October Student Network Update

This month’s update highlights some exciting upcoming opportunities for students and young professionals, including:

  • The Student and Young Professionals Global Health Summit
  • Mentorship Workshop at the Canadian Conference for Global Health
  • CCGHR Student Network Executive Activities

Please scroll down to read more about these activities

The Student and Young Professionals Global Health Summit:

Held in Ottawa, on Friday November 1st, The Student and Young Professional Global Health Summit aims to bring together students and young professionals (SYPs) involved or interested in the global health field. The forum will provide the opportunity for global health SYPs to connect, network, engage, and be inspired. Together leading experts and SYPs will question what the upcoming global health challenges of our time and report on what Canadians are doing in the global arena. As a conference attendee, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the use of social media in global health through case studies of current day organizations and learn how you can effectively use social media to participate in the global health conversation and build your personal platform

  • Participate in a complex global health, medical emergency simulation and learn techniques and tools used in the field

  • Be challenged to think about your career path through workshops focused on global health mentorship and a panel discussions

Click here to learn about learn more about and register for the summit

Mentorship Workshop at the Canadian Conference on Global Health

The CCGHR Student Network Executive in collaboration with CSIH Mentornet is facilitating a workshop at the Canadian Conference on Global Health (held Nov 2-4 in Ottawa) on mentorship. Through an exploration of mentorship, the workshop will allow students and young professionals the opportunity to build a toolkit for success in global health. By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Develop a 5-year roadmap for the next steps to take in their careers.

  • Identify pathways to finding a mentor and why this is important.

  • Strengthen their peer networks by connecting with other students and young professionals in global health.

CCGHR Student Network Executive Activities

 Over the past months the Student Network executive has formed two working groups and is actively working towards the following key priorities and activities:

  • Communications Working Group: Working on the development of communication strategies for the student network, a social media platform and approaches to tailor content to the interests of members of the network.

  • Mentorship Working Group: Working on the delivery of the CCGHR 2014 Mentorship Workshop, the planning and implementation of the Students and Young Professionals Pre-Conference Summit, development of a pay it forward mentorship model and the expansion of CCGHR Student Chapters.

The executive is very excited to work towards these objectives over the coming year. If you have any comments or feedback on any of our initiatives please do not hesitate to contact us at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca.

 

July Student Network Update

The CCGHR recently developed an executive structure to support the development of a Student Network.  Thank you to all of those who applied.  Six successful applicants were chosen, including:

  • Charlene Ronquillo, UBC (PhD)
  • Rebecca Kruisselbrink, McMaster (MD, MPH)
  • Sarah Topps, Simon Fraser (MPH)
  • Rebecca Love, Oxford (formerly Queen’s) (MSc)
  • Clarke Cole, London School of Economics (formerly McMaster) (MSc)
  • Nicola Toffelmire, Waterloo (BSc)

An initial meeting of the executive was held on June 16th that aimed to identify high-level goals and objectives that the executive will focus on in the 2014-2015 year.  Based on our discussions, the executive will be focusing on:

  1. Development of a clear explanation of how the CCGHR and the Student Network can facilitate success as students and young professionals move through training stages of their careers.
  2. Improving awareness of the CCGHR to students and young professionals through fostering the development of student chapters.  A webinar will be created, as well as a quick guide that explains how to set up a student chapter at institutions both in Canada and globally.
  3. Beginning to develop our pay-it-forward mentorship model.  This will include linking students within the network together to learn from and guide one another.
  4. Members of the executive also recently submitted a proposal to CCGH 2014 in collaboration with CSIH MentorNet to facilitate a workshop on mentorship.  If successful, members of the executive will be involved in the development of approach and content.
  5. There is also potential for collaboration with CSIH on a CCGH 2014 pre-conference event that will be specific for students and young professionals.  Members of the executive may play a role on the planning team.

The executive will be meeting again in late July/August to determine specific leadership roles and responsibilities to achieve these goals.

Look for the profiles of our new student network executive members in upcoming versions of Coalition CONNECT!

