The Wellcome Trust Bloomsbury Centre for Global Health Research was established in 1995 as the Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine, a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Institute of Child Health at University College London (UCL). It was later joined by Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University London, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, and St George’s University London.
The Centre itself is no longer funded by the Wellcome Trust but does manage and support PhD Programmes funded by the Trust.
In 2007 LSHTM was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Programme in International Health, comprising three fellowships per year for six years. We recruited an additional 18 outstanding young clinicians to this programme, who undertook their research in 7 countries in Asia and Africa.
In 2016, LSHTM was awarded another Clinical PhD Programme funded by the Wellcome Trust for Global Health Research. This Programme recruited four medical fellows per year from 2017 to 2021, who undertook research across Africa, Peru, and the Middle East. It is a partnership between LSHTM, UCL, QMUL, KCL, SGUL, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School – BSMS.
In 2021, LSHTM was awarded another PhD Programme funded by the Wellcome Trust but has broadened its scope to all health professionals and not just medical doctors. We are exited to be able to offer all health professionals the opportunity to be fully funded to study and research a PhD with any of our partners. This Programme aims to recruit up to 5 health professionals per year for the next 5 years from academic intake year 2022. It is a partnership between 5 UK institutions (LSHTM, QMUL, KCL, SGUL, BSMS) and 6 African institutions (Zambart, Biomedical and Research Training Institute – BRTI, Centre for Innovative Drug Development and Therapeutic Trials for Africa – CDT-Africa, Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research, MRC Gambia, MRC Uganda).
The Bloomsbury Centre has supported many outstanding clinical scientists who have made a major contribution to improving health worldwide. Since 2009 our fellows have published many peer-reviewed papers, in Nature, the Lancet, PLoS Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and AIDS. Many of these have influenced policy and practice.
Most of our fellows have been from the UK but, in the past 10 years, the Centre has become increasingly committed to building research capacity in our partner institutions in low and middle income countries. For example Alison Elliott, a former Senior Fellow based at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, applied successfully to the Wellcome Trust in 2007 for a Strategic Award programme, the Makerere – UVRI Research Training Programme in Infection and Immunity (MUII: www.muii.org.ug). This brought together research groups at those two institutions with researchers based at LSHTM and Cambridge University. Together with her research programme, this enabled us to support research training for 10 Masters, 11 PhD students and 7 post-doctoral fellows from Uganda. Vikram Patel, a former Senior Fellow based at the Public Health Foundation of India, was awarded a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award to establish the South Asia Network for Chronic Disease, to build multidisciplinary research capacity through sharing of skills and knowledge between 8 network partners in the region, with the goal of improving the prevention and control of chronic disease.