15 October 2019
Afrique One-ASPIRE fellows benefited from a series of modules during this year’s summer school from the 19th to 24th of September. This training coordinated and delivered by the training team of the consortium, assisted by the postdoctoral fellows, focused on the techniques of article and grant writing for the first 3 days. Practical exercises allowed the students to produce manuscripts and to draft grant applications, individually or as a team. All drafts were subjected to internal evaluation by the coaches and trainers.
This training was followed by an excursion, planned by the fellows beforehand, to a rural health centre in Samo, as a public engagement and policy development exercise. The goal was to show our young researchers ways to involve communities and decision-makers in their research. The excursion was an opportunity to observe the challenges people are facing and how to engage with them appropriately, following the research evidence. At the health centre of Samo, fellows formed 4 interdisciplinary groups and engaged with the health centre’s staff.
After leaving Samo, our students particularly commented on the difficult working conditions of the health staff they witnessed.
The last two days of the summer school, were allocated to career strategy and planning modules. For this we had the support of Dr. Christopher Merrit, a trainer from AMARI, another consortium of DELTAS Africa. Over the course of two full days, he advised our fellows on career strategy in research, mentoring skills, work-life balance and digital media as well as networking through interactive sessions with numerous discussions and exercises. He was assisted by the Afrique One-ASPIRE trainers.