Global WACh

Rising Star Awards

The Request for Application (RFA) for the 2023-2024 cycle is closed.


The Global WACh Rising Star seed award aims to identify highly talented junior investigators from institutions in low-middle income countries (LMIC) who are committed to a career in research in woman, adolescent, and child health, and support their career pathway to becoming independent researchers. A secondary aim of this award is to strengthen Global WACh’s and the University of Washington’s (UW) relationship with our partner institutions and broaden our base of collaborators.

Program benefits include:

  • A $10,000 USD seed grant to fund preliminary data collection for future grant applications
  • An invited virtual lecture delivered at the UW
  • A 12-month non-residential Visiting Scientist position within the UW Department of Global Health

Applicant Eligibility

  • LMIC national based at a Global WACh partner institution
  • Enrolled in PhD or post-graduate medical specialization training, or within two years of graduating from a PhD or medical specialization
  • Must have a medical degree or master’s degree
  • Have a project mentor based in LMIC with research experience in the field of interest

Applicants are only allowed to submit one application to this program per cycle.

Project Eligibility

Projects must relate to the health of women, adolescents and children. We will prioritize projects unlikely to be eligible for other UW seed awards, including the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) HIV-related research and UW Global Mental Health awards.

Budget Guidelines

The total direct costs must not exceed $10,000 USD. No indirect costs will be provided. Funds may be used for:

  • Personnel costs
  • Supplies and equipment itemized by categories, such as medical supplies, chemicals, etc.
  • Other expenses, such as communication expenses, printing, shipment costs, etc.

Application and Submission Guidelines

Please send the following, via Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF, to, by Monday, October 23, 2023 at 11:59 PM PST.

  • Completed application cover page
  • A two-page research plan, that includes a brief background, project aims, and approach
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A one-page description of the applicant’s previous research experience and intended career pathway
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s primary mentor. Strong letters should detail the candidate’s commitment to research, evidence that the applicant’s home institution is committed to supporting this candidate, and a description of funding sources that will support the candidate continued development after this award (i.e. Dr. Applicant is supported on a 5-year NIH grant to provide clinical/analytic oversight in that study)
  • Completed budget on the provided template (Note: No indirect will be provided. Funds may be used to support salary.)

Detailed application instructions can be found in the Request for Proposal (RFA).

Review Criteria

Successful candidates will be selected by a panel of LMIC mid-level and senior investigators. However, oversight and clarifying inputs will be provided by the project leaders from UW. Awards will be made based on the following criteria:

  • The candidate’s demonstrated commitment to a career that includes woman, adolescent, and child health research
  • The impact that this award may have in catalyzing their research career
  • Scientific merit and impact of their proposal
  • Its feasibility given the limited budget
  • Its likelihood of leading to future funding


Award Recipients

Global WACh and the Enterics for Global Health (EFGH) Shigella surveillance study (supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) launched two independent Rising Star Awards in 2022 to catalyze awardees’ career pathways to becoming independent researchers.  Meet the Rising Stars!


Naveed Ahmed
Aga Khan University

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: An introduction of vaccine in routine immunization program Pakistan using case study of Shigella vaccine – A stakeholder analysis


Jane Juma
Center for Vaccine Development – Mali

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: Gastrointestinal microbiome profiles associated with shigellosis in children


Maureen Ndalama
Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Research Program

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: Understanding the knowledge, decision making and healthcare seeking behaviors of caregivers under 5 children with diarrhea in urban Blantyre, Malawi


Rafiuk Cosmos Yakubu
Tamale Teaching Hospital and University for Development Studies, School of Medicine

Award: Global WACh Rising Star

Project Title: Association of Inhaled-Substance Use and Respiratory Problems in Adolescents in the Tamale Metropolis of Ghana



Ednah Ojee
University of Nairobi

Award: Global WACh Rising Star

Project Title: The association between health worker home visits and growth and neurodevelopment in Kenyan children


Emmanuel Nii-Boye Quarshie
University of Ghana

Award: Global WACh Rising Star

Project Title: Suicidal behaviour in pregnant adolescent girls in Ghana



Md. Taufiqil Islam
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: Proportion of secondary Shigella transmission and predisposing factors for developing Shigella infection among household contacts in the EFGH catchment area, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Billy Ogwel
Kenya Medical Research Center

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: Machine learning predictive models for longer duration diarrhea among children <5 years using clinical and socio-economic data in Kenya


Maribel Paredes Olórtegui
Asociacion Benefica PRISMA

Award: EFGH Rising Star

Project Title: Barriers to care seeking for acute diarrheal illness in Peru