Capacity building program

The main objective is to improve the capacity of African and European young investigators in conducting clinical trials, particularly long-term safety studies. The specific objectives include improving the capacity of young investigators to:

  • Manage regulatory clinical trials
  • Access funds to design and conduct research to address critical gaps
  • Publish research findings

UNIVERSAL will develop training programmes and promote other organizations’ training opportunities available for the UNIVERSAL investigators to attend.

Training and capacity building activities

  • Research training needs assessment survey 

In order to identify the major individual and institutional capacity building needs, an online training needs assessment survey was conducted in 2021 among staff at UNIVERSAL participating sites. Results from this survey will facilitate the development of a responsive hybrid training program.

  • Clinical trial management training

Clinical trial training course (June – Dec, 2023)

The clinical trials management training focuses on improving the capacity of research staff and young investigators to design, implement, and manage regulatory clinical trials, especially paediatric clinical trials.

Click here to register for the free online course

Click here to view training recordings

Good Clinical Practice and Good Laboratory Practice Training.

To ensure that the UNIVERSAL trials are implemented within the acceptable ethical and regulatory principles, refresher virtual training in GCP and GLP will be done on the global health training network website.

Click here to register for free online research courses management and implementation course 

  • Basic pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics training

The Radbound University together with the UNIVERSAL trial teams will provide virtual training in basic PD/PK and best practices in conducting PK studies during clinical trials.

Register here for the summer PK/PD course

  • Career development fellowships  

The UNIVERSAL team will support at least two young African investigators to apply for career development fellowships such as EDCTP, Forgarty, NIH, or other funding opportunities for sustainable and continued research training. An active search of other possible sources of funding will be done, focused on trainees/investigators that can make synergy with the activities developed in this program for continuity beyond the project.

Contact the UNIVERSAL capacity building team

  •  The International AIDS Society

CIPHER Growing leaders of tomorrow fellowship programme

This is a two-year mentored research training programme funded by the international AIDS society (IAS), targeting young investigators within West African countries. It is aimed at building and supporting clinical research leadership in paediatric HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.


CIPHER grant programme

This programme awards early-stage investigators up to USD 150,000 over two years to address research gaps in paediatric and adolescent HIV in countries with limited resources for HIV research. It is designed to provide investigators with the experience they need to compete for larger funding. Registration is now closed

  • Manuscript and scientific writing workshops

The UNIVERSAL team together with the Journal for International AIDS Society (JIAS) will design and deliver a series of six webinars on scientific writing for young investigators working on publishing research that adds to the body of knowledge and may impact paediatric and adolescent HIV treatment and prevention.



    Core team members


    Pablo visits Baylor Uganda COE- edited

    Pablo Rojo (3rd left) and Pauline Amuge (2nd right) meeting with Dr Mary Nakagwa (2nd left), a young investigator identified for career development support; and some staff conducting the ODYSSEY long-term follow-up, at Baylor-Uganda clinic, Kampala, Uganda.