For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced 16 new health research projects in 10 countries, which will focus on addressing some of the world’s most pressing health challenges. Through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health competitive grants program, USAID will directly support scientists from developing countries working on research projects with NIH funded scientists. The projects are the first to be funded through an initiative designed to foster collaborative global research in critical areas of health and disease research.
Responding to President Obama’s 2012 global challenge to end preventable child deaths, the “Child Survival Call to Action,” USAID and NIH launched PEER Health to fund cutting-edge research in the 24 countries that contribute 80 percent of the world’s under-five child mortality. NIH has supported research and training in developing countries for decades, but scientists in these countries do not always have the funding to lend their expertise to NIH projects. PEER Health will allow these countries’ scientists to actively participate in finding solutions to critical areas of global health research.
“By making these first PEER Health awards, we are leveling the playing field for developing- country scientists, helping them to contribute equally to challenges in their own countries,” said Alex Dehgan, the Science and Technology Adviser to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. He continued, “The world’s health challenges, particularly those related to young children, require the diverse expertise of global research teams. PEER Health brings together the expertise and resources of NIH-funded researchers with the skills and knowledge of developing country researchers who understand local challenges and opportunities. These scientific collaborations will reap high rewards on a very human scale.”
With these new awards, 16 PEER Health projects will receive a total of nearly $7.5 million from USAID for research in areas such as maternal health and child nutrition, family planning, malaria, tuberculosis, and viral infections. PEER Health awardees were selected from nearly 180 submissions through a competitive peer-review process, conducted by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH.
The new PEER Health awards, made to scientists in countries as geographically diverse as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mali, and Mozambique, will contribute critical scientific knowledge that will improve the lives of mothers and children while also supporting the training of future health practitioners and scientists. A complete list of award recipients is available here.
Last updated: July 10, 2014