Research Training Collaborative Cohort 2 Advancing New Projects

Members of URTC study standing together and smiling toward the camera.

In July 2018, students and mentors gathered to recognize the efforts of the first cohort of student teams and launch the second cohort of the Research Training Collaborative (RTC). It is not an easy group to get together! At 1 pm in Uganda, students and faculty members from Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology, greeted old and new colleagues for a lunch in Kampala. At 6:30 am in Minnesota, colleagues logged on remotely to join the presentations and discussions.

The gathering began with the RTC Cohort 1 presenting the progress and results of their research projects that they originally proposed in Jan 2017. The RTC is a research training program for students from the University of Minnesota and participating institutions in Uganda to gain hands-on experience in global health research by formulating their own research question, designing a study, collecting and analyzing data, and disseminating their findings. In interdisciplinary teams, they are mentored by faculty from both Minnesotan and Ugandan institutions as they advance a small scale research project over the course of 12 to 18 months. After presenting their studies, teams and mentors were recognized for their achievements and contributions by faculty co-directors, Drs. David Meya (Makerere University) and Joshua Rhein (University of Minnesota).

Cohort 2 was formulated in early summer 2018 and this gathering was an opportunity to present their research plans to faculty mentors and student colleagues. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Cohort 2 will be advancing research projects in three teams:

  • One Health Team: Evaluating Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Toxoplasma gondii in Uganda
  • Infectious Disease Team: Development, implementation, and assessment of an antimicrobial stewardship program at a university hospital in Uganda
  • Reproductive Health Team: Implementation of neonatal jaundice management among preterm newborns in selected Ugandan health facilities: a quality improvement study

Next steps for each cohort vary - for the teams completing or nearly complete with their studies, they are drafting manuscripts in preparation for journal submission or conference presentations. One team is even planning future studies together as co-investigators. For teams just beginning the program, they will learn more by participating in online trainings on data management, human subjects research regulations, and planning a strategy to implement their studies while they draft study protocols for mentors to review.

Learn more about RTC Cohort 1 & 2 students and mentors.