Looking ahead to the next six months of the CONNECTED project
The six month point of any project is a good time to reflect and take stock. The small network team running CONNECTED has been in place since December 2017 so, six months in to the project, here’s a snapshot of some of the major landmarks so far and, more importantly, a summary of what’s to come.
In the past six months the CONNECTED Virus Network has:
- Run two major international conferences: one in Bristol, UK, and one in Kampala, Uganda, drawing together scores of world-class researchers. Delegate feedback has been positive and is helping shape future planned events
- Organised two training courses aimed specifically at early career researchers: again, the feedback is being used as part of future plans
- Opened the first of its two pump prime funding calls, supporting vector-borne disease research
- Welcomed more than 240 people – from 33 different countries – as signed-up network members: they get access to member-only parts of the CONNECTED website, and regular email updates with news of events and other opportunities. Anyone with an interest in our work can join here
- Launched and updated its website, which attracted some 18,000 page views in its first six months, and attracted over 500 followers to its Twitter account
In light of these positive beginnings, it is vital the project now maintains its momentum, working to further bring together collaborations of researchers which can, in the years ahead, help deliver solutions to vector-borne crop diseases that devastate Sub-Saharan African countries.
In the next few months, plans are in hand to:
- Open the second of its two pump-prime funding calls
- Kick-off an innovative Training Voucher scheme, with funding to enable visits to UK research institutions
- Put in place plans for a CONNECTED Development Programme, to be run in 2019
- Expand the resources available on the CONNECTED website, particularly those available to support network members
- Develop elements of the project to encourage people from other research areas to work with us, making it a truly interdisciplinary project
Network members will be the first to learn the details of all these developments. Anyone with an interest in our work can easily become a network member – free of charge – using this link.