Women Leaders in Global Health Challenge Contest​

While women who apply for a mid-career fellowship from WHO/TDR are just as likely as men to receive it, women have been less likely to apply. How do YOU think we can change this and develop feasible ways to increase women's participation in this fellowship? For example, we are looking for creative ideas to make the research year more flexible or spur more women to apply. Individuals who submit exceptional ideas will be supported to join the Women Leaders in Global Health conference in London this November. But more importantly, selected ideas deemed feasible by WHO/TDR will be implemented to increase women’s participation in the fellowship.


Learn more about the contest, please watch our video: https://youtu.be/471E8DTjlrY



Questions? Check out our guidelines, FAQ, or contact our challenge coordinator at womenglobalhealthchallenge@gmail.com


Guidelines for Submissions


Background 

The WHO/TDR clinical research and development fellowship (“the fellowship” in this challenge) provides support for mid-career individuals from low and middle-income countries (LMIC) to spend one year in a high-income country to learn about clinical research. Mid-career is defined as within 10 years of a medical degree or PhD. Over the past four years, 16-24% of fellowship applicants have been women and about one-quarter of all participants are women. But this is not a simple problem and we need your creative solutions. A wide range of concerns may discourage women from applying, including issues related to moving away from home (finding work for spouses and child care), administrative issues related to going from an LMIC to a high-income country (obtaining visas for spouses, children, and care-givers), and other obligations associated with caregiving. One former fellow explained, “Having worked in the laboratory previously, it was exciting to be involved in work that could see promising candidates become actual products given to communities to save lives. However, I had a baby under 2 years at the time and the thought of leaving her and my older child and husband for a whole year was heart breaking. Besides, I had already been away from my husband while undertaking my PhD in Europe! Was I doing the right thing?”. There may be other barriers that prevent women from applying for this fellowship. 


More information about the fellowship

The TDR program announces the fellowship at the end of November and the deadline is at the end of February. The application consists of a CV, demographic information, and answers to short questions. Evaluation criteria include scientific excellence (publications, grants), impact (influence on individual career and home institution), and implementation (plan for re-entering after the fellowship). Although there are TDR staff available for questions, they do not provide pre-application mentorship. There are six months between being selected and starting the fellowship. All fellows are from LMIC and join organizations in high-income countries for 12 months. Examples of previous recipients are here and here and more details about the fellowship is here. Find a previous example of the fellowship terms here.


How to join the contest

Send us your plan to expand women’s participation in a mid-career fellowship from WHO/TDR. This could be a way to more widely disseminate the fellowship call in order to increase awareness, a way to make the fellowship more conducive to women with caregiving obligations, or a way to increase the number of qualified women applicants. Be creative! 


Format for submissions

Submissions must be written in English and less than 500 words. Submissions with figures have a 450 word limit.


Criteria for judging submissions

Submissions will be judged on a 1-10 scale according to the following three criteria: 

(1) capacity to increase the number of women who apply and receive WHO/TDR fellowships; 

(2) feasibility; 

(3) innovation, defined as different from the current practice used in the fellowship. 

Final decisions about semi-finalists will be made by the Steering Committee.


Challenge contest rules

The contest is open to anyone from any location. Ideas from women in low- and middle-income countries are particularly encouraged. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the challenge contest. This is not an application for the WHO/TDR Fellowship itself, but rather a challenge contest to identify creative ways to increase women's participation in the fellowship.

Timeline





Notice: Deadline for all submissions is 11:59 pm Geneva time on July 1st.

Prizes

At least three semi-finalists will be supported (registration, travel, hotel, per diem) to join and present their idea at the Women Leaders in Global Health conference in November 2018.

Selected finalists will have their idea implemented to increase women’s participation in this fellowship.


Please submit your entries



    FAQs

    1. What is a challenge contest?

    A challenge contest is an open contest to solicit creative solutions. Challenge contests have been widely by governments, private foundations, and others to spur creativity. More details about open contests for health are available here.


    2. Do I have to be a woman from a low- and middle-income country to participate?

    Anyone can participate. Although we are eager to hear the voices of women from low- and middle-income countries, the challenge is not restricted to this group. All ideas will be evaluated without regard to the gender identity of the individual who submitted them.


    3. Where can I get more information about the TDR Fellowship and previous recipients?

    The TDR fellowship is called the Clinical and Research and Development Fellowship. It is a one-year programme developed to give midcareer scientists from LMIC an opportunity to learn more about clinical research related to infectious diseases of poverty. The TDR program announces the fellowship at the end of November and the deadline is at the end of February. The application consists of a CV, demographic information, and answers to short questions. Evaluation criteria include scientific excellence (publications, grants), impact (influence on individual career and home institution), and implementation (plan for re-entering after the fellowship). Although there are TDR staff available for questions, they do not provide pre-application mentorship. There are six months between being selected and starting the fellowship. All fellows are from LMIC and join organizations in high-income countries for 12 months. More information and a list of previous fellows is hereFind a previous example of the fellowship terms here.


    4. What are the barriers to expanding women’s participation in the TDR Fellowship?

    An internal WHO/TDR review has identified the following potential challenges associated with increasing women’s participation: (1) difficulty bringing dependents – the process for bringing dependents (spouses, children, parents) from LMIC to HIC settings is cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive; (2) time away from home – some women have hesitated to apply because of caregiving obligations in their home country. Although issues related to caregiving are thought to be one major issue, there are likely other issues that limit women’s participation in this fellowship. Examples of previous recipients are here and here and a general overview of the fellowship is hereFind a previous example of the fellowship terms here.


    5. How can this challenge contest address the structural issues that may be at the root of women’s lower participation in a fellowship? 

    We realize that some of the issues that underpin lower women’s participation in a mid-career fellowship are related to structural issues that would be difficult to change. One of our criteria for judging will be feasibility. We encourage potential challenge participants to think deeply and broadly about what can be done to increase women’s participation in this fellowship, with an eye towards solutions that could actually be implemented. This is also one of the unique aspects of the challenge contest – if the WHO/TDR program deems a finalist solution feasible, the idea could change the structure of the fellowship. 

      Steering Committee

      Clara Agutu, Mariam Otmani del Barrio, David Blazes, Karen Goraleski, Sarah Hawkes, Juliet Iwelunmor, Emilie Karafillakis, Flora Katz, Evelyn Kusi, Ewen Liu (intern), Jessica Mack, Lenore Manderson, Fridah Mwendia, Alwyn Mwinga, Brenda Okech, Michelle Remme, Sarah Rowland-Jones, Samia Rourou, Barbara Sina, Beena Thomas, Joe Tucker, Phumla Sinxadi, Shufang Wei 

      Contact: Ewen Liu at womenglobalhealthchallenge@gmail.com














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