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With Much Gratitude As One Year Becomes Another

Published: 2017-12-21

With the approach of yet another year, as the Director of IFS, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your interest and involvement in our collaborative work. It has been quite a year! Fortunately, our passion for supporting young researchers in developing countries – and their unrelenting drive to help their own countries and to solve local problems – have kept us inspired and dedicated. We know that the road is long and often hard, but we are making progress and we cannot, and will not, stop.

Nighisty Ghezae, DirectorNighisty Ghezae, IFS Director

While the challenge of ensuring sufficient funding to support science capacity building in developing countries remains daunting, together we have made substantial progress to address it in the last year by:

  • Providing un-bureaucratic individual and collaborative granting opportunities and capacity building support to young scientists to do research in the developing world
  • Providing all applicants with detailed feedback
  • Holding dedicated trainings
  • Supporting alumni to associate and support other science planning, and through empowering other research councils to do the same
  • Providing equipment procurement services and travel grants to young researchers
  • Supporting grantees to contribute to innovation and to put their research results into use, and
  • Co-organising conferences, seminars and side events with strategic partners to place science and science capacity building high on the political agenda.

I would like to thank the IFS Trustees for volunteering to serve on the IFS Board over the years and for taking the time to govern our organization wisely. Thank you all for your trust and support, and for enabling IFS to play such a key role in advancing science in developing countries by bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table. I appreciate that you used all of your experience, skills, knowledge and education to move our organization forward. We look forward to the perspectives of the outstanding new Trustees who will contribute to the mission of IFS.

We are fortunate to have a number of people who work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that IFS is able to do its best for young researchers in developing countries. They all give their time, energy and
enthusiasm, often working unseen, unnoticed, above and beyond what is asked, and to them – especially our Scientific Advisory Committees (SAC) and all the specialists in IFS various supported
research areas – we say thank you … not only for your dedication to science, but also for the mentoring and encouragement you give to young researchers.
We say thank you to the range of visionary donors who support IFS, because you:

  • Respect the responsibilities and reasoning of developing country scientists and the intellectual freedom to plan research within the broad spectrum of biological, water and energy sciences in low-income countries
  • Enable early-career scientists to be critical and independent in their research choices and not to become subservient to the fashions and fads of development discourse
  • Accept “slow, messy and transformative” versus “quick, measurable and trivial.”
  • Guide us by encouraging us to find answers to the entirely legitimate requirement for clear measurement of impact

Thank you also to:

  • Our strategic partners for an amazing year and for working with us to advance science for development. Together we will change its course and importance by implementing new strategies and systems that will have a substantial impact across the planet.
  • IFS Alumni Associations for nurturing and supporting research with early-career scientists.
  • All IFS grantees and especially the 2017 IFS grant winners who courageously embarked to join all the other IFS alumni to create and contribute to knowledge.
  • The Secretariat staff – not only for their dedication to support young developing-country researchers, but also for the care they give to our grantees and their own individual contributions by creating a warm, welcoming and vibrant research community.

Our thanks go again to all of you for your perseverance and dedication. From all of us here at the IFS Secretariat, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. With your continued involvement, we look forward to another fruitful year where we move further toward our goals of strengthening the capacity of young women and men scientists in developing countries, not only to conduct relevant and high-quality research, but to enhance opportunities to put it into use in their home environments.

Nighisty Ghezae



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