Work package 2
This work package is led by co-investigators Charles Wondji (CRID, Cameroon) and Philip McCall (LSTM). Recognising the critical skills shortage in vector biology, and the need to attract excellent scientists from other disciplines to apply their expertise to controlling VBD, work package 2 is centered around supporting a cohort of 10 Research Career Development Fellows (RCDFs) who are committed to a long-term research career in Malawi, Burkina Faso, or Cameroon. Each RCDF is employed by one of the African partner research institutes; these institutes are supported (via the institutional capacity strengthening work being conducted in work package 5) to establish viable career pathways to ensure retention of RCDFs meeting the expected standard.
The RCDFs are responsible for ensuring the supply of quality evidence by conducting internationally competitive research that meets the demand of policy makers and implementers. We conducted interdisciplinary training of all RCDFs and LSTM-based researchers at the beginning of their 3-year fellowship, including technical content as well as sessions on knowledge translation, project and data management, and research integrity. Each RCDF has been assigned at least two advisors, one from LSTM and one from the relevant partner organisation, while additional in-country and remote support will be provided by the LSTM researchers and support staff. Each RCDF has recruited and and is training at least one early career researcher to contribute to establishing the critical mass of expertise necessary to sustain the programme.