Masterclass 2020: Call for Abstracts

Are you a PhD candidate or a Postdoctoral researcher and want to share your insights at a Master Class led by world-renowned global health and development researchers and thought leaders?

We invite you to submit your abstract for an interdisciplinary Master Class in Global Health and Development in the week of 23 – 27 November 2020 as part of the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Program. The Master Class will consist of two online sessions of two hours.

The first Master Class took place last year in October 2019 under the theme ‘Access to Care: Making Health Markets Work for the Poor’ and proved to be a big success, with numerous high-level submissions and lively parallel sessions allowing selected participants to present their work to the JL Chairs: Prof. Mark Dybul, Prof. Dan Ariely, Prof. Anna Vassall and Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi. You can read about last year’s Master Class here.

This year’s theme will be ‘Societal Preparedness for Epidemics’. Late-stage PhD students and early postdoctoral researchers are invited to individually submit abstracts of their research that addresses the above topics, related to COVID-19 or to other epidemics, such as Ebola.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is making very clear that its causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, has impact on society in multiple dimensions. For example, due to increased COVID-19 stimulated hygiene measures, the incidence of several infectious diseases has decreased. On the other hand, possibly due to overcrowding of the health system or reduced health facilities visits out of fear of infection, treatment of other prevalent diseases has declined. COVID-19 response measures such as lockdowns have severe impacts on daily incomes and expenditures of populations, lead to job loss, and bankruptcies of companies, and force governments to set up large-scale social and economic support programs. COVID-19 has extensive effects on the social fabric and the mental health of populations. It differentially affects various socio-economic and minority subpopulations, potentially exacerbating social inequalities. Finally, COVID-19 also represents a challenge in the area of (inter)national law, for example related to access to the vaccines that are developed with state financial support, or managing the balance between protection of privacy and mobile-phone-based apps for contact tracing.

The abstract review team will use academic excellence and relevance of the research for the theme as the main criteria. It will furthermore consider the diversity within the classes (subject, discipline, gender, geography, etc.) and the applicants’ motivation.

Led by Prof. Mark Dybul, Prof. Anna Vassall, Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi and Prof. Melissa Parker, two online parallel Classes will be held in the week of 23 – 27 November, with two Masters facilitating each Class. Each Class will be split in two sessions and will have a maximum of 12 participants, a selection of whom will be offered the opportunity to present and discuss their research. This is an opportunity to share your research, explore innovative ideas and to learn from other researchers in different fields of Global Health and Development, in an interdisciplinary research setting.

The abstracts will be published on the program website.
Please submit your abstract via the following link no later than 2 November 2020. You will be informed on 13 November the latest if your application was successful or not.

Please make sure to include the following sections in your abstract:

  • Name of author(s)
  • Title
  • Background
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • Motivation to participate in the masterclass

Below you find the guiding criteria for the abstract submission:

  • To submit your abstract go to the following website and submit through the form here:
  • Please include a short biography and a photograph of yourself along with the submission.
  • Each entry should have a maximum of 250 words
  • Check your email for confirmation of the submission and contact the organizers by the contact information presented below if you have not received a confirmation email once you have submitted your abstract. Please also check your spambox.
Contact information

If you encounter any challenges with submission you can contact project manager Nina Schat at

About the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Program

The Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Program was established in 2015 in memory of prolific HIV activist, medical doctor and scientist Prof. Joep Lange. Funded in part by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the program was commissioned by the Joep Lange Institute and is based at the Department of Global Health-Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) at the Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam. The current chair holders are Prof. Mark Dybul, Prof Anna Vassall, Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi and Prof. Dan Ariely.

Prof. Mark Dybul addresses the role of ‘communities of practice’ in creating efficiencies in health and healthcare provision with an emphasis on the lessons that can be learnt from HIV. Prof Anna Vassall assesses economic impact of innovative interventions in health and healthcare financing, such as mobile health exchange platforms. Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi addresses the management and prevention of non-communicable diseases, in particular CVD, learning from the long-term experiences of HIV management in Africa. Prof. Dan Ariely addresses the conditions under which people in Africa participate in health exchange platforms, how to nudge economic behavior of people towards more healthy lifestyles and prepayment for health.