Cohort Meeting January 2017

January 2017 presented many opportunities for the ZELS-AS cohort to meet with each other and with researchers from across the ZELS programme. An ambitious series of meetings took place in Arusha and Lake Manyara, Tanzania, including the first meeting for the complete ZELS-AS cohort.

Brucellosis Control Workshop

On January 23rd, Dr Jo Halliday from the University of Glasgow hosted a workshop to address the question "Brucellosis Control in sub-Saharan Africa: What Next?" Attendees from across sub-Saharan Africa and Europe reviewed the current state of brucellosis control and discussed what Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya,  and Senegal specifically can be doing to move towards control of this zoonotic disease. Five of the ZELS-AS students working on brucellosis were invited to attend and engage with a room full of the world's leading experts on brucellosis.

ZELS Grantholders Meeting

Following the Brucellosis Workshop, all of the ZELS-AS students attended the annual ZELS Grantholders' Meeting, held at the Nelson Mandela African Institution for Science and Technology outside of Arusha on January 24th and 25th. Over the course of two days, the students joined discussion groups on Interdisciplinarity, Stakeholder Engagement, and the Challenges and Solutions encountered so far by the ZELS projects. ZELS-AS students Gemma Chaters and Laura Craighead had the opportunity to present on the ZELS-AS programme, and the consensus was that having the students participate was a valuable experience for everyone.

ZELS-AS Cohort Meeting

Following the ZELS Grantholders Meeting, the ZELS-AS students and their supervisors moved to Lake Manyara for their own 3-day meeting. The group was fortunate to be joined by three other students who, although not funded by ZELS-AS, are working with the ZELS projects. We were also joined by members of the ZELS Independent Advisory Group and representatives from our funders. The students all received intensive communications training and had the chance to work on practical communications assignments with Jamie Gallagher, the Public Engagement Officer from the University of Glasgow. In addition, the schedule was packed with presentations from the students, workshops on ethics, grant-writing, stakeholder engagement and internships, and a final day field trip into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where some of our students are conducting their research.

By the end of the meeting everyone was tired, but satisfied that the time together had been fully taken advantage of. With all sixteen of the students now having started, this meeting marked the first cohort gathering with all of the members, and the event was judged a success by everyone involved. We're already looking ahead to next year's meeting, which will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam in association with the final ZELS Grantholders' Meeting.

View the Programme - ZELS-AS Jan17‌.