Table 3

Typology of vaccinology research sites

Types of siteCentres of excellence in vaccinologySpecialised vaccinology sitesSmall, generalist vaccinology sites
Types of research
  • Cover the full range of vaccinology activities, from basic science to clinical trials and implementation research.

  • Conduct research to international standards of quality.

  • Focus on 1–2 diseases and scientific disciplines of study.

  • Generate excellent data within their area of expertise.

  • Have expertise in more than 1–2 diseases or disciplines.

  • Generate data of varying quality.

External support
  • Have developed their research facilities through core support or large multiyear grants.

  • Collaborate closely with one or more European or North American research institutions are often led by scientists from high-income countries.

  • Have developed their research facilities through network support.

Scale
  • Have reached a critical mass that enables them to sustain their capacity over time, with a regular inflow of projects to support staff and infrastructure maintenance

  • Are limited in the types of projects they can undertake due to their small size and narrow focus:

  • Face scientific barriers, for example, inability to conduct multidisciplinary work or to coordinate field, clinical, laboratory and data components of projects.

  • Face operational barriers, for example, difficulty in hiring and training large numbers of staff, challenge of managing complex grant processes, etc.

  • Have difficulty growing for reasons similar to those affecting specialised sites.

  • Risk losing capacity when projects end.

ExamplesKEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya; the Medical Research Council, The Gambia; the Centre for Vaccine Development, Mali; the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and the Centro de Investigacao em Saude de Manhica in Mozambique, ALIVE at University of WitwatersrandHIV research sites (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative/HIV Vaccine Trials Network sites), malaria research sites (malaria drug and vaccine trial sites), demographic surveillance sites (INDEPTH network) and laboratory science sites (Institut Pasteur International network).