Building research capacity is considered an essential
component of strengthening healthcare systems in lowerand
middle-income countries (LMICs) (ESSENCE
on Health Research, 2011). When research capacity is
limited, there is a void in the production of contextually
relevant research, in the mobilisation of research
evidence for societal benefits and in the synthesis of
research evidence to inform practice, programmes and
policies. Although many long-standing programmes
have aimed to improve research capacity in LMICs, a
substantial number of these have been primarily oriented
towards enhanced graduate or postgraduate training
opportunities (eg, WHO-TDR Fellowships), often with
a basic biomedical research focus.

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