Ask many a young person about funding opportunities for further study and they will give you a litany of unsavory experiences they have had.

Post–graduate study has been on the increase over the last two decades and with it the demand for scholarships and bursaries.

There have been calls on the private sector to sponsor further study both locally and abroad but they too complain of resources. The government of Ghana seems to be the sole major sponsor of further study.

Admittedly several international scholarship schemes and grant opportunities have been available and have almost entirely accounted for the paltry success we have achieved as a country, in post-graduate study.

It is against this backdrop that the many opportunities that exist in WACCBIP should be greeted as a godsend. It must be conceded that the funding opportunities are for specific disciplines but that in itself is not bad news because the areas that are targeted for support are previously neglected or underfunded.

Above all, the areas that are earmarked are critical and of immense importance to the physical welfare of the human race.

Additionally WACCBIP has established a vast array of collaborations, partnerships and co-operations which together provide the student with a “dream faculty” and “world class” facilities and programmes.

Two beneficiaries give their stories below:

1 Ademolue, Temitope Wilson – I joined the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) rather serendipitously, but I had always wanted to be in the academia. During my Master’s degree at the center, I was trained by faculty members who taught excellently; and displayed excellent expertise in their respective fields. The scientific aura at WACCBIP refined my scientific curiosity, and led to the generation of a scientific question in the field of Malaria Immunology, which I answered in my Master’s thesis.

The extent of scientific exposure, evidenced from the local and international workshops and conferences attended by all students, and the fact that all programs are fully funded, identifies with the strides made by the center to fulfil her vision ‘to become a world-class research-intensive center’. These experience at WACCBIP, among others, resulted in the scientist that I am.

I plan to do a PhD in the field of Malaria Immunology. Likewise, I have ambitions of becoming a world-class researcher, building capacities on the African continent. WACCBIP has afforded me the essential foundation to achieve this, and I strongly recommend WACCBIP for any young African, who is passionate about science.

2 Joshua Kuleape– WACCBIP is the beginning of the science revolution in Ghana. Its inception was timely for me because at that time, I did not know whether to apply for the Masters’ program at the Biochemistry Department. The experiences of past M.Phil. Students struggling to complete their thesis due to lack of funds and reagents for research really discouraged me. So, when I was told of the new Molecular Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases program, I used the opportunity and fortunately, I was picked.

The program really opened my eyes to a whole new world of scientific research and literature; where hypotheses were tested in order to address health challenges. We were lectured by world renowned professors from some of the best universities on earth. Moreover, some were also in industry and exposed us to assays used in R&D processes by some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The acquisition of cutting edge equipment for research has enabled us students to complete our research in record time. This was not the case in the past. I don’t think any graduate program in the University of Ghana or any university in this country has it like we have here at WACCBIP.

I was awarded a WACCBIP fellowship and through the training I received, I successfully applied for another postgraduate research grant at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and I won it. The WACCBIP program trains one to be and think like a research scientist. I have become more confident in expressing my research ideas and am even able to ask leading researchers questions about their work during seminars and conferences without fear or intimidation. WACCBIP is more than an institution to me, we are family in this place.

Opportunities

Short-term programmes

2-4 weeks long workshops/courses

Target: professionals in the health delivery sector, including physicians, pharmacists, and senior laboratory personnel

Objective: to improve their knowledge of disease pathogenesis and modern methods of diagnosis and treatment

Medium-term programmes

3-6 month long research internships

Target: trainee biomedical scientists and hospital lab technologists

Objective: to provide experiential training on research design, specialized techniques, team building

Long-term programmes

2- 4 year graduate programs

Masters (MSc and MPhil)

PhD

Post-doctoral

Target: career biomedical scientists in Universities and Health Research Institutions

Programmes at WACCBIP/Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology:

MSc Biochemistry

MPhil Biochemistry

MPhil Molecular Biology

MPhil Molecular Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases

PhD Biochemistry

PhD Molecular Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases

Stand by for more information on the many funding possibilities.