Overview

 

As one of the five supported consortia, the UJMT (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Tulane University) Program has supported over 130 trainees with mentored research training over the past five years. Click here to know more about the UJMT Program. The UJMT experience is rich and rewarding, providing a springboard for further global health research and opening doors for research careers. For example, alumni Stephen Pan noted: “supported by outstanding mentors and staff, the UJMT program enabled me to work alongside leading global health researcher teams and successfully transition from graduate school to university faculty.” In order to know how UJMT partners (in-country collaborators, fellows, alumni, and others) have grown from their experience as researcher, mentee or mentor, SESH proposed a UJMT contest using crowdsourcing methods.  

 

The call for entries was launched on January 16, 2019 and disseminated through social media, blog posts, emails, and in-person events. Guidelines and other details on the call for entries were published on the SESH website.

Results

 

At the end of the call, the contest received a total of 47 submissions from 14 different countries.  A simple and transparent judging system was used to evaluate the entries. All submissions were screened for eligibility by two independent judges. After screening, 44 submissions were eligible, which included one video, 23 images, and 20 text submissions. All eligible submissions were then evaluated by at least three independent judges from the UJMT Contest Steering Committee. At this stage, each case was assigned a score between 0 and 10 based on two main criteria: 1) demonstration of impact and 2) capacity to inspire. Those submissions with high standard deviation (greater than 2, for which there were 5 submissions) were reviewed by five total judgesAt the end of the judging process, 10 submissions total were selected as finalists, with 5 in the text group and 5 in the image group.

Finalist submissions

 

Congratulations to Lily Gutnik, Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire, Sarah-Blythe Ballard, Thomas Miles, and Joseph Tucker for being selected as the top five finalists in the text group; Amy Sanyahumbi, Brian Hall, Hunter Holt, Chileshe Mabula and Robbie Flick in the image group. 

“Breast cancer is a fascinating disease on biologic, oncologic, surgical, psychosocial, economic, and public health levels. As such, it is truly a multidisciplinary field at the forefront of innovation. As a future breast surgeon with a strong commitment to population health, I want to blend my clinical, research, and public health skills to become a leader in global breast cancer. This passion all began with my Fogarty year.”

— Lily Gutnik, Malawi, 2014-2015

“The guidance and lessons on grantsmanship I picked up are unforgettable and I continue to pass on these same skills to the people I mentor. Since then, I have submitted three successful grant applications, published seven peer-reviewed manuscripts as first author, and mentored four junior scientists.”

— Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire, Uganda, 2015-2016

“The hard and soft skills honed during my Fogarty Fellowship have helped me in unpredictably positive ways since the fellowship.”   

                                                                                            — Sarah-Blythe Ballard, Peru, 2013

“I came away with more than a dissertation. UJMT gave me the opportunity to build the skills necessary for global health research in addition to a foundation with which to launch my global health career.  It gave me a network of skilled individuals, like-minded researchers, collaborative partners, and lifelong friends that I feel confident will shape my career and research trajectory for years to come.  For me, this experience was transformative in every way.”

 — Thomas Miles, Peru, 2017-2018

“In Spanish there is a word (untado) that means “to get something smeared on your body” (not just advising from a distance). To know a thing requires getting it smeared on you. My Fogarty year allowed me to get the career of global health on smeared me - my commitments (learning the local language), my friends (local collaborators), my rhythms and routines (waking early), my life (meeting my wife). Now if you look at me, there are many little bits of global health smeared on. For this, I am forever grateful.”

— Joseph Tucker, Guangzhou, China, 2008

Dr. Amy Sanyahumbi was a Fogarty Fellow with UNC Project Malawi from 2011-2013.  During that time, she completed her project on Cardiac Dysfunction in HIV Positive Children.  She is now an assistant professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine / Texas Children’s Hospital, and now again lives in Malawi after being awarded a Fogarty K01 Award for her project, “Improving Adherence to Benzathine Penicillin Among Children with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD).”  RHD can develop after a Group A Strep infection, and primarily affects those in resource-limited settings such as Malawi.  RHD primarily affects older children and young adults as they are entering into the peak time of productivity.  It is now estimated that RHD affects 39 million people worldwide, which is more than HIV. Dr. Sanyahumbi has dedicated her career to preventing and improving lives of children with RHD.

                                                                                 

I am a Zambian medical doctor interested in a career in clinical research. I have limited experience with bench-work but am very keen to learn. Working with Megan Smithmyer (UJMT Fogarty Fellow 2018/2019) has given me a huge amount of confidence to try new lab techniques: she is extremely friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and has also introduced a journal club which has added another learning dimension for our research group here at UNC Global Projects Zambia.

                                                                                    —— Chileshe Bwalya, Zambia, 2018-2019

​​​​​​The support of these fellowships proved invaluable in shaping my career for several reasons. Most importantly, it provided the opportunity to immerse myself in Malawi for two consecutive years. This allowed me to develop meaningful personal and professional relationships, to learn from my Malawian friends and colleagues, and to begin grasping the intangible lessons that are critical to pursuing research in this unique setting. Further, hands-on experience under the mentorship of experienced faculty members at UNC Chapel Hill provided critical lessons on all steps of the research process, from proposal writing, to quantitative analysis, to manuscript preparation. Together, these fellowships helped to both cultivate my understanding of how to conduct meaningful research, and helped me lay the groundwork for my own research career.

                                                                                                              —— Robbie Flick, IGHID

The One Billion Rising campaign aims to highlight the difficulties of migrant domestic workers. In this photo, UJMT Alumni Prof. Brian Hall, stands in solidarity with migrant Indonesian Domestic Workers. The UJMT fellowship bridged Prof. Hall to China, where he has lived and worked for the past 6 years.                                                                                                 

I took this photo during my fellowship year in China. My study screened Chinese migrant women for cervical cancer and HPV infection. I took this photo as participants filled out their surveys. In the photograph this nameless woman is about to be screened for cervical cancer, a preventable disease that still kills hundreds of thousands of women each year.  The data will be collected, analyzed and inform future studies and possibly policies that could change how migrant women are screened for cervical cancer across the China.

The NIH UJMT Global Health Fellowship gave me this moment and countless others like it. These moments, the mentorship, skills and friendships I made as a Scholar continue to inspire me and give me the confidence and resolve to pursue a career as a primary care researcher.

                                                           —— Hunter Holt, China

Next Step

 

The UJMT experience is rich and rewarding. We are glad to be able to share the most inspiring, innovative and impressive submissions to showcase the UJMT program. Online media tools will be utilized to promote the UJMT program and attract more people to participate in global health research. 

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