If you have any comments or feedback on this initiative please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Allen-Scott or Dave Heidebrecht at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca

Network Executive Call & Research Officer Opportunities

This update highlights some exciting opportunities for CCGHR student members and those who are recent graduates, including:

  • Call for Executive: Applications Due May 15
  • Research Officer Opportunities: Applications Due May 3

Call for Executive

The CCGHR is in the process of shaping a new student global health network (SGHN).  For the SGHN to be successful we need a number of students and recent graduates to be engaged so that we can determine the vision, goals and activities of the network.  The SGHN executive will be responsible for determining how the network develops through active and lively engagement on core topics and events.

A call for applications is now open.  Please click here to download the 1 page description of the available positions.  If you would like to apply, please send your CV and cover letter to studentnetwork@ccghr.ca by May 15.

Research Officer Opportunities

Responding to calls for action from the 2013 Gathering Perspectives Study, the CCGHR’s Policy Influence Program is launching a second phase of the project. In this second phase, we will focus efforts on supporting the global health research community during a time of transition in the Canadian research funding landscape, elaborate a framework to guide practice in global health research, and facilitate engaged dissemination of research findings.

Two part-time research officer positions are available to support this response (expectation of 8-10 hours per week over 20 weeks May-October 2014).

(A) Policy Analysis: Funding policies are an important determinant of research and indirect declaration of priorities. Under the supervision and in collaboration with the research team, the Policy Analysis Officer will complete an analysis of provincial, federal, and international funding policies selected by the research team. They will prepare written report that summarizes and synthesizes the findings of the analysis. This work would provide opportunities for publication.

(B)  Environmental Scan: To inform anticipated deliberations on a framework to guide practice in the field of global health research, the Research Officer will complete a scan of published and grey literature on ethical principles and practices, critical approaches to global health practice and education, and guidelines for ethical conduct of research. This individual will work under the supervision and in collaboration with the research team, and will also liaise with other key stakeholders. The Research Officer will attend a deliberative dialogue in November 2014.

Please send your resume and cover letter to ccghr@ccghr.ca by May 3rd, 2014.

Stay tuned for more from the Student Network in the coming weeks.  Monthly updates will be sent to network members at the beginning of each month.  If you have any updates to share please send them to Lisa at studentnetwork@mcmaster.ca.

April Update: Forming a Student Executive & Report from IFMSA

This month’s update includes:

  • Forming a Student Executive
  • Report from IFMSA
  • Mentorship & CCGH 2014

Forming a Student Executive

As mentioned in our March Update, we’ve been busy putting together a proposed framework of a Student Network executive. Lisa and Dave will be following up with members individually next week to ask about your interest in getting more involved in the network.  We’re hoping to confirm interest by the end of April and start on some concrete steps towards developing the network in May.

Click here to view the concept note we’ve developed.

As you review the concept note please consider whether you would be interested in getting more involved in any of the network areas or in a broader leadership role.  Lisa and Dave will be happy to connect with you further, so please send any thoughts to Lisa at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca.

1000 young global health leaders meet in North Africa

Thank you to CCGHR member Andrew Bresnahan (PhD, McMaster) for sharing his recent report on the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (hosted in Tunisia) with us.  Andrew was representing the Canadian Federation of Medical Students as Vice President Global Health, providing an excellent summary of this exciting event while highlighting the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing with colleagues around the world.

Click here to read Andrew’s post – “Report from IFMSA: 1000 young global health leaders meet in North Africa”

Thank you Andrew for sharing your experience with us!

If you are interested in writing an editorial or opinion piece on your own research, a summary of an event you’ve recently attend (at your university or beyond), or posing broader questions in global health research, please send them to Lisa at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca.  We hope this platform will become a common location to share thoughts, questions, and ideas with each other going forward.

Mentorship & CCGH 2014

We are currently considering a submission to CCGH 2014 around mentorship, likely in collaboration with CSIH MentorNet.

If you are interested in being involved in a potential submission, please let Lisa know at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca

Next Steps

Lisa or Dave will be following up with everybody individually next week and will ask you to share some thoughts on the network and how you might like to get involved.  If you could consider how you might want to involve yourself in building the network going forward that would be a great first step as we seek to get the ball rolling.

Stay tuned for more from the Student Network in the coming weeks.  Monthly updates will be sent to network members at the beginning of each month.  If you have any updates to share please send them to Lisa at studentnetwork@mcmaster.ca.

