The Union Courses Online

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This online course will provide researchers with the relevant knowledge and skills to be able to plan, design and write grants in their own right.

The course is available to all audiences as an asynchronous online learning option with a mix of educational units of about 20 min each. A variety of engaging activities such as polls, quizzes, small case studies, multiple-choice questions are used to support learner engagement.

  • Optional: the recorded lectures include transcripts of the voiceover. Participants can switch them on or off as needed.
  • Optional: read additional reference materials and visit external websites (listed under the “References” tab).

The total estimated time needed to complete the online materials is approximately ten hours. You can start the course at any time, pause and come back to it at a later stage, and continue at the same point where you had left it.

At the end of the educational unit there is a quiz. The questions must be answered correctly for the participant to move on to the next educational unit. The participant can review the educational unit again and re-take the quiz if the questions were not answered correctly.

Further reading materials are organized by EU and can be accessed on the REFERENCES button on each EU.

Furthermore, an online forum is available for discussions.

Course Content:

  • Introduction to operational research with examples 
  • Research questions and methodology 
  • Research methodology, data analysis and statistical analysis 
  • Investigators, authorship, references 
  • Ethics and completion of protocol 
  • Types of grants and calls for proposals
  • Project and Budget Management

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the different components and principles of developing a research grant proposal in line with the learning objectives detailed in each session
  • Develop a research grant proposal based on the research idea submitted in the concept note

Dr. M. V. Ajay Kumar is a seasoned Public Health Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in low- and middle-income settings. He has worked for WHO-India as a consultant for providing technical assistance to the Government of India’s National Tuberculosis Programme, particularly in leading TB-HIV co-ordination activities. He is an author/co-author of over 250 publications, with many contributing to a change in policy/practice and has facilitated over 100 national and international courses.

Prof. Anthony D. Harries is a physician and registered specialist in the United Kingdom in infectious diseases and tropical medicine. He spent over 20 years working in sub-Saharan Africa, with 15 of those years working on TB, HIV/AIDS and TB-HIV in the public health sector at the programmatic level. Author of hundreds of published papers, in 2008, he joined The Union to launch the Department of Research. His main interests are in the field of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, tropical medicine and operational research

Dr. Divya Nair is a Public Health Practitioner with close to ten years’ experience in low- and middle-income settings. She has been a senior trainer cum mentor in international SORT IT courses conducted by The Union and World Health Organization offices in several countries and regions. She has been involved as a resource person in the development and conduct of courses on data management in research. 

Dr. Srinath Satyanarayana is a medical doctor with a PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University with over 15 years of experience in public health with particular focus on TB and has worked as a consultant to the Government of National TB Programme for over five years strengthening its monitoring, evaluation and operational research components. He has been associated with the SORT IT programme since its inception in 2009, first as a trainee and thereafter as a mentor from 2010 onwards. He has mentored more than 75 public health professionals from several countries in Asia and Africa in their operational research projects and is a author in more than 200 scientific publications. 

Dr. Pruthu Thekkur is a Public Health Practitioner with ten years of experience in low and middle-income settings. He has been a senior trainer in the SORT IT courses and has mentored about 50 participants from 11 countries. In addition, he developed and led short courses on data management in research. He is an author/co-author of over 100 research publications in peer-reviewed journals. His main research interests are tuberculosis, non-communicable diseases and operational research.

Ms. Elizabeth Yarly is an organizational development practitioner and an adult learning specialist with over eleven years of experience in learning design for transformational change. She has lead face to face and eLearning programmes in Africa (both East and West) for various international organisations. She is an Adjunt Professor at Kean University and Rutgers University (USA) where she designs and delivers lectures about project management and leadership to public health graduates.

The course content was developed by The Union.

Faculty and reviewers have no real or perceived, direct or indirect conflicts of interest that relate to this online course.

  • Dr. M. V. Ajay Kumar has no conflict of interest to declare
  • Prof. Anthony D. Harries has no conflict of interest to declare
  • Dr. Divya Nair has no conflict of interest to declare
  • Dr. Srinath Satyanarayana has no conflict of interest to declare
  • Dr. Pruthu Thekkur has no conflict of interest to declare
  • Ms. Elizabeth Yarly has no conflict of interest to declare

This online course was supported by the PROTECT project and funded by the CDC Foundation. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC Foundation.

Commercial names of medical devices/software/equipment may appear in this content because they are linked to specific medical procedures, which are the focus of this training material. Other products in the market can be used to perform the aforementioned medical procedures. The educational provider does not endorse any particular product.

Module 1: Introduction to Operational Research
Module 2: Research Questions and Methodology
Module 3: Research Methodology, Data Analysis and Statistical Analysis
Module 4: Investigators, Authorship, and References
Module 5: Ethics and Completion of Protocol
Module 6: Structure of a Grant Proposal. Project and Budget Management
Evaluation and Certificate

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