Newsletter: September 2022 (English)

Dear AMMnet,

The AMMnet website is now available in French! A French membership form is also now available here.

Please contact info@ammnet.org if you would like to contribute any items to next month’s newsletter!

Contents:

  1. Special announcements
  2. Jobs, workshops, conferences, and opportunities
  3. Working group announcements
  4. Board and committee announcements
  5. Monthly seminar recap

  1. Special announcements

Join the AMMnet Slack workspace

If you haven’t joined the AMMnet slack workspace, join here! Many announcements, including job opportunities and upcoming events, are posted first on the Slack.

SACEMA survey on public health modeling in Africa

SACEMA is conducting a brief survey to help us better understand the number and current situation of people interested in pursuing a career in public health modelling in Africa. If you are in this group, please complete the survey!

https://sunsurveys.sun.ac.za/surveys/public-health-modelling-workforce-survey

PAMCA social event Sept 28

AMMnet is hosting a social event at PAMCA:

4pm-6pm, Wednesday 28th September

The Larder Terrace

Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre, Kigali

All members, friends, and interested parties welcome! Snacks and AMMnet stickers provided. Hope to see you there!

AMMnet ASTMH event

With ASTMH 2022 being held in Seattle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Malaria team, together with the Malaria Modeling Community, AMMNet, and the Institute for Disease Modeling, are delighted to be hosting a half-day gathering of malaria modelers on Saturday, October 29 – the day before ASTMH begins – from 9:00am-2:00pm. If you are planning to attend ASTMH in person, we hope you will consider coming to town a day early to join the gathering in person; however, we are also enabling virtual participation so we can connect with malaria modelers around the world. For those joining in person, we will be gathering at the Hyatt Olive 8 hotel in downtown Seattle, located just two blocks from the ASTMH conference site.

Having not been able to connect in person for many years now, we’re planning for this to be a relatively informal gathering aimed at helping us reconnect. To that end, there are no formal topics or specific sessions planned – rather, we’ll be programming short talks (in-person and virtual) from our attendees. So, whether joining us in Seattle or online, all attendees are invited to submit a short (100 word max) abstract – we will program the meeting using abstracts selected from these submissions. Note that we will not be featuring a poster session. 

For those who able to attend in person, there will also be an optional evening dining event at a location to be determined. During the registration process, please indicate if you would also be interested in attending this event.

There is no registration fee to attend this meeting. Breakfast and lunch will provided for in-person attendees at the half-day scientific session, and catering will provided for the optional evening event. In-person attendees will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

To register to attend the virtual meeting, please visit https://cvent.me/qPngXy

To register to attend in person, please visit https://cvent.me/P5wY7Z

Please only register for one of the available options. During the registration process, you will have the ability to submit a short abstract should you wish.  

  1. Jobs, workshops, conferences, and opportunities

Jobs

Two research assistant/associate positions available in the malaria modelling group at Imperial College London: advert here! We’re looking for people who can combine a knowledge of malaria epidemiology with malaria modelling and data analysis skills to answer outstanding and critical research questions in malaria. Reach out via slack or directly by email to Pete Winskill if you would like to know anything more about the role(s) or to have an informal chat about applying.

Closing date: 3rd October.

Postdoc and PhD candidate positions available in Malaria/NTDs Modeling at the International Centre for Applied Mathematical Modelling and Data Analytics, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria. Deadline: 23rd September.

CHAI is hiring:

We have a few exciting new epidemiologist positions at CHAI with the malaria NTD team for motivated individuals with strong surveillance and analytical skills:

  • A Technical Advisor based in Senegal (or other countries in West and Central Africa). The individual will be responsible for managing a small team of junior epidemiologists and driving the agenda for strengthening surveillance systems and promoting the use of data for decision making in the region. French fluency is required.
  • A Senior Research Associate based in Mozambique to support Lusophone countries achieve their malaria goals. Portuguese fluency is required.
  • A Senior Research Associate based in Laos (or other countries in the region) to support Greater Mekong Sub-region
  • A Senior research Associate to support our global surveillance and analytics activities.

