Capacity Building Programs


Research capacity building is a core value of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. In 2011 the organisation established a research training program for Vietnamese health care professionals. Called the Methods in Epidemiological, Clinical and Operations Research (MECOR), the training program includes annual week-long residential courses held for pulmonologists, nurses, laboratory staff and allied health workers from throughout Vietnam. It is run by Professor Guy Marks from the University of Sydney, Professor Sonia Buist from Oregon and Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung from the Vietnam NTP. This program allows Vietnamese health professionals to up-skill while working alongside Australian and American experts in the field. The annual live-in course involves the design and implementation of locally relevant research within the Vietnamese setting, with a goal of publication in international peer reviewed literature. Over 75 students have successfully completed the program, with some students progressing to higher research degrees following the courses. Over time, the goal will be for Vietnamese to take complete ownership of this course, to increase sustainability.


Field School

Woolcock Vietnam is working to support university students across a range of disciplines. In 2018 the team hosted its first Field School, an event bringing together masters students specialising in medicine, public health, economics and urban planning to study urbanisation in Hanoi. The program, run by the University of Sydney, involved 16 students who participated in sessions on urbanisation issues, including health care, water supply, waste disposal, green energy, urban planning, housing, culture and family structure changes, and community spaces. After three weeks of training and field work, groups of students successfully presented their study findings on urbanisation in Vietnam.

This program was funded by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) at the University of Sydney. Woolcock Vietnam plans to co-host further programs in coming years.

Student placement

We are pleased to host multiple student placements in collaboration with the University of Sydney. Since 2014, university students have been working on the ground alongside the Woolcock team in Vietnam. These placements give students opportunities to learn about clinical studies in a real-life context and apply their knowledge to an area of interest within the study. We always encourage and create opportunities for students to take ownership of a study area, where they can provide project deliverables of benefit both, individual learning and Woolcock projects. Some students continue to work at the Woolcock Institute when they apply for their PhD degree.

We provide opportunities for postgraduate students to conduct their research within the large-scale studies led by the Woolcock research team. Click here to learn more.