Mbarara University Research Training Initiative (MURTI) is a five-year grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) under grant number 1D43TW010128-01. The project, awarded in August 2015, was written in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in response to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding opportunity number RFA-TW-14-003 titled “Limited Competition: Research Training for Career Development of Junior Faculty in Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Institutions.”

The grant was awarded to support research training programs for junior faculty in the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI)-supported institutions, which are located in Africa, to increase their capacity to participate in and carry out locally relevant research that contributes to improved human health and to foster the next generation of faculty researchers in Africa.

The five year MURTI program focuses on building the capacity of Ugandan junior faculty at MUST to conduct medical research focusing on health care disparities in rural Uganda through training in three scientific areas of great public health significance in sub- Saharan Africa: HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders. It also builds expertise in research administration and research ethics among junior faculty at MUST.

Program Aims

The MURTI program builds capacity of MUST junior faculty to conduct cutting edge social-behavioral, biomedical, and epidemiological research through the following aims:

  1. To develop junior faculty research expertise in HIV prevention and treatment, particularly in rural southwestern Uganda

  2. To build the capacity of Ugandan junior faculty to develop novel, evidence-based diagnostic and treatment strategies for cardiovascular diseases in rural populations

  3. To prepare junior faculty for research careers addressing mental health disorders in rural Uganda

  4. To equip junior faculty with the administrative, research ethics, and research communications capacities necessary to succeed as the next generation of independent investigators in Uganda.