News from TDR Director, John Reeder

TDR news item
4 October 2013

TDR has moved our offices to the newest building on the WHO campus, which is shared by WHO and UNAIDS. It has been a welcome change, where we are physically closer to the TB and malaria departments where we have ongoing collaborations, and are within the same organizational WHO cluster (called HTM) as HIV, tuberculosis ,malaria and neglected tropical diseases.

We often talk about the context of research and how important it is to adjust the research design to the goal. This contextualization is also needed in the physical space in which we work. Our new location has helped bring us together as a unified staff in new ways, reinforcing the “one TDR” model. And of course, bumping into other colleagues in the hallways and cafeteria offers spontaneous and beneficial connections that are not possible when we’re in different buildings. We invite you to stop in and visit. We’re located on the first and second floors, and we’d be happy to offer you a coffee or tea next time you’re nearby.

Implementation research

We have been expanding our work in this much needed area. A tool kit has been designed to help researchers identify bottlenecks that limit effective delivery and access to medical interventions for those in need of them. The second of three pilot workshops was held in Bangladesh to use this, and the feedback from people there has been very helpful in fine-tuning the final product, which will be launched later this year after the final workshop to be held in Ghana.

Small grants – October deadlines

We have three small grant schemes now open. We’re excited about this new round, which was developed in close cooperation with the WHO regional offices so that the research priorities in those areas are supported. One is being administered by our partners in the Pan American Health Organization for researchers in the Americas. Areas for funding have been identified include health care access for pregnant women and children, and strategies to integrate diagnostic and treatment services for Chagas diseases, hepatitis, syphilis and HIV. The grant deadline is 31 January 2014. Two others have deadlines of 31 October 2013. One is being administered in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office on leishmaniasis, malaria, schistosomiasis and tuberculosis. And there are grants available through the African regional office of WHO on implementation research in disease prevention and control and health systems research. This scheme has been very popular in the past and many of you have asked us to reinstate it. We are now working with our regional colleagues to expand across all of the regions.


"Please stop by our booth at MIM – we always enjoy hearing from the many TDR alumni, and this time you’ll get a chance to provide feedback on the new alumni network platform."

Dr John Reeder, TDR Director

TDR will be hosting several events and lectures at the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria conference in Durban, South Africa, which is being held 6-11 October. These include a plenary talk by Olumide Ogundahunsi, an open reception, and a workshop on a new TDR alumni network platform. I will be attending and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Please stop by our booth at MIM – we always enjoy hearing from the many TDR alumni, and this time you’ll get a chance to provide feedback on the new alumni network platform.

Finally, I want to thank the publication, UN Special, for featuring our work in its September issue. They profiled how our programme takes a UN approach, given our governance model that includes co-sponsorship from UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO. It also highlighted our upcoming 40th anniversary in 2014, which you will be hearing more about in the coming months.

For more information, please contact

Jamie Guth
TDR Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289