Post WCN 2015 panel dicussion on challenges for young investigators in low-resource settings
The 10th Conference on Kidney Disease in Disadvantaged Populations was held from March 17 to 18, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa as a satellite symposium following the ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2015. As part of the symposium, a moderated panel discussion on research development for young investigators working in low-resource, global health settings was held on March 17, 2015.
The panel was composed of Guillermo Garcia-Garcia, Lawrence Agodoa, Karen Yeates, Vivek Jha, Wendy Hoy, and Roberto Pecoits-Filho. It was moderated by Drs. Shuchi Anand, Bernadette Thomas, and John Stanifer. The discussion centered around two key topics: research priorities and specific challenges for young investigators.
Three main themes emerged from the discussion on research priorities. The first issue was that research questions should be of broad interest and successful investigators must be able to put their research into the broader context. There is also an urgent need for epidemiological data and increasing this knowledge base will further highlight and enhance our understanding of local problems. Finally, investigators need to be creative in aligning global interests with local needs, which can include linking kidney disease to other high-profile conditions, studying health economics and health systems, and looking for ways to produce reverse innovation.
The discussion on challenges for young investigators interested in global health included the challenges of funding, capacity building and implementation, and career advancement. The limitations in funding global health research that focuses on non-communicable diseases means that researchers need to be creative in framing their questions with the broader context, but even small, low-budget projects can be of high value. Capacity building and implementation requires mutual respect and collaborative spirit, an in-depth understanding of the local health system and needs, and a strong passion for the work.
Finally, career advancement can be difficult for global health researchers both in low/middle-income countries and high-income countries. Institutions and departments that are truly dedicated to global health need to recognize the slower, laborious nature of global health research.
You can find out more about the ISN Young Nephrologists Committee and its activities, CLICK HERE. Join the committee on the YNC Facebook group page.