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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


KUPFER, Linda et al. Strategies to discourage brain drain. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2004, vol.82, n.8, pp.616-619. ISSN 0042-9686.

Building health research expertise in developing countries often requires personnel to receive training beyond national borders. For research funding agencies that sponsor this type of training, a major goal is to ensure that trainees return to their country of origin: attaining this objective requires the use of proactive strategies. The strategies described were developed under the extramural acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) International Training and Research Program (AITRP) funded by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at the National Institutes of Health, United States. This programme supports universities in the United States that provide research training to scientists from developing countries to enable them to address the global epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS and the related tuberculosis (TB) epidemic. This paper describes the strategies employed to discourage brain drain by the principle investigators (PIs) of five of the longest-funded AITRPs (funded for 15 years). Long-term trainees in these programmes spent from 11 to 96 months (an average of 26 months) studying. Using scientific, political and economic strategies that address brain drain issues, PIs working in AITRPs have attained an average rate of return home for their trainees of 80%.

Keywords : Research personnel [supply and distribution]; Brain drain; Emigration and Immigration; Biomedical research [education]; Training support [organization and administration]; Research support; Health priorities; HIV infections; Developing countries; Developed countries.

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