The urban malaria research group at Northwestern University seeks a Web Developer/Designer to lead the development and design of a project website and project collaboration tool for the urban malaria project. This is a remote contractor position. Successful candidates will be proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In addition, knowledge of R shiny and related applications is desired. See here for more information.

Postdoc fellowships at the Santa Fe Institute:

The Santa Fe Institute’s Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships, comprising the Omidyar Fellowship, provide extraordinary opportunities for early career scientists. Our application site is open and the deadline is October 14th, 2022. The Fellowships offer the opportunity to join a collaborative research community that nurtures creative, transdisciplinary thought in pursuit of key insights about the complex systems that matter most for science and society. For additional information or assistance please email: sfifellowship@santafe.edu

The SFI Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships offer:

– unparalleled intellectual freedom

– transdisciplinary collaboration with leading researchers worldwide

– up to three years in residence at the Santa Fe Institute

– dedicated funds for research and collaboration

– a structured leadership training program

– competitive salary and paid family leave

Requirements include:

– a Ph.D. in any scientific discipline within the past 6 years or completed prior to September 2023

– an exemplary academic record

– a proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively

– strong quantitative and computational skills

– a demonstrated interest in multidisciplinary research

– evidence of the ability to think beyond traditional paradigms

More job opportunities available at https://iddjobs.org/

Workshops and conferences

PATH is hosting a webinar on malaria modeling and data analytics to inform decision-making on September 27. Register here. Featured speakers include 3 AMMnet members!

MAP will be hosting a Spatial training workshop for free at ASTMH this year. Spots are capped at 35 so hurry up and apply! See flyer for details.

Upcoming virtual symposium on Machine Learning and Data Modelling in the Biomedical Sciences to be hosted at York University, Canada. We are accepting abstracts until September 15, 2022. Registration for participation without registration is also possible. Symposium link:  https://liam.lab.yorku.ca/symposium-on-machine-learning-and-data-modelling-in-the-biomedical-sciences-mldmbiomed-2022/

The Ghana 2nd Mathematical Biology and Medicine Workshop (Virtual) is November 9 -10, 2022. Sign up here!

Massive open online course (MOOC) on implementation research: infectious diseases of poverty: information here!

Institute for Disease Modeling Fall Symposium

We would like to invite you to attend IDM’s 2022 Fall Symposium, taking place on Friday, Oct 28th at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA.   

The American Society for Tropical medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) is returning to an in-person meeting this fall in Seattle from Oct 30 – Nov 3; as such, it provided an excellent opportunity for us at IDM to engage with members of the public health community while minimizing extraneous travel.   

The goal for IDM’s symposium is to provide a space to bring together our partners, collaborators, and members of the broader modeling community to better connect our shared work to the ASTMH theme, Global Health = Human Rights, with deep dives into specific focal areas. We are holding an all-day pre-conference meeting (with hybrid options for those unable to travel) with keynote speakers, multiple concurrent thematic sessions, tool demonstrations, lightning talks, panels, and an evening social event. There are no registration fees associated with this event; breakfast, lunch, and refreshments will be provided. 

Registration will be open September 16th on a first come, first served basis.  While space is limited for in-person attendance, all are welcome to join virtually! 

To RSVP and register, please select from one of the following:   

Click to register for  IN-PERSON attendance.    

Click to register for  VIRTUAL  attendance.   

If you have any questions, please reach out to IDMFallSymposium@gatesfoundation.org. 

We look forward to seeing you this fall! 

Clinic on Dynamical Approaches to Infectious Disease Data (DAIDD)

DAIDD is a week-long modeling clinic that provides an introduction to dynamical models used in the study of infectious disease dynamics. Instruction focuses on the conceptual foundations of modeling and model formulation for infectious disease research. See here for more information.

