization and behavioural impact studies to improve programme performance and impact.
  • Novel strategies in the prevention and control of communicable diseases (e.g. integrated vector control, multi-disease based interventions, integrated communicable disease surveillance) to increase program sustainability, performance and impact of programmes.
  • Novel strategies to increase access to treatment, up-scale mass treatment and sustain mass treatment conducted in line with programmes.
  • Impact assessments of Preventive Chemotherapy, COMBI and other strategies in communicable diseases prevention, control and elimination efforts. 
  • Economic impact and disease burden studies.
  • Innovative methods for promoting participation of the private sector in the prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • Epidemiological studies to determine public health dimension of one or more target diseases included in the present call for application.
Duration of the research:12-18 months
Financial support: up to 15,000 US$ per project
            Inclusion criteria
  • Applications are invited from researchers and health professionals working in communicable disease control programmes of Ministries of Health, other public health sector partners, public national universities and national research institutions in the countries of the WHO Western Pacific Region.
  • Those researchers who have completed projects approved in 2006-07 may submit a new proposal.
  • Proposals submitted should be developed in collaboration with the national control programmes of the ministries of health. Staff of the national control programme should be part of the research team.  This collaboration should ensure scientific soundness and co-authorship in the proposal and on any resulting publication or report. It should contribute to translate the research findings into policy and practice of the relevant disease control programmes.
            Exclusion criteria
  • Principal investigators working in WHO or United Nations agencies.
  • Projects that do not involve any of the above-mentioned diseases nor institutions.
How to apply
The principal investigator should submit the following documents:
    • Duly completed and signed research proposal form;
    • Letter of endorsement from the ministry of health or research institution; and
    • Ethical clearance from the designated institutional and/or national ethical committee if the proposed research involves human subjects;
    • Curriculum vitae of principal investigator.
The form should be completed in English.  An electronic version of the research proposal form, instructions for proposal preparation and curriculum vitae form are attached with this call for application. Information about ethical standards and procedures can be found at:  http://www.who.int/ethics/research/en/. Informed consent form templates can be found at:http://www.who.int/rpc/research_ethics/informed_consent/en/index.html.  
Deadline for proposal submission
The principal investigator should submit an electronic copy of the completed proposal form together with his/her curriculum vitae to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office not later than31st of July 2009.   Complete applications with original signatures, ethical clearance forms (if required) and endorsement letters should be submitted not later than 15 August 2009.
Selection process
Step 1: preliminary screening. The submitted proposals will be screened by August 31, 2009. All proposals that do not fulfil the eligibility criteria and or are not accompanied by the requested documents will be excluded from the selection process.
Step 2: in-house technical review. The proposals that pass step 1 will be subject to in-house technical review.  In-house reviewers will make recommendations based on scientific merit, relevance to disease control activities, and the potential for strengthening operational research capabilities in the grant recipient countries. The principal investigators who are not selected in step 2 will be informed by September 30, 2009.
Step 3: proposal improvement. The principal investigators whose proposals passed step 2 will be subject to a proposal improvement process. This is in line with TDR's capacity building functions. This process might take up to 1 month and involves extensive and frequent communication between principal investigator and our TDR focal point in WPRO.  
Step 4: WPRO's Technical Review Group's review (TRG). These proposals will then be reviewed by TRG. Those selected for funding will be informed by November 15, 2009.
Proposals may be mailed, faxed or preferably e-mailed to:
Regional Adviser
Malaria, Vectorborne and Other Parasitic Diseases
World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific
United Nations Ave. 
P.O. Box 2932 
Manila, Philippines
Phone: +632-528-9724/25
Fax: +632-521-1036
Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Further information on TDR's activities may be found at www.who.int/tdr