With funding support from the Bloomberg Initiative (BI), Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP) in collaboration with the Bangladesh Tobacco Control Research Network and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA has been implementing the Tobacco Control Research Grant Program since 2013. The program brings researchers from across the country together and offers grants to undertake tobacco control research.
The specific objectives of the program are to:
- Enhance the local evidence-base on tobacco control in Bangladesh.
- Develop a self-sustaining network as a forum for tobacco control researchers to exchange ideas, share research findings, generate new tobacco control research and utilize their findings.
Involving capacity building workshops covering the whole spectrum of the research process, the program has been implemented over the last four years with an emphasis on engaging graduate student researchers. All Bangladeshi postgraduate students and established researchers aspiring to contribute to tobacco control are eligible to apply for the grants. The applicants are encouraged to choose topics related to the priority issues of the Bloomberg Initiative to reduce Tobacco Use. Proposals on generating local evidence that contribute to developing a new policy or strengthen an existing one in line with the components of the World Health Organization’s MPOWER package are recommended.
BCCP follows a rigorous process for selection of research proposals every year. A proposal Review Panel comprising of renowned researchers and tobacco control experts from home and abroad reviews the proposals. The review panel follows a three-step review process. In the first step, preliminary screening is done to see whether proposals follow the proposal submission guideline. The second step involves the technical scoring while in the third step; applicants present their proposals to the review panel. Combining the scores from the technical evaluations and presentations, a merit list is prepared.
BCCP has a highly experienced and dedicated team having both technical and managerial expertise to manage the grant program. The research team is led by a Senior Deputy Director (Research and Evaluation) and has members representing diverse backgrounds including statistician, anthropologist, epidemiologist, sociologist, and nutritionist. The team nurtures grantees by providing mentorship in every step of research work, including questionnaire development, data collection, data management and analysis, and report writing. The following mentoring workshops are organized and facilitated for the research grantees:
- Research Capacity Building Workshop
- Research Method, Procedure and data Collection
- Data Management, Analysis and Report Writing
- Effective Presentation Development and Facilitation Skills
Dissemination conference is being organized to share the research findings of the studies. Students and faculties of different universities, institutions, medical colleges and representatives of Government, donor agencies, NGOs, partners and grantees are invited to attend the conference. Print and electronic media representatives are also invited to cover the news of the conference.
Bangladesh Tobacco Control Research Network has been formed to ensure the sustainability of the Research Grant Program.