Women Leaders in Global Health Challenge Contest​, WHO/TDR


Women Leaders in Global Health Challenge Contest, WHO/TDR

Open challenge contest: submit ideas to boost applications from women to TDR mid-career fellowship

Deadline for ideas: 1 July 2018

Winners attend Women Leaders in Global Health conference in London this November

This open challenge is aimed to increase applications from women scientists to TDR’s mid-career clinical research and development fellowship. The contest builds upon TDR Global 3-month mobilization on gender equity in health research.

The fellowship is designed for scientists from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to work with pharmaceutical, research institute or product development partners for one year to learn about clinical research. The experience can help to build the global health leaders of tomorrow.


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. 

Read also:  RFP: Training of CRS Sales staff- Abt Associates Inc.

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.

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 words 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, but review will be blinded so that judges do not know who submitted each one. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the challenge contest.


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.


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Sagun's Blog is a Public Health Information sharing platform created by Sagun Paudel. The main purpose of this blog is to share public health updates.

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