About Us

The Phodiso program is an international collaboration between UCLA and the University of the North. The UCLA team will also collaborate with Columbia University and the University of Michigan. In South Africa, the University of the North will collaborate with universities, research organizations, traditional healers, and others.

The Phodiso training program is based on a Cooperative Agreement supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (2001-2006), a randomized clinical trial testing a culturally congruent intervention for HTV serodiscordant African American couples. Ecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), and Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) will provide the conceptual foundation for training. We will develop a multidisciplinary training program for research in trauma, injury and the effects on health and mental health.

Four fellows, one per year, will be trained to conduct research that addresses the biological, social and psychological factors related to trauma, injury, and the effects on health and mental health. A countrywide application process will be implemented to select Post-Doctoral and early career research candidates by the UCLA and South African Core Faculty.

Fellows will receive research mentoring, long-term (3 month) U.S. study and short-term trauma workshops in South Africa. They will also conduct their own research projects in South Africa as a basis for future studies in this field. They receive a Post-Doctoral certificate in trauma and injury prevention research. The training program and the research of the Phodiso Fellows will be evaluated. Fellows will be tracked over the course of the grant to document their ability to publish and to obtain funding for other research. The sustainability of the training program and integration into academic, private and government supported agencies will be assessed. Fellows will be asked to present their research to newly enrolled Fellows and other health professionals.

The Phodiso program will also be presented to South African government officials so that the successful on-going training of researchers can be implemented in universities and research centers across the country.

Our specific aims are to:

  1. Broaden a multidisciplinary trauma research training program to include neurobehavioral and intervention research short term (workshops and the 3 month research training), medium term (1 year follow up of scholars) and long term strategies of trauma and injury and the effects on health and mental health.
  2. Train four scholars to conduct research on trauma and injury and its effects on health and mental health.
  3. Evaluate the short, medium, and long term research training program and the research of the Phodiso scholars.
  4. Assess the training program's sustainability and integration into academic, private, and government supported agencies.