Fellows Progress Report, by the Scientific Coordinators’ Team

Tirana 2016.10 (88)

Follow up on accomplishment of assignments of the fellows

Main facts

Currently there is 1 cohort of fellows- total number of 15- in 8 Training Centres : Cohort 1 had graduated on December2016 and C2 is expected to graduate in early December 2017. Cohort 2 includes 15 fellows -: Lebanon:2, Tunisia:2 , the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia :2 and Albania :2, Moldova :2, Kossovo:2, Serbia:2 and Montenegro:1.

Background

Fellows work on their MediPIET specific assignments in parallel with the other professional and/or academic activities they are in charge of in their respective Institutes, with the support of their supervisors and country specific Scientific Coordinator.

Starting with March 2016, actively supporting the fellows and training sites constituted our main priority in parallel with increasing the number of International assignments.

More specifically, during the first semester of 2017, our support and mentoring towards the fellows focused on both the timely and efficient planning and implementation of their due assignments. Emphasis was put on the outbreak investigations, international assignments and encouragement to submit one manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.

The Outbreak investigation assignments had constituted an area of investment during the current semester as of their accessibility and implementation by C2 fellows. Relevant interventions have been discussed and potential explanations identified among which the most predominant being related to the fact that the majority of fellows work at the central level whereas OBIs are implemented at the regional and local level. Special arrangements and agreements between the different administration levels were encouraged in order to enable fellows working at the central level to be efficiently involved in OBIs. Special emphasis was put by the SCs in this direction.

IAs continue to be the object of particular investment from the SCs side, in close collaboration with TS and fellows. As all other assignments, the international ones, are viewed in a specific capacity building perspective, with regard to both the fellow and, mainly, the training site dimension. IAs have been identified and implemented in the scope of the additive value they can have for the training site and home institution of the fellow. Nevertheless, the concept of the potential additive value the IA might represent for the hosting institution has progressively started to be initialized. Enhancing this aspect as per the hosting institutes might constitute a considerable promoting factor in order to increase the number and relevance of IAs offers.

Emphasis is put on increasing the number of IAs offered by the TS, on developing and facilitating tailored and customized planned IAs meeting the needs of TS, on actively and repetitively motivating the fellows in this direction and on developing strategic partnerships with international institutional partners.

The modules have offered a valuable opportunity for having the fellows meet with different experts and formulate their topic and institution specific interest, in association with the already identified training needs, with regard to both the fellow and home institution.

Bilateral contacts have been used in order to organize planned IAs in WHO, ECDC, EU counties PH institutions. Additionally, fellows are actively encouraged to participate in unplanned IAs, mainly Goarn and /or ECDC missions. Actively developing the external collaborations- see specific document –is also used in this direction.

The timeline and prerequisites leading to eligibility for graduation had been explicitly presented and discussed with C2 fellows and their supervisors in October 2016 during their first Project Review Module. During January and February 2017, the fellows’ and assignments’ specific timelines were developed and finalized in order to guide the organization, management and coordination of the work while allowing for the alignment with the rest of the domestic ongoing activities.

The Midterm Training site visits had also been used in order to enhance and specifically target the collaboration with the TS.

Results

The data presented in the Annex Tables of the actual Fellows’ Progress Report as of June 1st 2017, rise from the Fellows Tracking Tool we have created in order to monitor the fellows progress and to generate action oriented information.

1) All but one C2 fellows have either completed or are ongoing with their surveillance assignments, as compared with half of them last December. The surveillance assignment is already planned for the last fellow to implement it.

2) The majority of the C2 fellows-12/ 80%- have either completed or are currently ongoing with their OBI assignment, as compared with 44% last December.

3) More than half of the C2 fellows- 54% have either completed or are currently ongoing with their research assignment, while for 6 among them – 40% – this assignment is already planned .In comparison with last December, the number of fellows having not started with this assignment has decreased by 8 as only one has not still defined the topic.

4) Almost all C2 fellows – 93%- have already implemented or are currently ongoing with their first IA, as compared with 25% last December, while this assignment is already planned for the remaining one.

5) The second IA has already been planned or is currently ongoing for more than half of the fellows as compared with none at that stage last December.

6) All C2 fellows have already presented at least one presentation in the ASC 2016 and submitted their abstracts for the ASC 2017.

7) Half of the fellows – 8/53% have already submitted or are currently preparing a manuscript for submission as compared with 25% last December, while another two fellows have already planned the submission.

8) The majority of fellows – 9/60%- has already completed or is currently ongoing with their teaching assignment while it is already foreseen and planned for an additional 4 fellows- 27%.

Conclusions- Discussion:

  • The vast majority of C2 fellows are progressing on a satisfactory pace with regard to quantitative data. A considerable increase in the completed assignments is noted as compared with the last semester. The OBIs performed by the fellows have increased in number as compared with the respective data of the last 2 semesters.
  • The vast majority of fellows have prioritized the surveillance assignment as the first to be completed. For the C2 fellows and as compared with C1 at the same period last year, the OBI had been a priority, leading to more than 2/3 of the due investigations to have been completed or ongoing.
  • 4) We have had less offers for IAs by the Project countries this semester; yet, we had an increased number of assignments organized in and with EU countries, ECDC and WHO. Further, there are a number of external collaborations under development including the organization of IAs in their specific content.
  • Data are not presented on the quality of their achievements; nevertheless, 25% of them have already published their work and another 25% are currently working on their paper to be submitted. Further, the quality of the fellows’ presentations during the last ASC is an indirect indicator of the quality of the work currently under progress.
  • Overall, the work done by and with the fellows seems to be rather systematic, evolving on a steady and regular pace, productive according to schedule, with increasing degrees of extroversion and self defined objectives and perspectives, as per the fellows and the Training sites.

 

Table 1.  Number of MedipIET C2 fellows, by assignment and assignment implementation status, on 1st semester 2017 and 2nd semester 2016.


Cohort 2 Jan 2017-June 17 Completed

1.17/2.16

Not Started

1.17/2/16

Ongoing

1.17/2/16

Planned

1.17/2.16

Grand Total
1.2 Implement or Evaluate a surveillance system 9/3       0/8       5/5      1/NA 15
2.1 Outbreak Investigation 9/6       3/9       3/1 15
3.1 Conduct a research Study 4/2       1/8       4/6      6/NA 15
4.1 First IA 9/4       0/12       5/0      1/NA 15
4.2 Second IA       6/16       1/0      8/NA 15
5.1 Presentations (1st ASC) 15 15
5.2 Presentations (2nd ASC)      15 15
5.3 Publications 3/1       4/12      5/3       2/NA 14
6.1 Perform teaching activities 5/5       3/5      4/6       4/NA 16
Grand Total 55       17      42      22 136
 

 

 

Ongoing
N/%
Planned
N/%
Grand Total
     5/33       1/7 15
     3/20 15
     4/27       6/40 15
     5/33       1/7 15
     1/7       8/54 15
15
     15/100 15
      5/33      2/13 14 6.1 Perform teaching activities 5/33      2/13       4/27      4/27 16