Recent IFS Workshop: Interactions and Reflections

Published: 2021-08-31

Over a two-week period in August, IFS conducted a Workshop on Designing Online Training Events: Preparing a Research Budget. This unique online event blended synchronous and asynchronous activities that offered participants an opportunity to learn about designing and delivering online training experiences as well as the scientific skills needed to prepare a research budget.

Among the 34 participants were:

  • IFS grantees and alumni
  • IRD researchers
  • Colleagues from 17 different countries, most from Africa, but also from Cambodia, France and Vietnam
  • Social and natural scientists, and
  • Speakers of English, French and numerous other languages.

Participants set themselves the ambitious task of planning and implementing their own training events within six months. Four of the participating scientists are highlighted below with reflections on their experience of the IFS workshop.

Dr Borisade Omotoso

Dr Borisade Omotoso is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Crops and Horticulture at Ekiti State University of Nigeria. His research focus is on ecophysiology of entomopathogenic fungi and development of fungal bio-pesticides that are adaptable for the management of entomological pests under conditions that simulate climate change.

I gained more experience in developing a research budget and I acquired knowledge on planning and implementation of online training.


Dr Nadège Kouemou EmegamDr Nadège Kouemou Emegam is a Lecturer of Animal Physiology in the Department of Zoology and Animal Physiology of the University of Buea in Cameroon. She has a strong interest in medicinal plants that have beneficial effects on some central nervous system disorders such as depression, anxiety, epilepsy and memory impairment.

I learned a lot about designing a workshop plan for an online event and gained skills in the use of Microsoft Teams. The workshop activities gave me confidence in preparing a sound research budget for both small and large grant applications.


Dr Anne Nyambura Karuma

Dr Anne Nyambura Karuma is a soil scientist and Lecturer at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Her research focuses on agricultural production through water-efficient practices in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

I learned that keeping participants engaged in an online meeting is a daunting task, and that teamwork is the key to success in designing activities when time and resources are limited. Indeed, I will apply the skills I learned to other online events, such as the immediate ones of my own lectures.

Dr Lydia Olaka

Dr Lydia Olaka is a Senior Lecturer at the Geology Department in the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Lydia’s research focuses on applying geosciences and geospatial analysis techniques to understand and solve societal problems.

I enjoyed the networking sessions at the end of the workshop. They were long enough to interact with colleagues and find common ground. I think some useful collaboration will arise from these interactions.


DR Gaoussou Camara is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Alioune Diop University of Bambey (UADB) in Senegal. He is leading the Interdisciplinary Research Team in Medical Informatics and ICT for Education (IMTICE).

The IFS Workshop on "Designing Online Training Events: Preparing a Research Budget" was a huge opportunity for me to reinforce my capacities in these domains. I have also learnt a lot about defining research purpose, objectives, outputs and outcomes. The techniques to engage learners were new for me and I really loved them. I will certainly reuse them with my students and training participants, especially the Troika Consulting approach and the icebreaker "Pass the Ball & How Do You Make Rice?". The networking sessions were just extraordinary. 



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