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Elimination 8 Entomology Fellowship

Elimination 8 Entomology Fellowship

The SADC Malaria Elimination 8 Initiative (E8) is a partnership between eight member states that seeks to enable and accelerate zero local transmission of malaria in eight countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A critical success factor for attainment of this goal is strengthened capacity for entomology and it’s application within E8 country national malaria control and elimination programs, to complement other interventions within malaria elimination strategies, and enhancing programmatic decision making. While there are established platforms and skilled personnel collecting, analyzing and applying epidemiological data for decision-making, entomological surveillance and monitoring largely remains a preserve of research institutes and academia, although vector control represents a significant pillar of the elimination approaches being employed. Many national malaria programs have few staff with the relevant training and experience in entomology, and particularly its application within evolving malaria elimination strategies. There is a need to enhance skills among officers who design and lead malaria vector control programs. The strengthening of entomological surveillance systems in E8 countries will strategically complement epidemiological data for the enhancement of programmatic and policy decision making towards malaria elimination.

The E8 is launching an E8 Entomology Fellowship in 2018, aiming to select eight Fellows (one from each E8 country). The Fellowship is designed to provide a tailored program for skills building to meet specific member country needs, and to bridge gaps identified within malaria control and elimination programs. The Fellowship has the following objectives:

Accelerate attainment of malaria elimination by building entomological capacity in the E8 region at the national level to support malaria control programs;
Build and nurture a network of program officers and specialists in entomology and vector control, for enhanced collaboration and knowledge management within the E8 countries
Support the strengthening of entomological surveillance to complement epidemiological data and enhance programmatic decision making towards elimination of malaria in the SADC region.

Learning and Mentorship Framework

The E8 Entomology Fellowship Program consists of the following:

4 weeks of intensive training courses (divided up into three residential weeks during 2018), themes include:
Basic morphological Identification, taxonomy of vectors of importance within the region, molecular identification and basic insectary management (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa),
Theoretical and practical entomological surveillance, novel tools for residual malaria transmission and evaluation methods (Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania),
Translation: science and evidence to policy and programming including vector control planning, monitoring and evaluation, and project management (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the United Kingdom).
Assignment to a mentor, available for one-on-one guidance and mentorship over the duration of the Fellowship;
9 months of distance-learning, featuring webinars, support for participating in oral and/or poster presentations during regional and/or international conferences;
Capstone project, during which each Fellow completes a related assignment, with direct relevance or application to the country’s malaria elimination strategy;
Induction into a professional network of vector control and entomology officers within the SADC region, and access to ongoing collaboration and networking opportunities.
The Fellowship program will run from 7 May 2018 to 28 February 2019.

Once selected, Fellows will be connected with a mentor for the duration of the Fellowship based on relevance of project work. The role of the mentor is to provide guidance and supervision to the Fellow at regular intervals throughout the Fellowship, facilitate the completion of the project, provide input towards conference presentations, connect Fellows with relevant resources and contacts for her/his professional growth, and help the Fellow to apply lessons learned to the benefit of the NMCP’s malaria strategic plan.

Conditions of the Fellowship

Upon selection, the Fellow will be required to comply with the following conditions:

Candidates must be employed by the national institution responsible for coordinating the national response to malaria in their home country;
Upon conclusion of the program, candidates will be inducted into a professional network for vector control and entomology in SADC and may be required to fulfill mentorship roles for future Fellows;
Selected candidates will be required to travel, including 4 weeks of mandatory residential workshops. The Fellow will be required to hold a valid travel document, acquired at her/his own cost, by the start of the program or else forfeit her/his place in the program.
Successful applicants will be required to obtain permission to be absent from work for a total of one month (20 working days) in order to participate in training courses during residential weeks at academic institutions. This period will be divided over the course of the fellowship with ten days required in May, five in July or August (exact date to be determined) and lastly five days in November 2018. Participation in all residential weeks is compulsory. The Fellow will also be asked to have his/her supervisor approve his/her absence for the 4 weeks, prior to being admitted into the fellowship class
In a situation where an applicant incurs a serious illness or medical condition or another issue arises which prevents further participation in the fellowship program and s/he wishes to withdraw, a written request must be sent to the E8 Entomology Fellowship conveners.

Reporting Requirements

Upon completion of the Fellowship, Fellows are required to submit a written report to their mentor and the E8 Secretariat describing their experiences, results from their projects and detailing a plan of action for applying lessons and skills gained during the Fellowship to benefit the NMCP. Fellows will also be required to provide a complete financial report on completion of the Fellowship, which includes an itemized list of all project expenditures.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must demonstrate the following:

1. Citizenship in one of the E8 countries (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia or Zimbabwe);
2. Engagement in vector control or entomology work in one of these countries in a role that contributes directly to the national malaria elimination strategy (NMCP, MOH, or relevant partner institution);
3. Holder of either; (i) a bachelor’s degree in entomology, biology, environmental health or a related field, or (ii) a minimum of a general higher certificate or diploma in biology, environmental health or a related discipline;
4. Have at least 3 years of professional experience in working with malaria;
5. Be between 25 to 40 years of age;
6. Proficiency in both oral and written English (English speaking countries) or Portuguese (Portuguese speaking countries);
7. Commitment to a future career in malaria in their home country.

Application Process

Applicants are required to complete and submit the following documents via the online application form accessible at the web link below by Monday, 9 April 2018 at 9am CAT:

Application form containing personal details, short statement of purpose, brief description of project and a preliminary project budget summary. The application form is available at the following web link: https://goo.gl/forms/HAoykujfgBs8KkK13
Short CV no longer than two pages;
Recommendation letter from a professional or academic reference;
Scanned copies of qualifications and academic transcripts.
All queries regarding the Fellowship and/or application process may be submitted to the E8 Secretariat via email to: lvanwyk@elimination8.org

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