Luxembourg based course on Operational Research

students4To develop the practical skills for conducting operational research and publishing the findings.

Course curriculum and expected outputs
The course is composed of three practical modules of 5 days each and conducted over a period of 8-10 months at MSF Luxembourg,  Luxembourg City,  as follows.

A full scholarship
will be offered to successful applicants. The scholarship includes all tuition fees, travel expenses, meals and accommodation.

Module 1a. Research questions and protocol development / 2nd – 6th July 2012
The purpose of this five-day module is to develop a thorough understanding amongst participants about what operational research is all about and to ensure that a draft research protocol is produced before they return to their own countries. The teaching will be through lectures, discussions, exercises and use of completed and published operational research. Most important, the participants will actually develop their research questions and written protocols during the week with the support of the facilitators.

Module 1b. Data management and analysis / 9th – 13rd July 2012
The purpose of this module is to ensure that participants understand the importance of good data quality and have the skills to produce an efficient electronic data entry form, based on principles adaptable to their specific needs.

Module 2. Writing a scientific paper writing / May 2013
The purpose of this module is to help participants use the results of their scientific papers and turn it into a draft article for submission for publication. How to deal with on-line submission and editors’ and reviewers’ comments will also be covered

Selection criteria for successful applicants
Applicants must satisfy the following strict selection criteria:

a)Be involved actively in the running of a MSF, national or state program or major health institution in a program or disease specific field (eg primary or secondary care, Nutrition, TB, HIV, non-communicable diseases, Maternal and child health  etc)

b) Provide written commitment to attend all three modules of the training course, return to their programme or institution after the course and implement course knowledge at programme level

c) Provide a written statement from the coordination/ operations or relevant authority attesting to the investment of resources and granting permission to have time and opportunity to carry out operational research

d) Provide a written statement from a mentor (if available) describing how they know the candidate and how they propose to provide support to complete the course successfully.

e) Outline a half page of text that a) describes a problem that the candidate has identified within a given program and b) formulation of a research question that is proposed to be developed into an operational research project. Please note that the research questions using routine programme data are preferred as prospective studies are unlikely to fit into the time-line and expected outputs of the course.

f) Have a Masters in Public Health (MPH) or equivalent, or a strong recommendation.

g) Be fluent in written and spoken English

h) Be computer literate

Approach to training
This is a target-oriented training with defined milestones and expected outputs. Failure to fulfil the expected outputs linked to each module implies the candidate does not return for the next module.

Participants go through the whole research process and complete the course with a defined product.

What does the participant gain?
Practical skills for undertaking the entire operational research process from concept to publication.

The experience of learning and sharing knowledge within a team of motivated participants and talented facilitators in operational research (who act as mentors) from different countries. Facilitation is currently provided by a selected group of facilitators from MSF, the Union-Paris, selected universities and the Pubic Health Foundation of India (PHFI) all of whom have extensive program experience in conducting and mentoring operational research.

An opportunity to excel and gain visibility in operational research and to prepare for increased research responsibilities in their country or institution

Possibility of submitting published papers and eventually acquiring a PhD in operational research. Fellowships in operational research will be provided as a way of fostering longer term retention and career opportunities at program level. In particular, links have been made with the universities to have published papers put together for consideration for an eventual PhD in operational research.

Participants are strongly encouraged to help train and eventually lead others (as mentors) to maximise long term capacity development and impact. The philosophy used is “see one, do one, teach one”.

Application deadline:    6th  April 2012

For any queries, please contact Stephanie Frogneux at  [email protected]

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