KAC Solicits Scholarship Applications

    Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC), with the support of a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, is looking for the sixth cohort of scholars for its Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Program (THRSP).

    The application period closes on Nov. 30. Successful candidates will receive a 12-month bespoke mentoring program to undertake a THR-related project of their own design plus $10,000 in financial support. On completion of the scholarship, graduates of the THRSP potentially have access to up to a further three years of funded support from KAC.

    The THRSP was launched to increase research and practice capacity in tobacco harm reduction in target locations and populations where current activities and resources are limited. The THRSP has a particular focus on low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the need for new approaches to tobacco-related harms are especially acute. It aims to introduce new thinkers, new ideas and new methods to tobacco harm reduction as well as increasing the use of social media and new technologies to disseminate accurate information about the potential for safer nicotine products to reduce the global number of smoking-related deaths, which currently total 8 million every year.

    The THRSP achieves its goals in a number of ways. Applicants to the program must devise a project that will improve understanding of, or communication about, tobacco harm reduction appropriate for their country, region or personal area of expertise. Current and former scholars have published original research in peer-reviewed scientific journals, created national and international tobacco harm reduction networks, developed toolkits for smoking cessation or healthcare practitioners, and produced new media resources ranging from articles and films to radio shows and podcasts.

    “The impact of the program to date has been immense,” said THRSP manager Jon Derricott. “It has helped to shape and challenge thinking, practice and policy in many areas of the world, particularly in LMICs. The biggest influence is yet to come to full fruition, but this will be a growing cohort of well-informed and highly capable THR professionals who will continue to speak up for the benefits of THR and robustly challenge misinformation wherever it occurs. This really matters because at the root of all this is people’s right to a healthy life, even if they continue to use nicotine. THR enables that goal to be an attainable reality.”

    “Being part of the THRSP as a scholar, a mentor and then becoming the THR scholarship manager has been a life-changing journey,” said Chimwemwe Ngoma, a graduate of the program from Malawi. “The THRSP has opened new and exciting doors for me, and I am confident that many people have also benefited through what I have been able to offer. This has been the biggest opportunity for me to give back to the community and impact lives.”

    For more information about the program, visit https://thrsp.net.