India Health Policy and Systems Research Fellowships program

India Health Policy and Systems Research Fellowships program

The India HPSR fellowships program is an effort towards the capacity building by

1) Providing HPSR skills and competencies to mid-career researchers and an opportunity to implement an HPSR project AND

2) Developing a national network of HPSR researchers, institutions, and stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of health policy and systems research work.

The program is being developed for the Indian context in consultation with experts in national and global HPSR, with attention to pedagogy and content to be covered. On 24 June 2020, a curriculum review workshop was conducted where 30 invited experts reviewed the curriculum drafted for the fellowship and provided feedback.

Dr. Upendra Bhojani (Director, IPH Bengaluru)

Dr. Prashanth N Srinivas (Assistant Director, Research, IPH Bengaluru)

Dr. Dorothy Lall (Assistant Director, Education, IPH Bengaluru).

Mr. Pramod Kumar (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Ms. Kanika Chaudhary (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Ms. Kranthi Vysyaraju (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Ms. Sumegha Asthana (Consultant)

Mr. Harish H N (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Mr, Yogin V A (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Dr. Mahesh K (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Mr. Praveen Rao (Associate, IPH Bengaluru)

Download the detailed report here


We aim to identify about 20 Indian mid-career researchers, who have some experience with public health research, having led full/part of a research study that is published in a peer-reviewed journal or has good-quality publicly available scientific reports. Typically, between 3 to 7 years of experience in public health research. By education, the typical participant has a post-graduation level educational qualification in health/related field or comparable in experience to post-graduate training. S/he will have basic knowledge of research methods in public health even if their knowledge and/or experience is limited to a specific discipline/method. Participant selection is planned through an open and competitive call. A call for participants will be widely circulated and promoted to invite applications in mid of July 2020. Participants will need to support their application with a preliminary research question based on a health system problem they have identified, motivation letter and two recommendation letters. An initial screening process shall exclude applications that do not fit the criteria (age, educational qualifications, and experience). After that, a two-step selection process will be implemented. In the first step, a panel of invited peer reviewers shall grade each application based on a rubric that includes (a) Potential for the application of a systems/complexity lens to the health systems research question that is submitted, (b) Fit of motivation (as stated in the motivation letter) with overall objectives of the course, (c) Candidate fit in terms of qualification and experience based on CV & recommendation letters. In a second step, the candidates shall be ranked according to their scores and a selection committee shall identify 20 short-list and 10 wait-list candidates who shall be offered the fellowship. The selection committee shall consist of a panel of HPSR researchers involved in the curriculum drafting process and senior practitioners of HPSR. A transparent review process will be conducted to identify the first cohort for the training. We plan to enroll 20 fellows/ researchers as the first batch of HPSR fellows. Fellowship offered will be conditional to an agreement to participate fully for a period of 18 months including the blended training, contact classes, and mentoring and shall include a commitment to follow the full research cycle from developing the research question to publication and policy/public engagement. 


We plan to deliver this training program for over one and a half years. The content will be delivered in a blended format using both the online (e-learning) and face-to-face training methods. The phases of training are designed to achieve the learning outcomes. Backward design is used in developing the curriculum and training plan. Backward design is a method in curriculum development that is driven by the learning outcomes and assessments envisaged. The course is designed to be pedagogically sound and relevant to the real-world scenario. It promises to be a rich experience with national and international HPSR experts being involved in the preparation and delivery of knowledge, along with their personal experiences, some of whom will be involved as mentors during the final phase of the course. The fellowship will cover the tuition fees for the course, the travel and accommodation expenses for the face to face session and a seed research grant for select participants who have completed the online and face to face sessions with honors.



Contact Us:

We welcome your questions and suggestions with regard to the program. Write to us at
GreenHub Dialogues on COVID-19, OneHealth and health inequities with Dr. Prashanth N Srinivas

GreenHub Dialogues on COVID-19, OneHealth and health inequities with Dr. Prashanth N Srinivas

Dr. Prashanth N Srinivas Faculty and DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance fellow at the Institute of Public Health Bengaluru, participated in the GreenHub Dialogues series of webinar focusing on COVID-19.

