ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centre Program
Creating new kidney transplant centers and developing existing kidney transplant programs in emerging countries
The Transplantation Society and the International Society of Nephrology have been developing an ever-closer collaboration over the past 5 years. The Declaration of Istanbul in 2008 was our first major joint project. The latest collaboration is the ISN-TTS Sister Centres Program. ISN has initiated a successful sister centre relationship program that is part of the ISN Global Outreach strategy to develop nephrology broadly throughout the world. TTS and ISN have agreed to jointly fund an extension of this program to add focus on transplant sister centre relationships. The program has three components or types of sister centre relationship: Level C provides a small amount of money to facilitate the development of a plan of collaboration between two centres—one of which will be a well established renal transplant centre and the other will be less well experienced. The ISN-TTS money is to help the centres plan how they can best work together to develop the transplant program—probably through one or two visits between the centres. Level B provides more money and is based on the development of a practical plan for collaboration while at Level A. The Level B programs provide funding for a series of planned programs of collaboration between the centres. The top Level A sister centre funding is provided for those centres with a strong and multi-faceted relationship that will result in a long term and independent relationship between the centres based on mutual expertise and interests. Additional bonuses come with a funded sister centre relationship, such as a level of priority for other grants such as the ISN Fellowships or TTS Young Investigator awards.
The inaugural round of applications took place earlier this year, attracting a large amount of interest. The hard decisions were made during the World Congress of Nephrology in Hong Kong and the decisions of the applications are being sent as this article is being written. For those who missed out, and for those that found the deadline too tight, we are running what will be the normal annual cycle of applications in July/August for funding in 2014—look for the e-blast to members from both ISN and TTS. The directors of the centres that apply do have to be either a member of ISN or TTS (but not necessarily both).