As the principal Regional Public Health Agency for the Caribbean, one of CARPHA’s core functions is to conduct relevant research on public health priorities in the Caribbean. The Research, Training and Policy Development Unit of CARPHA also has a mandate to Promote research for health; Advise Governments and other stakeholders on research for health; Strengthen National and Regional Health Research Systems; Develop mechanisms to support priority research; and Promote the sharing of the Region’s Scientific outputs. These directives are addressed in all the Unit’s functions.CARPHA’s Annual Health Conference is the ideal forum for sharing research findings as well as facilitating collaboration between researchers and policy makers. It is the largest health research Conference in the Caribbean.The Agency’s development and promotion of the Health Research Policy for the Caribbean and the Health Research Agenda for the Caribbean are two key mechanisms to strengthen National and Regional Health Research Systems. The policy provides a proposed structure of national and regional health research systems and strategies to strengthen them, while the Research Agenda identifies the health research priorities for the Caribbean. Both are to be adopted or adapted by CARPHA Member States. The Research Grants Programme and the Training Workshops (Basic Research Skills, Data Management and Analysis, Research Ethics and Grant Writing) are instrumental in building health research capacity in the Caribbean.
The Annual Research Conference is the flagship activity of the CARPHA and has been successfully hosted every year since 1956. Usually held the third week in April, it is the largest health research conference in the English speaking Caribbean with over 200 delegates in attendance. The latter comprise researchers, policy makers and health care providers thus creating a unique network of health stakeholders who share needs, information and experiences.
The Conference venue is rotated throughout the Caribbean and is often hosted in exotic settings that facilitate a special camaraderie among delegates. Collaborations are spawned not only among researchers but with all stakeholders.
Highlights of the Conference include keynote lectures and the Awards Banquet. In addition, the unique gathering of health professionals provides an excellent opportunity for the hosting of meetings of professional associations and the hosting of training workshops. Groups such as the Caribbean Association of Nephrologists and Urologists (CANU) and institutions such as CAREC have made good use of this opportunity over the years. Indeed, CARPHA reserves the second afternoon of the Conference for the hosting of satellite meetings.
The 60th Annual CARPHA Health Research Conference will be held in Grenada from June 25th to June 27th, 2015. The theme for 2015 is Violence and Injuries: An Urgent Public Health and Development Issue. However, we will also accept quality research papers in all priority health areas (e.g. NCD, HIV, Environmental Health, Health Systems, etc.)Violence and Injuries comprise topics such as intentional and unintentional injuries including interpersonal and domestic violence, sexual abuse, suicide; mental health; risk factors including drug and alcohol use/misuse; their health and socioeconomic consequences; preventive efforts and strategies; etc.
2015 June 25-27th, 60th, Grenada2014 May 1-3rd, 59th, Aruba2013 May 2-4th, 58th, Barbados2012 April 19-21, 57th, Cayman Islands2011 April 13-16, 56th, Guyana2010 April 21-24, 55th, Trinidad and Tobago2009 April 22-25, 54th, St Lucia2008 April 23-26, 53rd, Suriname
Manuscripts and Abstracts should be submitted by: December 1st 2014. Click here for submission guidelines.
CARPHA has collaborated with its stakeholders and developed a Health Research Agenda for the Caribbean. The crafting of the Agenda was guided by the latest edition of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH III). The latter defines the health priorities of the Caribbean and comprises eight Programme Areas. One of the objectives of the Agenda is to guide the conduct of research so as to facilitate the evidence-informed implementation of the CCH III as well as other activities identified as priority by Caribbean countries. The Agenda will therefore identify priority areas for research to provide results that then can guide the development of policies, programmes and best practices. CARPHA encourages all the Caribbean health research stakeholders, especially those involved in the conduct and funding of research to embrace the Agenda and contribute to its implementation.
Download Health Research Agenda
CARPHA has developed a Health Research Policy for the Caribbean. The goal of the Policy is to guide the strengthening of systems so as to increase the production, access and use of essential research and thus facilitate the crafting of evidence-based health policies, programmes and practices. The key components of the Policy document include the proposed structure for health research systems in the Caribbean (at the national and regional levels) and strategies to promote their strengthening. It is expected that it will be adopted (or adapted) by CARPHA Member States and thus provide the necessary framework as they continue the process of developing/strengthening functional national health research systems.
Download Health Research Policy
The objective of the Basic Research Skills Workshop is to introduce participants to the fundamentals of research methodology. They are aimed at the health professional who may not have a strong research background but is positioned to conduct and use health research to facilitate their work. Although we don’t expect that the participants would leave the 3-day Workshop as senior researchers, we endeavor to provide them with a foundation so they may be able to conduct small research studies with support from professionals.We expect that the participants would collaborate with other persons, especially established researchers who should serve as mentors as they develop their skills.The Workshop is participatory in style and participants are given exercises to complete after short presentations. The topics covered include:
The objectives of the Data Management and Analysis Workshop are to enable the participants to develop an appreciation for the need for data analyses; appreciate key data processing and analysis issues; develop practical skills in the use of a statistical software (Epi Info 7) for data processing and the conduct of basic analyses; and identify and conduct the most appropriate analyses for different types of data. One of the more important features of this workshop is its practical approach with each participant being assigned tasks that they have to address using the computer. They are encouraged to use skills gained when they return to their work environment.
