MSc scholarships for six African scientists involved in EDCTP-funded research

Published on 8 March 2013

Six scientists from sub-Saharan Africa involved in EDCTP-funded vaccine development projects have been awarded a scholarship for the Master’s Programme in Vaccinology and Pharmaceutical Clinical Development (III edition) commencing at the University of Siena, Italy in May 2013. The objective of the Master programme is to build capacity in vaccinology and vaccine development in developing countries.

The Master’s programme is offered by the University of Siena Medical School, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH), and ADITEC (Advanced Immunization Technologies). The scholarships are offered through Novartis and the EU FP7 ADITEC programme. The programme offers a one-year course at the University of Siena in Italy followed by a six-month internship at Novartis.

The selected candidates are working in different institutions in six African countries, including: Kumasi Hospital (Kumasi, Ghana); Kenya Medical Research Institute/ U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Kisumu, Kenya); Rwanda Biomedical Centre (Kigali, Rwanda); Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar, Senegal); The Aurum Institute (Klerksdorp, South Africa), and Ifakara Health Institute - Bagamoyo Research and Training Centre (Bagamoyo, Tanzania).

The MSc course provides physicians interested in public health and infectious diseases with the opportunity to study vaccine preventable diseases, immunisation impact, vaccine development and the roles of various stakeholders in vaccine policy setting and immunisation programmes, with a focus on developing countries. It comprises practical training at the University Hospital of Siena and other academic institutions. This is followed by a six-month internship within different departments of NVGH. Field training at various investigational sites involved in vaccine trials is also included.

Physicians working in vaccine development projects funded by EDCTP are eligible for the programme as a result of collaboration between Novartis and the European Commission. The initiative is part of a broader EDCTP effort to foster cooperation of public and private partners for clinical research on poverty-related diseases and neglected infectious diseases.

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