The Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (CEBIB), Kenya organized a three-day event that unified the Centre’s staff and stakeholders in a single forum. The event dubbed CEBIB Career Development Forum was held on Monday May 25, 2015 to Wednesday May 27, 2015 in the CEBIB lecture room at Chiromo Campus, University of Nairobi. The event was graced by Prof. Lucy Irungu (Deputy Vice-Chancellor-Research, Production and Extension; DVC-RPE), Prof. Benard O. Aduda (Principal, College of Biological and Physical Science), Dr. George O. Obiero (Director, CEBIB), Dr. Hazel McCullough (Educational Advisor, Malaria Capacity Development Consortium) and other academicians from University of Nairobi and collaborating research institutions. The event proceedings were captured in the theme “Strengthening Research Capacity” at CEBIB adapted from the event sponsors - MCDC. The following are highlights of the forum:
Mentorship, Supervision and Personal Development Programme
Participants reported that formal mentorship and personal development plans are a relatively new concept in the education sector in the East African region. In Kenya, mentorship has been conducted informally without emphasis on documentation. In the University of Nairobi, CEBIB has championed a robust programme which is geared towards being embedded in the curricula. The programmes are navigated by a vibrant Career Development Group which has rolled out the programme activities to the continuing postgraduate students and is in the process of being extended to also benefit the Centre and College staff.
Unveiling of CEBIB Postgraduate Handbook
The CEBIB Postgraduate Information Handbook drafted by the CEBIB Career Development Group was unveiled during the forum. The handbook development was funded by the Malaria Capacity Development Consortium (MCDC).
CEBIB Online Student Management System
The participants also had the opportunity to learn about the prototype of the CEBIB Online student Management System that is currently being developed to enhance efficiency of CEBIB administration.
CEBIB Curricula Review
The forum also presented a platform for CEBIB stakeholders to contribute to the curricula offered by the Centre.
CEBIB Annual Poster Day
The forum culminated to a first-of-its kind session, an Annual poster presentation. CEBIB postgraduate students in 2nd year of their studies presented their research projects. The students exhibited a wide range of research projects. The audience were impressed by the immense wealth of scientific knowledge the students exhibited. The students were encouraged to publish the outcome of their work.
CEBIB continually strives to embrace international standards in biotechnology and bioinformatics postgraduate training. The Centre is being championed to be a Centre of excellence in research & training of holistic postgraduates for the global market. Postdoctoral programme in the Centre is currently at an advanced stage of establishment with two postdoctoral fellows closely working with CEBIB administration.
The Centre acknowledges the participants for the overwhelming support!
MCDC has been supporting the development of Career Development Groups (CDGs) in each of their African partner institutions. MCDC is helping to facilitate the integration of CDGs into institutional processes and practices as well as help ensure the sustainability of CDGs beyond the lifespan of MCDC and other programmes.