Report from IFMSA: 1000 young global health leaders meet in North Africa – Andrew Bresnahan

This blog was written by CCGHR student member Andrew Bresnahan – Vice President Global Health, Canadian Federation of Medical Students.   It was originally published on the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Global Health Blog.

Last week I travelled to Tunisia from my childhood hometown on the Labrador coast, joining Danielle Chard (McGill), Siqi Xue (Toronto), Zia Saleh (Alberta) and 1000 other global health leaders from all over the world.  It was a humbling and inspiring experience – with brilliant peers from over 100 countries, we worked to build solutions for some of the world’s greatest global health challenges.

Through the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Canada is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), the voice of the world’s 1.3 million medical students to international organizations including the World Medical Association, WHO, UNESCO, and the World Health Assembly, among others.

It was an incredible chance to rub shoulders with global health leaders like Dr. Eugenio Villar (Coordinator of the WHO’s Department of Equity, Poverty and Social Determinants of Health), Dr. Allessandro Demaio, co-founder of NCDFree (a global social movement to reduce the rate of non-communicable diseases and advance health equity), and Dr. Margeret Mungherera, President of the World Medical Association. But even more inspiring than this was the chance to work and learn alongside colleagues from every corner of the planet.

Working with Canadian medical students to connect with so many inspiring people from across the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe is a huge honour.  Together, we shared training in advocacy and policy writing, attended workshops on a range of topics related to health and social justice, and navigated some of the most tricky questions in global health. It was friendships built during workshops, training sessions, plenaries, and over lunch, in the hallways, and on the dance floor that built the foundation for more more delicate and serious policy discussions.  For me, this global health diplomacy was by far the most humbling, inspiring, and exciting part of the meetings.

With this in mind, I’m uniquely thankful to everyone who worked to write and win progressive policies on behalf of 1.3 million medical students from 117 countries, on trade and health, ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity, abortion access, conscientious objection, humanitarian access in Syria, and the post-2015 development agenda.

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Trade and Health

The CFMS delegation worked closely with colleagues from every region of the world to win consensus on a new policy on trade and health, calling for trade agreements to respect public health, and opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) has called “the most destructive trade agreement for access to medicines in history.” This policy statement won unanimous support on the floor of the general assembly, and is not only a big win at the international level, but a useful example for the CFMS as we write our own policy statement on trade and health for our upcoming Spring General Meeting in Ottawa.

Access to Induced Abortion

Building on CFMS’s work improving access to induced abortion in Canada, we worked with countries from all regions to advance a policy statement written by Medsin-UK and AMSA-Australia supporting women’s right to access safe, timely, and voluntary therapeutic abortions, which won by a impressive margin (48 countries in favour, 11 against, 3 abstentions), a truly remarkable achievement in a culturally diverse global health forum.

Ending Discrimination to Improve LGBTQ Health

IFMSA also passed a very strong statement calling for an end to discrimination to better the health of LGBTQ people (with 48 in favour, 15 against, and 5 abstentions).  Countries at the WHO and WHA have been unable to reach agreement on this, making the IFMSA the first international health organization to take such a strong position.  In a unique moment, the delegation from Uganda spoke of the plurality of cultural, political, and legal settings that medical students from the African continent work and organize in, and chose to abstain from the vote.  Thinking of the ease of armchair morality and the challenge of navigating realpolitik in the search for social justice, I have come to think that this choice to abstain (rather than vote against) was itself perhaps an act of political courage, a small step in the right direction.  In any case, this policy win left me feeling proud of the IFMSA, and looking forward to continue to work with our international neighbours to help advance health for all, regardless of sex, gender, or place.

Conscientious Objection and Access to Care

Balancing a physician’s right to conscientious objection with patient’s rights to access essential care inspired healthy debate on the floor of the general assembly.  The policy, proposed by AMSA-Australia and Seconded by Medsin-UK, states that physicians holding a conscientious objection to the provision of medical treatment must declare such objections to their patients, and provide timely and effective referral to another health practitioner who does not hold such an objection. In response, NMSA-Norway issued a statement expressing concern that there are settings in which conscientious objection may essentially hinder timely and effective access to care, and that a physicians moral convictions must not restrict a patients right to access essential health care. In the end, the policy passed with strong support and lingering questions about how best to articulate reasonable boundaries to conscientious objection that protect access to care.