The aims of the Research Ethics Workshops are to build capacity in countries to enable the establishment of national research ethics committees are well as to contribute to the growing awareness of the importance of ethics in health research. Participants include researchers as well as persons who are expected to serve on the national ethics committees. A mock meeting of an Ethics Committee is also held for participants to experience how they operate.Topics covered in this workshop include:
The principal objective of the workshop is to strengthen the skills of researchers in writing proposals that are competitive and attractive to funding agencies. Such support is critical for Caribbean researchers to enable them to achieve a higher success rate in securing research grants, especially from international sources. The workshop covers the content and presentation of the science and other information required by funding agencies. Emphasis is given to specific sections of the grant proposal that are known to be particularly challenging such as statistical issues, budgets and the crafting of abstracts that are attention grabbing but factual. It also addresses the ways in which proposals can be written so they are complete, clear and coherent. The importance of investigating and conforming to the requirements and policies of research funders when preparing grant proposals is also stressed. Participants are also provided with details of the assessment process and criteria used by agencies such as the CARPHA in judging grant applications.
Consistent with its mandate to promote the use of research evidence to inform practice, CARPHA has developed clinical guidelines for the management of the conditions of greatest public health importance in the Caribbean. These protocols are based on international best practice but are fashioned to take the culture, economic situation and health systems in the Caribbean into account.
The Fogarty International Center
The Fogarty International Center, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs with a focus on international partnerships. Caribbean researchers are particularly encouraged to visit the website regularly to identify opportunities.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA
One of the largest health research funding agencies in the world, the NIH principally supports researchers from the USA. However there are opportunities for Caribbean researchers, primarily through collaborations with US institutions and colleagues. A few relevant Institutes include:
Medical Research Council (MRC), UK
The MRC principally supports UK-based researchers - apart from its investments in its overseas Units in Africa. Whilst overseas researchers cannot be principal investigators on a grant application, they may be included in a proposal as a co-investigator, subject to prior discussion with the MRC and where invited to do so e.g. where the nature of the research makes this necessary. Further information on how to apply for MRC funding is available via the website. The MRC Applicant’s Handbook is available as a guide.
The Wellcome Trust (UK)
The Wellcome Trust is one of the larger health research funding agencies in the world. Although, their role is primarily to support the work of UK researchers, there are opportunities for other persons such as from the Caribbean such as through collaborations with UK colleagues. Caribbean researchers seeking funding are encouraged to periodically browse the site to determine what is available.
Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Grant Programme
The Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Grant Programme is designed for mentored early-stage investigators to advance paediatric HIV research and to fill critical knowledge gaps related to infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV. Scientific areas of interest include both clinical and operational research. The implementation of the CIPHER Grant Programme was made possible through an unrestricted grant from ViiV Healthcare. The content and structure of the programme has been guided by paediatric experts convened by the IAS
CARPHA’s Research Grants Programme is one of its mechanisms to build health research capacity in the Caribbean. It is a facility whereby junior/budding researchers are given funding to assist in the conduct of small studies. Often, these studies are expanded on the basis of the initial findings into larger projects for which support may be sought from funding agencies with larger budgets. Projects proposals are expected to address areas identified as Regional priority as defined by the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH). The priority program areas for CCH III are:
Any worker in the Caribbean who proposes to study a problem, which is related to the health of the Caribbean people, is eligible to apply for a research grant. However, priority is given to young/budding researchers or established researchers who are mentoring a junior.
Applications must be made on the requisite forms (available on this website). They are reviewed at meetings of the Research Advisory Committee of the CARPHA held in January, April and October of each year. Deadline for submissions of proposals to be reviewed at these meetings are:
Grants are not intended to replace existing resources or necessarily to meet the entire cost of research projects.Note that the CARPHA will NOT provide:
Large items of equipment bought with CARPHA funds remain the property of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). CARPHA, at the termination of a project, may request that such equipment be returned, for use by other researchers. However, if grantees wish to use the equipment for other studies, they may apply to CARPHA for permission to do so.
One of the conditions of the awards is that annual reports must be presented. Depending on the length of the grant, progress reports should be submitted every six (6) months. The final report should comprise the following:
The Executive Summary/Abstract of research studies funded by the CARPHA will be posted on its website.
All publications arising from research conducted using funds from the CARPHA should acknowledge that support.
The CARPHA will not normally make grants in excess of US$10,000.