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GENIE CETL and University of Leicester help to develop research capacity in Ethiopia

One of the Leicester–Gondar PhD students, Worku Negash, tends a nursery that forms part of his research into the genetics of Ethiopian varieties of flax.

GENIE CETL and University of Leicester help to develop research capacity in Ethiopia

Issued on 24 July 2009

A party of academics from the University of Leicester has travelled to Gondar University in Ethiopia on a trip organized by the GENIE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). The visit formed part of an innovative PhD programme designed to develop a sustainable research capacity in Gondar and other Ethiopian universities.

Three members of staff from Gondar are registered as PhD students at the University of Leicester. After three months at Leicester in late 2008 they returned to Ethiopia to continue their research under the joint supervision of senior academics from the University of Leicester and Ethiopian universities. This visit allowed the UK supervisors to see the progress of the work in Ethiopia, to improve their understanding of the local setting for the research, and to meet their Ethiopian counterparts in Gondar and their home institutions. It is hoped that the development of sustainable research into topics of local interest, supported by collaboration between UK and Ethiopian academics, will allow the participants to become research leaders within their disciplines in Ethiopia.

In addition to work with the students, the party looked around local agricultural sites and visited hospital and health facilities connected with the projects. The end of the visit was marked by an open meeting, hosted by Professor Teferra Abula of the University of Gondar, at which the students presented summaries of the work to date to an audience of staff and students. The PhD programme – supported by the GENIE CETL, the University of Leicester and Gondar University – has evolved from a long-standing link between health professionals in Leicester and Gondar University established by Professor Mike Silverman. The three students are Baye Gelaw (supervised by Professor Mike Barer in Infection, Immunity and Inflammation), Kassahun Tegegne (supervised by Dr Abbi Kedir in Economics and Professor Liz Draper in Health Sciences) and Worku Negash (supervised by Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison in Biology).

If you would like to know more about the PhD programme, please contact Dr Mark Goodwin in the GENIE CETL telephone 0116 252 3489, email majg1@le.ac.uk or visit the GENIE website at http://www.le.ac.uk/genetics/genie/

A dinner hosted by the GENIE CETL for the UK and Ethiopian PhD supervisors.

Above: A dinner hosted by the GENIE CETL for the UK and Ethiopian PhD supervisors.

L–R:

Ila Patel, GENIE CETL

Dr Geetha Narayanan, GENIE CETL

Dr Adugna Wakjira, Holetta Agricultural Research Centre

Professor Mike Barer, Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Leicester

Professor Elizabeth Draper, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Dr Eshetu Gurmu, Institute of Population Studies, Addis Ababa University

Dr Mark Goodwin, GENIE CETL

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