Access to Humanitarian Aid in Syria

As we met in Tunisia, the UNHCR estimates that there are 9.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, and 2.3 million refugees – 1 million of these children – seeking protection as a result of the Syrian civil war.  International Rescue Committee President and Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has described the international response to the crisis as “the defining collective failure of this century so far.”  With this humanitarian crisis unfolding, the IFMSA issued a strong and nuanced policy statement (written by Medsin-UK, IFMSA-Jordon, and IFMSA-Iraq) calling for massive international solidarity to support suffering Syrians and countries that have welcomed refugees.

Post-2015 Development Agenda

With the Millennium Development Goals reaching their evaluation milestone in 2015, IFMSA is actively joining negotiations to define post-2015 future development goals.   While progress towards the MDGs has been impressive, transformative steps are still needed to win a sustainable and healthy future for all.  As the IFMSA continues contributing to the global conversation on the post-2015 development goals, we will be working to ensure that Universal Health Coverage and a commitment to health equity are at the centre of any future health goals.  The IFMSA Policy Statement on Post-2015 Future Development Goals (proposed by IFMSA Quebec and Seconded by Medsin-UK) and the Hammamet Declaration on Health Post-2015 (signed by all national member organizations of the IFMSA) reflect these priorities, and will be useful reference points as Canadian medical students continue contributing to the post-2015 development process.

From Tunisia to Taiwan: CFMS and the IFMSA

I left feeling more sure than ever that there is a role for a strong Canadian voice at these meetings, and that there is a special need at IFMSA for the skills and interest in global health that so many Canadian medical students share.

I also left with a clearer sense than ever before that Canada and CFMS have much to gain from nurturing our relationships with our international neighbours.  Around the world, medical students are tackling similar problems – access to care in rural and remote areas, health human resource management, the influence of pharmaceutical companies on medical education, intellectual property rights and drug prices, the health of migrant and refugee populations, and action to advance the social determinants of health.  We have so much to learn from each other, and so much to gain from sharing our lessons and accomplishments. The IFMSA represents a unique forum for this kind of exchange.  With this in mind, I am excited to encourage Canadian medical students to join us for the 63rd General Assembly August Meeting of the IFMSA in Taiwan, August 5th to 11th (with pre- and post-GA events from August 1st to 16th).  We’ll be sending a call out this week, so stay tuned!

And as always, please get in touch with questions or ideas about how we can better work together to build a more fair and healthy Canada that works with our neighbours to win a more just and healthy world for all.

Sending all my best from the Labrador coast,

Andrew Bresnahan (McMaster University)

Vice President Global Health, Canadian Federation of Medical Students

Andrew Bresnahan is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research.  This blog post was originally published on the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Global Health Blog.

March Update: Feedback, Sharing Our Work, & March Plans

This is the first of what will become monthly updates on the CCGHR’s Student Network.  This month’s updates include:

  • Feedback on Our Platforms and Progress
  • Sharing Our Work: Student Work at Calgary and McMaster
  • Next Steps

Feedback on Our Platforms and Progress

After sharing a few introductions to our online platform (which will help facilitate the work of our new network), some positive feedback included:

  • Monthly Updates: Colleagues agreed that monthly updates on network activities would be helpful, though perhaps a gentle reminder once or twice during the month would be helpful.
  • Critical Dialogue: The idea of hosting critical discussions on relevant topics and editorial-style postings on opinions/visions went over well.  The Student Network would like to foster such dialogue.

We’re continuing to learn from this feedback, and are especially interested in getting feedback from you on what you would like to see in monthly updates.

If you are interested in writing an editorial or opinion piece on your own research or broader questions in global health research, please send them to studentnetwork@ccghr.ca.

Sharing Our Work: Student Work at Calgary and McMaster

Capacity building is a major goal of the Student Network (and the Coalition).  As we are geographically spread out, we hope that students at various universities can share ideas and challenges online so that we can learn from and connect with each other.

University of Calgary

The Global Health and International Partnerships and Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary have launched a weekly Global Health seminar series.  The interdisciplinary audience includes faculty and graduate students from a variety of departments across the campus, undergraduates from the Bachelor of Health Science program, undergraduate medical students, practitioners and policy makers.

