A new tool to facilitate collaboration, advance research in developing countries

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Field research, such as that conducted for clinical trials or disease surveillance, is essential to address the many pervasive health issues in developing countries. It relies on extensive collaboration between research institutions and groups on the ground. Today the Global Health Network launched a new tool, Site-Finder, that will help build these vital relationships by connecting research groups with field research sites around the world. This new network actually uses technology adapted from dating websites to suggest suitable collaborations, and will inform sites of new studies which are relevant to them.

As the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine explains on their blog, Site-Finder provides a free, online facility for research sites to promote themselves to potential collaborators and sponsors.  In parallel, research groups planning studies can let others know about their ideas and that they are looking for others to work with.

The Sabin Vaccine Institutehuman hookworm vaccine.

There are several ways for interested individuals and groups to get involved, Global Health Network, which is an online science park for research groups working in Global Health, is included below.

site finder

The Global Health Network announces the launch of Site-Finder, a novel application to facilitate research collaborations

The Global Health Network announces the launch of Site-Finder, a novel application of digital technology to facilitate research collaborations in developing countries

The Global Health Network is delighted to announce the launch of Site-Finder, a free and open access online facility which enables research sites to promote themselves to potential collaborators and sponsors. In parallel, research groups planning studies can let others know about their ideas and that they are looking for others to work with. Sponsors with trials can also conduct highly detailed and informative searches for trial sites that are tailored to their specific needs. Using technology adapted from dating websites, Site-Finder will automatically suggest suitable collaborations, and will inform sites of new studies which are relevant to them.

Site-Finder has been in a pilot phase for six months. During this time over fifty research sites have signed up, many making use of the ability to add photos and documentation such as training certificates. Research sites who have already posted on Site-Finder report that they were keen to sign up so as to gain maximum exposure and more opportunities to engage in research which would help address the disease burdens that have the highest impact to their communities. One investigator commented: “We are a young study site very keen to get involved in new projects. Site-Finder gives the opportunity to inform others about our site and experience”, while others have labelled the resource “an extraordinary assistance” and “an innovation”.

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About Amy Alabaster

Amy is a communications intern for the Global Network and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Before joining Sabin, Amy worked as a writer for the NIH Research Matters publication and as an NIH Fellow for the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research. She has an M.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona.

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