The conversation is moderated by Shibani Chaudhury of GreenHub. Prashanth reflects on the wider systemic issues that is shaping the COVID-19 response particularly drawing from the OneHealth, social determinants of health and health inequities in India. The dialogues are expected to make us question our choices; rethink our responses; recalibrate ideas of equity, sustainability and health. And crucially, remind ourselves that humans are a subset of nature, not vice versa. He also talks about the preparedness of the community during the COVID-19 disaster (See IPH’s COVID-19 response and our efforts to improve PHC preparedness here-

IPH seminar: Exploring self-reliance for primary healthcare among families and communities using traditional medicine in Karnataka and Kerala

IPH seminar: Exploring self-reliance for primary healthcare among families and communities using traditional medicine in Karnataka and Kerala

Shivanand S, PhD Scholar at TDU and IPH, will be presenting a seminar titled “Exploring self-reliance for primary healthcare among families and communities using traditional medicine in Karnataka and Kerala.” This is the study topic of Shivanand’s PhD. This study will be carried out in H D Kote (Karnataka) and Aluva (Kerala). He will be exploring factors which influence self-reliance while using traditional medicine at household and community level for primary healthcare. The study will use case study method and it is intended to develop self-reliance framework. The framework will be rooted in community health projects for its applicability.

You are invited to attend the seminar in person or join the live seminar via Zoom using the link below


       Shivanand S



PhD Scholar, TDU and IPH


      12 March-2020


3:30 pm – 4.30 pm


Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru

3009, II-A Main, 17th Cross, KR Rd, Siddanna Layout,
Banashankari Stage II, Banashankari,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560070

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Safer conception among HIV affected people

Safer conception among HIV affected people

Dear All,

Dr. Renee Heffron, member of the faculty of Global Health and Epidemiology within the International Clinical Research Center at the University of Washington is visiting IPH on the 6th of February (Wednesday). Her research, teaching, and mentoring focuses on advancing the field of HIV prevention and the intersection with reproductive health. She would be delivering a talk on the topic ‘ HIV prevention among people affected by HIV when they desire pregnancy: safer conception’. 
For HIV serodiscordant couples (in which one partner is living with HIV and one partner is not), having condom less sex to become pregnant can put the HIV-negative member at risk for acquiring their partner’s HIV infection. Safer conception strategies are able to minimize this risk, especially when they are used in combination. In this talk, Dr. Heffron will describe the situation faced by HIV serodiscordant couples and individuals affected by HIV when they desire pregnancy, describe interventions that can minimize sexual HIV transmission risk when pregnancy is desired, and present results from a recent pilot program in Kenya.
You are invited to attend the talk in person or via zoom


Dr. Renee Heffron 



Member of the faculty of Global Health and Epidemiology




3:00 pm – 4.00 pm


Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru

3009, II-A Main, 17th Cross, KR Rd, Siddanna Layout,
Banashankari Stage II, Banashankari,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560070

Earlier FCRA statement

Recent developments with respect to renewal of IPH’s FCRA registration

The Institute of Public Health Bengaluru (IPH) has been a pioneer in cutting-edge applied research and public health training programmes in health systems and health policy in Karnataka. IPH is registered as a legal entity under the Karnataka Society Registration Act. It has been working for over ten years to further health status of communities in Karnataka and India. Recently IPH commemorated a decade of work with a campaign: #10yearsofIPH (click here to read/watch a short video of our work).

What does IPH do?

We have received national and international recognition for our work on various aspects of strengthening health systems, enhancing health equity and contributing to better health policies in Karnataka and India.