This seminar series takes an interdisciplinary view of global health and its associated six core competencies:  the determinants of health and health equity, capacity building, equitable partnerships, ethics, cultural competency and knowledge translation.  The goal is for the presenter to discuss their research in the context of one or more of these core competencies in order to communicate both theoretical and practical methods, outcomes and challenges.  This seminar then generates critical discussion in an undergraduate level Global Health course, which is informed by seminal readings, videos or websites.  If you would like a copy of the discussion questions and key resources to promote critical discussion within your own working group or institution, contact Lisa Allen Scott (lallen@ucalgary.ca).

Visit the University of Calgary IPH website to view recordings of previous excellent seminars: http://www.iph.ucalgary.ca/GHIP_seminars

McMaster University

McMaster University is home to the CCGHR’s first ever Student Chapter.  Through the leadership of Clarke Cole (President) and Sarah Silverberg (Vice-President), the chapter has already hosted two successful events in 2014.  Both events have been summarized in blog posts on our Student Network website.  The posts have also been shared on the CCGHR’s public site.

  • Speed Mentoring: Bringing together students and faculty for an evening of discussion and mentorship around global health research.
  • Envisioning Our Global Health Research Future: Building on the CCGHR’s Gathering Perspectives project, the chapter co-hosted an event where students discussed a future vision for Canada’s role in global health research.  Information gathered will be used by the CCGHR’s broader research project.

If you have updates on student workshops or other events being held at your own university let us know.  We’ll share with the Student Network in April’s update.

Next Steps

This update is the first of what will become regular monthly updates for members of the Student Network.  Some next steps over March will include:

  • Your Feedback/Updates: Do you have updates on student activities at your own university? Do you want to share an update on your research or on broader questions you’re confronting as a student?  Please follow up with Lisa at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca to share your thoughts and ideas or to learn about getting more involved.
  • 2014 Workplan: We’ll be following up with members individually over March to get feedback on who wants to be more involved in building and fostering this network.  This will involve developing an executive and also sub-committees around: Mentorship, Advocacy, Transformation.  Let Lisa know if you’d like to get more involved as we move forward.
  • CCGH 2014 Student Event(s): We’re also starting to think about a CCGHR student presence at the Canadian Conference on Global Health in Ottawa in October 2014.  We’ll be looking for students who may be interested in helping plan some events.

Stay tuned for more from the Student Network in the coming weeks.  Monthly updates will be sent to network members at the beginning of each month.  If you have any updates to share please send them to Lisa at studentnetwork@mcmaster.ca.

Students Envision Canada’s Global Health Future

by Vivian Tam

Smart Solutions, McMaster University

VivianTamOn February 7th 2014, the McMaster CCGHR Student Chapter and Smart Solutions McMaster co-hosted the “Gathering Perspectives Student Dialogue.” The two-hour event was attended by students from multiple educational backgrounds with an interest in global health and global health research, and was moderated by CCGHR Research Officer Dave Heidebrecht and Steven Hoffman, a professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University.

The event was adapted from the CCGHR’s Gathering Perspectives project initiated in 2013, which aimed to engage national stakeholders in dialogues; leveraging expertise and research excellence in order to create a pan-Canadian vision for global health research.

The purpose of the Student Dialogue was to bring together passionate students to collaborate in creating a vision for the field of global health and global health research. After a forward by Dave regarding the work of the Coalition, Steven Hoffman set the stage for a discussion on the current features of global health relevant to students and young professionals looking to enter the field.

The subsequent discussion revolved around our focus question, “What do you see as your involvement in global health in the next ten years; what will you be researching, what will the global health “scene” look like?” Students grappled with the question in working groups, each of which was guided by a facilitator. Some prominent themes that emerged from discussion included an increased transparency in the organization and delivery of global healthcare, the need for multi-disciplinary research and collaboration, a greater role for developing countries in taking charge of their own development agenda and a less bureaucratic process of translating from policy to grassroots practice.

the group discussion demonstrated that students were extremely knowledgeable about the complexities of the current global health system.

