HIGH IRI 2021 Cohort with HIGH IRI Director, Elvin Geng and HIGH IRI Co-Director, Ross Brownson.

The HIGH-IRI is a training program focused on the intersection between Dissemination & Implementation Science and infectious diseases. Over two years, the Institute will deliver world-class training and mentorship, and also foster professional connections among a group of like-minded, leading-edge researchers who will magnify each other’s impact. Together, we can solve some of the most pressing health crises around the world.

The threat from infectious diseases to human health is at a crossroads.

We have the interventions to stop or slow most infectious diseases confronting humanity. Interventions to prevent (e.g., vaccines) as well as treat (e.g., antibiotics, antiretroviral therapy) many infectious diseases are very effective when used, and are also inexpensive, minimally toxic and widely available.

However, these interventions have not always yielded anticipated gains in population health. Even though HIV treatment reliably normalizes health and lifespan, only about 50% persons living with HIV in the US are on sustained successful treatment. Globally this number is even lower in many settings. What strategies can best improve engagement of populations in treatment and prevention services?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the planet, but the severity of the epidemic has been highly variable across geographical, social and national contexts, in part due to differential uptake of evidence-based social and physical distancing practices. How can societies best implement practices known to mitigate pandemic impact?

The field of dissemination & implementation (D&I) science is an emerging and growing field of inquiry — allied with health systems research, operations research and program science — that offers novel and distinctive perspectives on how to understand and overcome these gaps and advance human health.

The HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Health Implementation Research Institute (HIGH-IRI) seeks to grow the scientific community engaged in D&I research addressing infectious diseases. Together, we can find novel solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing our global population.

Want to learn more?

Program Description

  • The HIGH-IRI program period is 24 months. During this time, the program offers mentorship and training in implementation research for scholars working in infectious diseases to supplement existing resources in home training programs and institutional environments mostly through remote engagement.
  • The program includes two one-week, in-residence training and networking periods on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The in-person training periods will be held at the start of the program cycle each year.
  • In the period of time between in-person training, faculty mentors from the HIGH-IRI program will work remotely with trainees to develop research projects and successful funding proposals (e.g., for K or R-series NIH grants). The HIGH-IRI faculty seek to supplement existing mentorship relationships in the trainee’s home institution particularly for implementation research.
  • The HIGH-IRI program will seek to cultivate a scientific network between peers and mentors to form long-term scientific and professional collaborations. The program includes a “twinning” function to foster peer-to-peer relationships through site visits. In addition, we will facilitate a visit for a trainee to a research site led by their HIGH-IRI faculty mentor for hands-on exposure to conduct of implementation research.
  • We seek a diverse cohort of ten to twelve scholars each year.
  • Travel expenses for annual in-person training will be provided.
  • The application cycle for 2024 cohort is currently open and will close on March 25, 2024 (5:00pm US Central Time). Please see the apply page for further details.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Early Career Infectious Disease, HIV, and Global Health researchers (PhDs/MDs and equivalent) at post-doctoral or junior faculty level.
  • Both US and non-US citizens are eligible to apply.


Program Directors: Elvin Geng, MD, MPH and Ross C. Brownson, PhD

Program Coordinator: Jamie Macon

Funding for this program is provided by Viiv Healthcare and the National Institutes of Health