‘Valuable Insights’ – JLCF Masterclass 2023 Provides Learning Opportunity to Early-Career Researchers

Each year, AIGHD and JLI hold a Masterclass on the same theme as the Symposium. The purpose of the Masterclass is to give early-stage researchers the opportunity to practice presenting their work, receive constructive feedback, and network not only with peers but also with experts. The Masterclass gives researchers who are just finding their feet within academia the chance to speak with experts in global health and development. It also brings students from different disciplines together to network, learn from one another, and draw inspiration from the experts.

Young investigators (PhD students and beyond) submit abstracts that are carefully reviewed by a highly selective scientific committee. The Masterclass is taught by the Joep Lange Fellows and guest fellows selected by the scientific committee. The masterclass provides an intimate space where young investigators get to present their research and interact with experts in the field. While receiving invaluable feedback and space for questions, masterclass participants are able to make connections with peers and experts in global health and development. In this year’s masterclasses, we dove into the methodology and robustness of the acquired data as well as more novel reapplications of the same data into new fields. These discussions help researchers bridge their knowledge with other fields and develops a ‘bigger picture’ of their work when contextualized within the field of global health.

The masterclass is held online to allow for more diverse participation among people living outside of the Netherlands in order to build capacity globally. This year’s seven abstract winners had the opportunity to discuss their research on the topic Predicting the Futures of Global Health with peers and experts leading the masterclass, Profs. Catherine Kyobutungi, Mahsa Shabani, Menno Pradhan, and Colin Russell. The students represented four different countries: Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, and Malawi.

Our abstract winners and their associated institutions are as follows: Ananthu James (Erasmus Medical Centre), Sneha Kotian (University of Amsterdam – Faculty of Medicine), Pramiti Parwani (University of Amsterdam Law), Nursena Aksunger (Free University of Amsterdam), Daniel Mwale (University of Amsterdam and Kamuzu University), Jacqueline Ndlovu (University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Medicine), Noemi Conditi (University of Bologna).

The multidisciplinary character of the topics and Masters’ backgrounds made for striking discussions. The first Masterclass, hosted by Prof. Reis and led by Profs. Kyobutungi and Shabani, had abstracts concerning the acceptability, use, and accessibility of biobanks in scientific research, scaling mental health interventions in humanitarian settings, monitoring critical pediatric patients, and the impact of global intellectual property laws and partnerships on medical production such as vaccines. Meanwhile, the second Masterclass, hosted by Prof. Rinke de Wit and led by Profs. Pradhan and Russell, focused on technical discussions surrounding disease modelling. The abstract presentations for this session were on modelling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) using indirect predictors, using predictive modelling to determine the threshold value of mass drug administration (MDA) to ensure the elimination of lymphatic filariasis, and evidence of a psychological poverty trap.

One of the presenters had this to say about the masterclass: “The masterclass proved to be quite informative, offering valuable insights through diverse presentations that introduced me to new methods. The discussions with both mentors and fellow colleagues provided diverse perspectives on the subject matter. Overall, I think it was a good session!”

Another presenter also shared a bit of his experience stating: “I enjoyed the event. I received some very useful feedback on my work. Also, listening to other people’s work made me learn some new topics,” and followed up stating that he would recommend that people join the masterclass if they can.


The Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Symposium and Masterclass is an annual event organized between AIGHD and the Joep Lange Institute (JLI) to honor the memory of the late Prof. Joep Lange. If you want to learn more about the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Symposium 2023, you can watch the recorded livestream here: bit.ly/JLCF2023-LIVE.