Study Coordinators Working Group


Sophia Osawe



1)    Introduction

The H3 Africa Consortium recognized from the beginning that study coordinators would have a critical role in each project. As such the working group was formed to serve as a platform where study coordinators could come together to share experiences, lessons learned and to serve as a resource to each other.

2)    Strategic Plan For Next Year

The study coordinators working group has a mandate to bring together all project coordinators under the H3Africa consortium to improve management of different projects through sharing knowledge and experiences.

The working group sets out to achieve the following in 2019;

  1. Four webinars covering topics of interest for the study coordinators.
  2. Write a group manuscript and submit it for publication.
  3. Increase attendance of the monthly working group meetings

The study coordinators working group is a platform where project coordinators of the H3Africa consortium come together and share knowledge experiences and lessons learned.

This working group has the following objectives;

  1. Facilitate inter-project discussions optimizing grant function
  2. Review draft policy documents and provide practical feedback.
  3. Aid and advise launching of new sites.
  4. Discuss experiences and lessons learnt.
  5. Facilitate maximum utilization of available resources.
  6. Platform for problem solving, sharing documentation and templates.
  7. Advise on implementation of different H3Africa policies.
4)    Membership

The membership is drawn from Study Coordinators who are currently working in research projects that are members of the H3Africa Consortium. The working group is headed by a chair and co-chair.

4.1 Chair

The working group shall appoint a member to chair the group for a period one year. The chair will be assisted by a Vice-Chair who will be nominated by the working group. The main responsibilities of the Chair will include the following:

  1. Provide administrative leadership
  2. Coordinate the activities of the working group (meetings, manuscripts, etc.)
  3. Serve as a liaison between the WG and H3Africa projects and Steering Committee
  4. Facilitate in training workshops
  5. Present WG output & progress during H3A Consortium meetings, Steering Committee Meetings and other meetings as requested;
4.2 Vice-Chair

The Vice-Chair will carry the following responsibilities:

  1. Support the Chair in administrative leadership duties
  2. Lead meetings where the Chair is unable to attend
  3. Assume the responsibilities of the Chair in his/her absence.
  4. Any other duties as directed by the chair.
4.3 Terms of service for Chair and Co-chair

The current leadership term started March 2018 and is running till March 2019.The next leadership is decided at the 1st H3Africa consortium each year. The chair and co-chair can be re-elected for another term. However, each individual can only serve a maximum of two terms in a given leadership position.

5)    Meetings

The WG will hold teleconferences at least once a month to discuss progress of projects, share experiences, to discuss challenges and topics that are of interest to the group. WG members are expected to join these calls regularly, or send apologies to the Chair or group if they cannot make the calls. Working Group members may also meet face-to-face during the bi-annual H3Africa Consortium Meetings, but this depends on whether their PIs will fund them to attend these meetings or travel funds can be obtained through NIH or Wellcome Trust. The WG will allocate time during these meetings (usually 1.5hrs or more if possible) which can be used to seek broader input on the work of the WG.

6)    Resources

The Study Coordinators WG does not have any committed resources available for travel or to organize meetings or activities, however, there have been opportunities to receive travel funds to support members of the WG to participate in consortium meetings. For other activities, The working group has in the past successfully sourced out funding of some of its activities with both funders of H3Africa (NIH and WT). The WG members have been able to provide expertise that has enabled a manuscript to be developed and published and the SC provide support for each other in advising on challenges faced by other SC on other projects.

7)    Reporting on the work of the WG

The WG seeks to establish a collaborative and transparent culture that thrives on the intellectual and practical contributions of all its members. In order for this culture to flourish, it is essential that any outputs from the WG expressly recognize the collaborative nature of the work undertaken and that persons reporting on such work have been given a clear mandate by the group to do so. In most cases, this would require that proposals for publications, scientific presentations or other means of reporting on the WG work are first proposed to and discussed on the WG on one of its monthly calls, possibly being preceded by an email to the WG or in discussion with the WG Chair. The WG has developed a publication and authorship policy that further strengthens this principle.

To the extent possible, the WG Chair, together with the H3Africa Coordinating Centre, will maintain a repository of WG outputs, including for instance presentations, policies or guidance documents, or published manuscripts.

8)    Expected outputs
  1. Improved understanding of genomic studies across the research sites of the H3A consortium
  2. Shared experiences with the global members through international conferences
  3. Online training modules/webinars in collaboration with the H3Africa and other working groups