Friday, 26 April 2013

PhD Studentships on Neglected Zoonotic Diseases in Africa Available

The Centre for African Studies at the University of Edinburgh is looking for three outstanding candidates to explore crucial, yet neglected, issues in the governance of human and animal health.

As part of a new initiative by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the studentships will examine the policies, research activities, and the control, diagnosis and treatment initiatives that aim to control neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs).

These studentships are highly multidisciplinary and drawing on both the social and biological sciences. Students will receive tailored training from the ESRC Scottish Doctoral Training Centre and the EASTBIO Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership, both based at the University of Edinburgh, before embarking on one of three PhD projects:

1.) Tracing International Policy Networks Рfocusing on the role of international organisations Рfor instance the World Health Organization and M̩decins Sans Fronti̬res - in shaping research into and control of African Trypanosomiasis. The nature of this project means that fluency in French is desirable.

2.) Mapping the post-MDG Agenda – will examine the evidence base, funding streams and policies that shape the future global health agenda in relation to NZDs, especially in the content of debate around the replacement of the current 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

3.) ‘Below the radar innovation’ – will analyse how technological innovation may generate appropriate, sustainable, local-level vector control and diagnostic measures in East and Central Africa.

Students will also have the unique opportunity to work with a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars from the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science, including the Centre for African Studies and the Innogen Institute.

Each of these studentships is fully-funded for four years and will provide an enhanced stipend (c. £15,000 per annum).

We anticipate that successful applicants will already hold a masters degree in an appropriate area of study. These studentships are available to UK citizens or EU citizens who ordinarily resident in the UK.

To be considered please indicate which project you wish to be considered for and attach an academic cv and a letter explaining your suitability and interest to: If you have any queries you can contact James Smith at the same email address.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A BIG impact on the bioeconomy

At the heart of the bioeconomy is a desire to make the world a better and more equitable place to live. From biotechnological advances in health, agriculture and environment, we have the opportunity to cure currently incurable diseases, grow new crops that feed more people, and find cleaner and more efficient energy sources.

There is rapid growth in the European and global bioeconomy. In Europe, the bioeconomy makes €2 trillion a year and employs more than 22 million people, yet as it grows the shortage of people skilled to work in it also increases. Living up to the future promises of the bioeconomy requires a workforce skilled in innovation and governance of scientific, technological and social change.

With unemployment in the Eurozone currently reaching over 20% of those under the age of 25, Europe now has a unique opportunity to overcome the evident mix-match of skills and provide training options and job opportunities that meet labour demands in areas such as agriculture, energy production, health, manufacturing, environmental clean-up, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, while at the same time ensuring its economic competitiveness on the global stage and a better quality of life for its citizens.

Monday, 1 April 2013

OU DPP Guest Blog: Mission Possible

By Julius Mugwagwa, recently in South Africa and Zimbabwe

Spending a week each in South Africa and Zimbabwe doing a pilot study for my new ESRC-funded project on ‘innovative spending in global health’ from the end of February to early March was indeed an eye and ear opener…for me and the various people I met and talked to.

I met and had discussions with people ranging from officials in ministries/departments of health, universities, civil society organisations with activities in the health arena, retail pharmacists, private health practitioners to people going about their everyday lives in cities and rural areas.

The issue of being creative and innovative in raising resources is a dominant one, not only in health, but all facets of human endeavour. In fact, there are all sorts of names and phrases in the local languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe to describe the innovative and entrepreneurial ‘wiring’ of those who are successful at accumulating resources. There is an unwritten consensus that once the resources are there, spending them in an impactful way will not be a problem.

It gave a bit of a jolt, therefore, when I asked the various people I spoke with whether they had stopped for a moment to think about innovative spending?

Read the whole story on the DPP Blog.