The Universities Without Walls (UWW2020) Fellowship program builds on intensive training program funded by a CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR). REACH 2.0 is an interdisciplinary learning organization, committed to training, mentoring and capacity building. Our training and career development strategy consists of the following inter-related activities. In the 2009-2015 period, UWW trained 50 masters and PhD students, and 10 outstanding community scholars – of whom, over 90% are still actively engaged in the HIV sector. UWW, led by Dr. Catherine Worthington (University of Victoria) and Dr. Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco (Director, Education and Training, OHTN), is the training arm of the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV and the CBR Collaborative Centre. 

The UWW (2015-2020) curriculum focuses on CBR, interdisciplinarity, research ethics, knowledge transfer and exchange, professional development skills (e.g., grant crafting, conference presentations, peer-review participatory evaluation and applied program science and mechanisms to translate knowledge back to programs (including engaging the programs in an iterative learning process). New curricular units are being built on community, gap and needs assessments; program planning and evaluation, including economic evaluation; community evaluation models; program monitoring and quality assurance; and knowledge exchange.

UWW2020 builds on our strengths:

  1. Maintain core principles and areas of learning and skills development, including community-based research, interdisciplinarity, and research ethics. To these, we will make strong and clear connections with participatory intervention research and practical program science.
  2. Expand our target learners (from graduate students in health, humanities and social sciences disciplines and professions, and community researchers) to include graduate students in health, humanities and social science disciplines and professions; early to mid-career researchers; frontline workers; and peers/people living with HIV.
  3. Retain our emphasis on fostering a community of learners and a “community of practice” using a blended learning approach that combines web-based technologies (web conferencing, web authoring, etc.) and audiovisual formats (webinars, speakers’ corners, instructional modules, etc.), learning institutes, one-on-one mentoring, and field mentoring placements.
  4. Augment the field mentoring placement component of the training to be consistent with a participatory program science approach by embedding emerging scientists in policy, research and frontline settings.
  5. Work collaboratively with the OHTN KTE and Education and Training Units.

It is expected that a call for applications will be launched in early 2016.


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