Background

The second annual Emmet A. Dennis National Scientific Conference (EADNSC) was held in Monrovia from August 27 to 29, 2019. The conference was co-organized by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, the Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program, and the University of Liberia, with the support of many partner organizations.

Among other objectives, the annual scientific conference is a capacity-building tool and career-forming experience for tertiary level students and young budding scientists in Liberia through the exposure to scientific writing and publications, and public health practices at the conference.

Although student participation at the conference was high (about 100), only one of them submitted an abstract and made a presentation. During the conference, a call was made for interested students to sign up for mentorship to develop their research and writing skills. A total of 35 students from nine academic institutions responded. The expressed interest from this target group in scientific studies, writing and presentations must be encouraged and fostered. The concept of the Liberia Scientific Writing Clubs (LSWC) was hence developed to serve this purpose.

The Liberia Field Epidemiology Training Program (LFETP), established in the country in 2015, has till date trained over 200 practicing surveillance officers in the art of scientific writing and presentation among other objectives. The establishment of the Liberia Scientific Writing Clubs (LSWC) will be leveraged on the mentorship capacity produced within the graduates of the LFETP. The US CDC has approved the operation of the LWSC under the LFETP activities in the 2019/2020 co-ag year.

The LSWC will be piloted for one year leading to the third annual EDNSC.

Objective

The incumbent shall serve as a coordinator who will ensure the implementation and smooth running of the clubs across tertiary institutions in Liberia.

The general objective of establishing these clubs is to build capacity in Liberian students at the tertiary institutions in conducting scientific research, writing reports and making scientific presentations.

Specific objectives for Year 1

  1. To establish LSWC in at least 5 Liberian academic institutions
  2. To provide technical support for at the conduct of at least one survey by the club members across the country
  3. To have at least one presentation from the clubs at annual National Scientific Conference 2020.

Duties and responsibilities

  1. Develop the content/curriculum for implementation of the LSWC and ensuring that targets are met.
  2. Define a strategy for the writing process including timelines
  3. Engage heads of the various academic institutions to share the concept of the LSWC, and encourage them to designate a coordinator from among the faculty of each institution. Schools with fewer number of interested students may be merged and guided to decide on which school provides the coordinator
  4. Identify and engage individuals within public health institutions and Partners to serve as mentors for the various LSWCs in the schools.
  5. Work closely with the members of the clubs and the school coordinators to do the following
    • Develop timelines for club activities
    • Provide didactic lessons on research and scientific writing
    • Decide on a study topic for a mini survey each year
    • Develop a protocol and data collection tool for the mini survey
    • Conduct the survey and write the report
    • Submit an abstract for the EDNSC
  6. Submit monthly activity and financial reports to Resident Advisor, LFETP and Director, Training and Capacity Building, National Public Health Institute of Liberia.

Expected deliverables

  • Monthly progress reports
  • Quarterly progress report
  • Activity reports (technical, financial)
  • Study protocol
  • Data collection tools
  • Abstract
  • Manuscript

Qualifications and Experience:

  • A graduate of Liberia FETP (Intermediate) or a Liberian Advanced FETP resident/graduate
  • Undergraduate degree in a science-related field is an added advantage
  • Strong knowledge in using Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint) for analysis and reporting
  • Strong English language skills
  • Ability to work under high pressure and meet deadlines

Application Process

Interested applicants should submit an application to afenetliberia@gmail.com by November 29, 2019.
*ONLY successful candidates shall be contacted for an interview.

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