While these emergent themes revealed a level of student idealism (invaluable in individuals who strive to be change-makers), the group discussion demonstrated that students were extremely knowledgeable about the complexities of the current global health system. When asked to reflect on each others responses, students pointed out the inevitable political bureaucracy in allocating development aid, and were quick to realize that globalization as a driving force would increasingly mold and shape the practice of global health in unprecedented ways. Students also identified practices and fields gaining momentum in global health, including those of preventative care, global mental health, maternal and child health, indigenous rights and non-communicable diseases. There were also strong calls for a reform of the global health system, which spoke to the level of passion and involvement that was evident around the room. A comprehensive summary of Dialogue results will be made available in the near future.

As the Chair of Smart Solutions McMaster, I have had a longstanding interest in leveraging student-led innovation to impact global health. This event was no different—it allowed my co-organizers and I to better understand how students envision global health and global health research evolving, and what their role may be in this dynamic process. The Dialogue was also a great way to synthesize student perspectives on current challenges in global health and how they may be overcome within their generation.

The Dialogue was also a great way to synthesize student perspectives on current challenges in global health and how they may be overcome within their generation.

It was a pleasure to organize the Dialogue with the co-Chairs of the McMaster CCGHR Student Chapter, Clarke Cole and Sarah Silverberg, and I think we made very positive progress towards our shared vision of creating a harmonized student vision for global health and global health research. I know I speak for all of us when I say we look forward to the next time we work with such motivated students and young professionals.

 

Vivian Tam is currently a third year student in the Arts & Science Program at McMaster University. She has a strong interest in global and public health, and looks forward to further exploring ways in which she can make a meaingful impact in this field.

If you are interested in hosting a similar forum at your own university, please contact the CCGHR’s McMaster Student Chapter at ccghrsc@mcmaster.ca

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Coalition’s Gathering Perspectives project.

Speed Mentoring: A Learning Opportunity

Breagh Cheng, McMaster University

On the evening of January 23rd, the McMaster-CCGHR Student Chapter hosted their first event since it’s inception: an evening of Speed Mentoring. As an undergraduate student exploring the field of global health, I was excited for this unique opportunity to connect with faculty and like-minded students and learn from experts in this field.

In intervals of rotating ten minute conversations, the Speed Mentoring Event provided  the opportunity to bring together students and faculty members currently conducting global health research at McMaster, to inquire and engage in conversation. Although question prompts were provided to students to spark discussion between students and faculty, many of the student participants came prepared with those of their own. The goal of this speed mentoring portion was to introduce faculty and students to one another so that participants may broaden their network of connections within the global health community, while allowing students to learn from the faculty’s extensive knowledge base and experience in the global health field.  A more informal networking period followed, where students then had the chance to continue discussions with faculty they have previously spoken to.

I believe that the  goal of the Speed Mentoring Event was met; the structured environment that the speed mentoring helped to facilitate the formation of  meaningful connections. It allowed both students and faculty members the chance to build familiarity with each other, which helped ease any apprehensions students may have had about approaching and networking with faculty members.

Having never attended an event of this nature, I did not know what to expect, but after taking the time to talk with each faculty member, it became clear that they were extremely passionate about what they do and shared a mutual interest with students to get to know each other.  Their willingness to share their expertise, and their own experiences was encouraging and motivating as a student who hopes to further her interests in global health. The  success of what was a fulfilling event makes me excited for plans McMaster-CCGHR Student Chapter has in the future.

Breagh Cheng is an undergraduate student at McMaster University and is an active member of the McMaster CCGHR Student Chapter, the first of its kind in Canada.

The Student Network Website Explained

I hope you’ve been able to take some time to start thinking about our pilot virtual platform, www.ccghr.ca/studentnetwork.  Thank you to those who have provided feedback so far, and I’m looking forward to hearing thoughts and ideas from others in the coming weeks.

The Platform Template: A Starting Point

Last week I shared details on how you can send updates or ideas to be shared with the Student Network.  This week’s note highlights how and where such feedback will be used.

