|Group photo at the medical grant writing training in Kigali hosted by Imbuto Foundation and IAVI|
Last week, I spoke at the opening ceremony of a two-day medical grant writing workshop in Kigali. To follow up, I am sharing my thoughts on the relevance and importance of such trainings.
It is essential that Rwanda own its research, results, and publications. Today, the normalcy of foreign researchers studying and publishing Africa’s own results must be tackled just as seriously as we tackle diseases. If we don’t start to document our own progress on the continent, we will inevitably allow foreigners to continue to study our population’s health and write about it without including national researchers and implementers. Certainly there are examples of non-Rwandans who have successfully partnered with Rwandan researchers on studies and publications, but this type of partnership must become the norm across the continent.
One very important way to improve regional ownership over data and results is to train our young professionals on how to write grants for medical research. A workshop held on 11-12 November 2011 hosted by the Imbuto Foundation and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative drew young professionals from across the region for a training in medical grant writing. The forum was called, “Africa Young and Early Career Grant Writing” and was attended by Ugandans, Kenyans, Zambians and Rwandans. A strong skill-set in medical grant writing is absolutely key for winning funds for research and building a career in clinical medicine and public health. There is no time like now to start training our young health professionals in the region. We need regional ownership of research and data, and in order to do so, we need diligent young people who are well-trained in the science and art of medical grant-writing.