Maneerat Ekkapongpisit joining the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) as a institute translational partnership (iTPA) manager in early 2018 under institute translational partnership award (iTPA), which is the grant awarded by Wellcome Innovations in December 2017 to the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand.
During the last one and a half year at MORU, Maneerat has established the iTPA framework and process. The first iTPA funding scheme was launched out in June 2018, with three iTPA projects were funded through this scheme. So far, there are currently 10 projects under iTPA funding scheme. The first three projects already completed and the selected iTPA project were leverage to another level of funding scheme through Wellcome Innovation Flagship. Maneerat also set in parallel the other aspects of the iTPA translational research support including:
- post-award project management, and development sessions for projects assigned non-financial support;
- iTPA overview sessions and related training sessions e.g Design Thinking;
- The additional Technical Support Accelerating (TSA) funding scheme;
- iTPA Manager facilitation of further collaboration with Oxford University‘s infrastructure (e.g linkage to Oxford University Innovations and Translational Research Office).
Maneerat has been proactive in running consulting sessions for project proposal draft guidance, translational research workshops, and in public relations events (e.g co-hosting a workshop and participating in conference exhibitions to share our expertise and discuss possibilities for collaboration and further translation research funding).
In November 2019, Maneerat and together with her team, also organized the international level workshop focusing on Diagnostic tools development for implementation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). In the workshop, there are invited speaker from all stakeholders involving in the implementation of Diagnostic Tools e,g World Health Organization (WHO), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and more than 80 participants from both MORU Network and External Researchers within the field.
Maneerat is continuing working to support translational research idea to thrive through translational research portfolio management, facilitate research collaboration, reach out the access to expertise and advocate the translational research projects to be ready for the future and larger funding. At the same time, she will focus on doing research in implementation science, design thinking and the translational research and innovation system and infrastructure.