  • Homepage: Will always have the most recent Student Network updates, allowing you to catch up on multiple updates with ease (scroll down to see previous updates).  These updates will also be sent as emails (such as this one) to allow you to consume information on the platform that fits best with your daily routine.
  • Updates: A common page for all updates, to eventually include critical reflections posed in the form of short blog posts, to be written by Student Network members who want to share research questions and ideas with colleagues to solicit feedback and dialogue.
  • About: Provides context of the project, eventually to include information about the Student Network.
  • Group Members: A page with short Student Network member bios, specifically noting your proposed contributions and the outcomes you seek to achieve with other colleagues.
  • Goals: Lists goals as identified via a survey shared with Student Network members in 2013.  These goals will guide our 2014 pilot and may be adapted based on feedback.
  • 2014 Work Plan: Will eventually contain a workplan for the Student Network. Ideally this will be online by March 2014.
  • Calendar: To include information on events, deadlines, travel information, and other details shared by Student Network members.
  • Documents: Information shared by members of the Student Network may be placed in this section, which will be developed based on the needs of the team.  A Student Network dropbox (to be shared next week) will also hold relevant documents for sharing amongst colleagues.
  • Contact: This page can be used to share updates and feedback with me.

These initial pages make up the template created based on the CCGHR’s virtual platform experience to date.  More pages can be added based on the needs of the Student Network as we move forward.

Your Thoughts?

As you look around our new website, considering what updates you might find useful and how the platform overall (including email and dropbox) might support Student Network outcomes that you’d like to see, please let me know:

What aspects of the platform are most appealing to you and/or are there other ideas you have that we haven’t covered yet?

Your feedback on these basic functions will help in ensuring that form follows function.  We’ve had some great feedback from colleagues so far, which I plan to share with everyone by the end of the week.  If you’d like your feedback to be included in this initial summary please reply to this email by Thursday.

Student Network Updates Explained

Last week I sent you an introductory note about the Student Network’s pilot virtual platform (if you missed it, click here: http://ccghr.ca/studentnetwork/january-14-update-virtual-platform-introduction-call-for-abstracts/).  As mentioned, I’ll be sending weekly notes throughout January with some basic information explaining how we hope the platform will function.  This week’s note covers Student Network Updates.  As everyone becomes more familiar with the platform, I’ll begin posing questions for discussion regarding goals of the Student Network and hopefully we can build momentum from there.

Email Updates

Email updates sharing progress and Student Network-related information will be sent on a regular basis, developing a routine that respects your workload and many other commitments without flooding your inbox.  As a group we’ll determine how often these updates should be shared.

Updates Also Posted Online

Each update will be added to the homepage of our Student Network website – http://www.ccghr.ca/studentnetwork.  The goal of this duplication is to allow you to quickly view multiple updates on one easy-to-consume platform without having to sort through your email.  As the website is mobile-friendly, it can be easily accessed via your smartphone (try it!).

How Do I Share Updates?

  • Email: Reply to any update or email from me, or email studentnetwork@ccghr.ca.
  • Website Sidebar: There is a sidebar located on the right side of every page on the website (in mobile view it is at the very bottom of the page).  Under the heading “Do You Have News to Share With CCGHR?” there are links to email me at studentnetwork@ccghr.ca or to visit the Contact page (see below).
  • Contact Page: An update form allows you to choose the type of update you are providing along with details of the update: http://ccghr.ca/studentnetwork/contact

Whether sharing an idea for critical reflection, Student Network project–related updates, event information, or general news on global health research, updates will be used to populate the our website and a Dropbox to be shared shortly.

Seeking Your Feedback

This week I’d like to pose the following questions to everyone.  Please feel free to respond to them using any of the methods above (including responding to this email).  I’ll compile everyone’s feedback into a concise update to be shared later in January:

1.    Would you be interested in contributing updates and/or documents to be shared with other Student Network members if prompted on a monthly basis?

2.    What types of information would you like to see shared in regular updates and on the Student Network website?

If you have some time to think about these questions and send us a response (if even only a sentence or two), it would be very helpful in ensuring this pilot serves the purpose of contributing towards the CCGHR’s vision of creating a thriving knowledge-sharing network.  Rest-assured we’ll start discussing more specific Student Network goals shortly, and thank you to everyone for your feedback.

If you’re interested in learning more about the overall Virtual Platform Laboratory project’s vision and mission, please visit the project’s website at http://www.ccghr.ca/vpl

An Initiative of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research