Recapping the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Masterclass 2021

For the third year, AIGHD and the Joep Lange Institute (JLI) successfully organized the annual Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Masterclass. The class is comprised of late-stage PhD students and early-stage researchers led by Masters in global health from around the world. After submitting their research abstracts, students with top scores, awarded by the scientific committee, are chosen to participate in this highly selective masterclass.

This year’s theme was focused around “The Future of Vaccination”, a theme that was chosen by the scientific committee for its relevance and importance during the pandemic. We listened to inspiring presentations from eight young researchers on topics ranging from the benefits and harms of the human papillomavirus vaccine to the avian H5 influenza viruses. The classes were led by three Joep Lange Chairs, Dr. Mark Dybul, Dr. Anna Vassall, Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi and one guest chair Dr. Melissa Parker. After each student presented their topic, they received ample time for discussion, feedback, and questions from the experts and fellow students.

The Masterclass is organized in the spirit of Prof. Joep Lange who was passionate about the exchange of knowledge and mentorship. The Masterclass gives researchers who are just finding their feet within academia the chance to speak with experts in global health and development. The masters help the students advance their research by asking thought-provoking questions and providing suggestions for next steps. Students are able to discuss any particular challenges in global health that they might be facing within their research.

The Masterclass is also a great opportunity for young investigators to network not only with peers but also with experts. During this year’s masterclass, the masters were extremely generous with their time, even offering to help students with their research endeavours after the class ended.

The first edition of the masterclass was held in person in Amsterdam, while the subsequent two masterclasses have been held virtually due to the pandemic. While each has its advantages and disadvantages, we are hopeful that we can soon meet again for an in-person or hybrid Masterclass in 2022. Keep an eye out for dates and themes in the coming year.