We are celebrating, Godwin Anywar our 2017 TCC trainee and DAAD Fellow from Uganda. He recently won the Young Investigator Fellowship for the 19th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology.
He a is CARTA fellow, currently pursuing his PhD at the prestigious Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy & Immunology in Leipzig, Germany & Makerere University, Kampala He is also a reviewer for some of the top journals in his research, namely
Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability (Springer), Journal of Herbal Medicine (Elsevier), European Journal of Integrative Medicine (Elsevier),BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Nature Springer) and Ethnobotany Research & Applications
1. What did you like most about the TCC/DAAD in country training?
I enjoyed the overall architecture of the training, which had a balance of theoretical and practical sessions. The training brought everyone on board by starting with the basics before delving into more advanced stuff. This was particularly helpful in bringing everyone on board, but also reminding more advanced fellows of the basics. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on designing scientific posters, oral communication presentation & networking in conferences and workshops, scientific writing and publishing (technical/academic writing) and scientific project proposal writing. The facilitators were very knowledgeable, approachable, resourceful and respectful. The sessions were dynamic and the facilitators quickly adapted to evolving demands of the fellows. Many of the facilitators delivered thought provoking and awe-inspiring sessions.
2. How effective was the course in achieving your learning objectives?
The course was interactive and allowed ample time for fellows to share their experiences and learn from each other (peer-learning) and ask questions in a warm and cordial environment. The course also had practical sessions, which provided hands-on skills for me. For instance, the sessions on developing posters for international conferences and peer critiquing them was very helpful. I addition, the facilitators provided useful resources which we could refer to after the training for helps with poster preparation & presentation.
3. What significant achievements have you obtained as a PHD fellow under TCC/DAAD training?
I have attended several conferences both local and international and successfully competed for young researcher travel grants. I have also been able to publish different works in high impact international peer reviewed journals.
I have received several invitations to collaborate on research projects as well as book writing projects both locally and internationally; because of the publicity and visibility my research work has gained.
4. What value has the training added on you skills and expertise as a researcher
I have acquired knowledge in new and emerging research trends and continue to polish my research and technical skills. For instance, I have improved my presentation skills, and also learnt how to use new research tools such as the reference manager Mendeley for which I had no prior knowledge. I have also gained new insights in scientific writing, especially with review papers and meta and systematic analyses.
5. From your recent award as a Young Investigator Fellowship for the 19th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology, how did the TCC/DAAD training help you achieve this?
I successfully submitted four abstracts for the 19th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology. All the four abstracts were all accepted for presentation. Two of were presented as research papers and the other two as posters. One of them was from my PhD research & the other three were from collaborative research projects. The TCC/DAAD training equipped me with writing and presentation skill, which I used to write competitive abstracts and research papers. The training and exposure through TCC/DAAD also gave me plenty of practice and preparation to step on the international arena. I was also able to successfully compete for travel grants with other PhD students and young researchers from all over the world. I was also assigned a session to co-chair during this conference.
6. Tell us more about the award and why you believe your research was the winning candidate for it?
The award was in recognition of my research on HIV and malaria; particularly the Indigenous traditional knowledge and practices used by herbalists in the treatment of opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS in Uganda and the anti-malarial, genotoxic and antibacterial properties of African medicinal plants traditionally used in Western and Central Uganda. Both malaria AIDS are high burden diseases in my community and I am seeking for a solution by looking at what the local communities are already using, and have been using since time immemorial. By researching on neglected but promising medicinal plant species used for treating these ailments, I can contribute towards the development of improved traditional medicines if I can scientifically verify their safety and efficacy.
7.Now that you have won the award, what are your next steps?
I am looking forward to completing my doctoral thesis in the coming few months. I also intend to apply for international post-doctoral positions to hone my newly acquired research skills as I seek to become established in my field. I plan to engage in more research, grantsmanship and scholarly writing as well as continuing with my career as a lecturer in Makerere university.