The Clinical Research and Development Fellowship (CRDF) scheme enhances the capacity of individuals and institutions in LMICs to undertake and manage clinical research that meets international standards of regulatory requirements to develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for infectious diseases of poverty.

Starting in 1999, the Career Development Fellowship (CDF) scheme was scaled up in 2008 and 2014, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) and in partnership with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA). In 2014, this became a joint TDR programme with the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), in partnership with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and was renamed the Clinical Research and Development Fellowship (CRDF).

Since 1999, a cumulative total of 112 fellows (26 women, 86 men) from 36 LMICs have been selected to be placed with 31 partner organizations. All fellows returned to their home institutions except one who has played a pivotal role in a wide range of R&D projects, including trials for new candidate vaccines and drugs. The current phase of support from the Gates Foundation is from 2018 to 2022.

The life cycle of a CRDF round is three years: one year for the selection of fellows, one for the fellows’ training at the host institution, and the final year for the fellows’ reintegration back in their home institution.