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Increasing Capacity for Tobacco Research in Hungary

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Hungary has the highest percentage of smoking-related deaths in the European Union (EU) (21%). An estimated 34% of adults in Hungary smoke, including 40.5% of men and 28% of women. The goal of this research and capacity building project is to reduce the burden of tobacco through the advancement of scientific study of tobacco use and to broadly disseminate research findings that will result in innovative tobacco control interventions in Hungary. Scientists from Semmelweis University in Budapest and Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC USA will collaborate to achieve the following aims: 1. Create institutional capacity that will support scientists and advocates engaged in tobacco research and translate research findings into programs and policies to reduce tobacco use. 2. Conduct mentored research that has the potential to significantly reduce tobacco use at the local and national level. 3. Build individual capacity among Hungarian and U.S. research partners through formal in-country training and mentored research projects. Semmelweis University will engage students, academics, practitioners, and policy makers from a wide range of disciplines in an institutional capacity building process. Team leadership from Hungary and the U.S. will guide mentored scientists in strategic planning and logic model development that will inform the tobacco research mission in Hungary. U.S. investigators will offer formal training to Hungarian scientists in core competencies of research methodology, ethical conduct of research, tobacco control research, and grant writing. Leadership in the U.S. and Hungary will also embed the mentored research projects into the capacity building effort through 1-on-1 guidance and support. The research capacity of U.S. scholars will also be enhanced. The U.S. team will learn about the history and tradition of tobacco research Hungary, understand the gaps in tobacco knowledge that exist in Hungary, and collaborate with stakeholders and scientists engaged in the tobacco control movement. By implementing a co-learning process embedded in mutual learning and mutual respect, participating Hungarian and U.S. scientists will be better equipped to collaborate on scientifically rigorous and meaningful research and to make an impact on tobacco use in Hungary. There is dearth of tobacco science in Hungary and no current strategy to lead a comprehensive tobacco control program that is evidence-based. This research and capacity-building proposal will fill a very important need in Hungary. The Hungarian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization have endorsed this project.

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