    • Research: Researchers from IPH have published data-driven and evidence-based research papers in journals of national repute including Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Indian Journal of Medical Research (of the ICMR), Economic and Political Weekly etc., as well as international peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the Lancet, British Medical Journal and various others.
    • Teaching public health: Faculty at IPH teach public health courses in various reputed public health institutions in Karnataka and other states, as well as provide highly rated e-learning courses in public health across the country, especially to government health staff, as well as to students in various countries in Africa and South Asia. IPH’s blended learning programme has been featured at various international workshops as a prime example of well-designed and relevant public health content.
  • Various public health achievements: Some of our major achievements over the past 10 years include training more than 1,800 government officials, facilitating public health policy reforms such as, a ban on gutka, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and hookah in Karnataka. In recognition of IPH’s scientific leadership, many faculty members of IPH have been nominated as members of state- and national level committees advising governments such as the National Health Systems Resource centre, Karnataka State Health Systems resource Centre, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Karnataka State Anti Tobacco Cell, and an Official Delegation of Government of India for the Seventh Session of Conference of Parties under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

What is FCRA and what is IPH’s stand on FCRA?

FCRA is an Indian law that regulates and monitors the flow of voluntary contributions/grants from non-Indian sources to NGOs in India. It is managed by the Home Ministry. It is the law of the land and IPH respects this law. Since February 2010, IPH has been registered under this law and has complied with all requirements of this law till date. This is a matter of public record.

What are the recent developments related to IPH and FCRA?

It appears that we have become victim of our success. In the end of October (2016), we were informed through a one-line email from the FCRA authority of refusal to renew our FCRA registration. In November 2016, a newspaper report carried in The Times of India labeled us as “anti-national”. This was a rude shock for us at IPH as we have not engaged in ANY activity remotely related to weakening the government or the State. In contrary, IPH’s work is widely held up within the medical and public health community as being an example of close collaboration with several state and national government agencies, which in turn have acknowledged and appreciated our work in public health.  

Why does IPH need foreign funds?

IPH works on health research, designing cutting-edge public health training programmes and in working closely with Governments  and communities to improve healthcare. IPH competes with leading research organisations and Universities across the world in obtaining competitive research grants. While we also work with various Indian funding agencies, our research requires us to work with leading researchers and academic organisations across several countries. In fact, across various scientific disciplines, international research collaboration is favoured and encouraged in order to advance science and policy. While IPH does not solely rely on foreign funds, this is an important source of research funding for the Institute as is the case with any public health or scientific research institute in the country or elsewhere.

Why is IPH being denied FCRA registration?

Unfortunately, we have not been provided ANY reason for the refusal to renew our FCRA registration. On repeated emails and formal inquiries, no reason has been provided yet and we continue to sincerely appeal to the Government to provide us with reasons for this refusal.

In the lack of any reason forthcoming, we are forced to believe that vested industry interests could have played role in maligning and misrepresenting IPH’s work. Conveying our concerns, we have made a sincere evidential appeal to concerned authority adducing facts and figures about IPH’s public health activities over time. Unfortunately, this appeal was also denied without providing any information on the reasons.

How has the FCRA registration refusal affected IPH?

We are currently in an acute financial crisis following the refusal. Many staff are taking voluntary salary cuts to ensure we are able to save existing resources. Later this month, with a heavy heart, we will have to let go of over half of our staff, a vibrant and passionate group of young and committed public health professionals due to this.

How can I help or support IPH and its work?

In this tough time, we request you to stand with us and support us to tide this crisis and come out stronger. We value your support now more than ever and hope you will help us in these difficult times. If you would like to make a financial contribution to help IPH tide over this crisis, visit support us page 

What next? And why support IPH?

With no other way to go forward, we have appealed to the Karnataka High Court (see article in Economic Times). We shall not allow the industry or any misunderstanding/mischaracterisation of our work to affect our work in strengthening health systems in India.

Encouraging academia and building scientific temper is an important principle enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Academic and research organisations such as IPH are an important part of a strong health system, producing good quality research and contributing data and evidence on strengthening public health. The world-over, there is a recognition that well-designed and relevant research is an important contributor to strengthening health policy.

We strive to continue working closely in contributing to public health in India. And given our confidence in our work and a clear conscience, we believe this shall pass. Meanwhile we appeal to friends, colleagues and well-wishers to #StandwithIPH.