CDC Foundation and Georgia State University To Prepare Future Tobacco Research Leaders Through Fellowship

Tobacco use and exposure is a major global threat that kills eight million people annually, including one million non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Eighty percent of the world’s smokers over the age of 15 live in low- and middle-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, these countries bear the burden of the global tobacco epidemic in terms of health, economic and environmental impacts. To strengthen tobacco control research and build the capacity of future tobacco control leaders, the CDC Foundation and Georgia State University are pleased to announce the creation of a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Tobacco Research.

Georgia State has been selected to host this program as it is a premier urban Doctoral/Research Extensive University. Georgia State’s School of Public Health has been exceptionally successful in training international professionals, having hosted over 85 Fulbright students since 2006 and training 10 postdoctoral fellows (6 international) since 2015.

The program will be hosted by Georgia State’s School of Public Health. Over the course of the program, at least four postdoctoral fellows from low- and middle-income countries will be educated in tobacco control science and policy to train researchers to serve as leaders in their country’s tobacco control efforts. The first 15 to 18 months of the training will take place at Georgia State in Atlanta, Ga., and the remaining six to nine months will take place at a host institution in the fellow’s home country. The first fellows will begin their training at Georgia State in January 2022, following an application and interview process that is ongoing until mid-November.

Postdoctoral fellows will work with mentors at Georgia State, in collaboration with co-mentors from the CDC Foundation and other partners, to publish their research and present at national or international conferences. During the in-country portion of the program, fellows will work with mentors on a specific tobacco project that benefits the tobacco control needs of the country. Through mentored research and intensive tobacco control training, postdoctoral fellows will be prepared to return to their home country as leaders in tobacco control. These fellows will be equipped with the essentials to help address the health, economic and environmental burdens experienced in their country and lessen the impact of the tobacco epidemic in low- and middle-income countries.

In speaking to the importance of this new postdoctoral training program, Michael Eriksen, Georgia State’s Regents’ professor and former director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said “Despite all we know about tobacco use, there is a growing need for advanced research training that applies the scientific method to reduce the tobacco burden, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Georgia State University is pleased to partner with the CDC Foundation to launch this much-needed program for tobacco control researchers around the globe.”

“Building the capacity and capabilities of a future-ready, multi-sector, diverse workforce is at the root of our work at the CDC Foundation,” said Brandon Talley, vice president for non-infectious disease programs for the CDC Foundation. “Training and partnering with global experts in tobacco and nicotine research offers a critical opportunity to leverage the best local science for country-led prevention of the health and economic consequences of tobacco use. The CDC Foundation is honored to play a role in making this important program possible and grateful to work alongside the team of talented fellows, faculty and staff at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health.”

Interested applicants can learn more about eligibility and application requirements by visiting Financial support for this fellowship is provided by the CDC Foundation through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Georgia State University is an enterprising urban public research institution in Atlanta, the leading cultural and economic center of the Southeast. With six campuses throughout metro Atlanta, the university provides its world-class faculty and more than 54,000 students with unsurpassed connections to the opportunities available in one of the 21st century’s great global cities.