Q4D Lab courses

Quantitative-Data for Decision-Making (Q4D) Lab is a Liberia-based non-profit organization established by a team of local and international scientists in an effort to promote awareness of, enthusiasm for, and capacity to conduct quantitative research among public health professionals. The Q4D lab is offering courses on R coding, biostatistics, and mathematical modeling as well as Research Associate positions. More information here.

Other opportunities

Upcoming call for proposals for up to $400,000

An international team led by AMMnet Member Professor Jude Kong, the Director of the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium (http://acadic.org/)  receives $7.25M from the IDRC to help tackle emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases using AI and big data in collaboration with interdisciplinary researchers and policymakers across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. To connect with us use: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cI9dlXSvuCbWSzzlj_ZR1LmvBsO5Mcs8kFtSaOOcqGM/edit

  1. Working group announcements

No working group announcements this month.

  1. Board and committee announcements

AMMnet board

The board met on September 20. 

Present: Tatiana Alonso Amor, Caitlin Bever, Jaline Gerardin, Justin Millar, Emilie Pothin, Manuela Runge, Hannah Slater, Shannon Stanfill

Absent: Ousmane Diallo

Minutes:

  • Welcome program administrator Shannon Stanfill to secretariat
    • Shannon is starting on Sept 26 and sitting at Northwestern
    • Shannon will be reaching out to committee chairs next week to set up meetings and learn how she can support each committee: admin needs; can meet one-on-one, committee meetings.
  • Budget
    • BMGF grant for AMMnet included in 2022-25 grant to Northwestern, finalized in early Sept
    • includes Shannon’s salary
    • includes infrastructure (website/Google workspace) + flexible funds for hosting small events, convening advisory board meetings, etc.
    • budget categories are flexible and funds will be reallocated depending on what the board and committees want to do
    • we can ask for more $ once we have concrete ideas for what to do with it
    • Board will discuss process for allocating funds after deciding on AMMnet goals and objectives as an organization 
    • Consider whether AMMnet should become a grant/funding hub, discuss more. Think broadly and can request more funding. 
  • New board members: 11 applicants
    • Objective for adding new board members is to increase representation beyond 4 founding groups of AMMnet, beyond people involved in HBHI modeling, beyond people actively working as applied modelers, and include representatives from LMIC institutions
    • Removed applicants can be retained for candidacy for AMMnet advisory board
    • Will triage the 11 applicants to retain those who meet the objectives; then board members vote to identify top 50%; then randomly select
    • Select in the next 2 weeks
  • Communications with board members: how can this be improved?
    • Board members will make an effort to check Slack regularly, at least once per week
    • Shannon will follow up and send email reminders for important messages. 
  • Subnational Tailoring (SNT) update
    • global coordination group requested AMMnet representation
    • how do we handle requests like this (AMMnet presence in a group or meeting) in a way that is appropriate to what AMMnet is or isn’t?
      • Communicate to board and vote. Announce all requests to group to consider. 
      • Any requests to immediately decline: once we decide what AMMnet is about; discuss further and decide. 
    • request for assessment of interest and availability of modeling groups to work on SNT
    • request for best practices documents
      • engagement best practices
      • technical specifications to gauge fit-for-purpose models for country support
    • request for effect size comparison
    • AMMnet SNT subgroup: Emilie will organize
  • Learning session with Grand Challenges awardees
    • Sept 22 7am Seattle time
    • Hannah, Emilie, and Caitlin will also attend; Jaline presenting
  • Regional AMMnets
    • is this something we want to support and/or actively encourage? 
    • Discussion points
      • Decide what is AMMnet about prior to proceeding
      • Important to harness enthusiasm and act sooner rather than later
      • To be continued
  • strategy session planning
    • still TBD, will come back in Oct board with preliminary list of topics for discussion
    • Will include laying out terms of reference, goals and objectives of AMMnet for the next 1-2 years

AMMnet francophone

The committee met and discussed ensuring AMMnet is available to the French-speaking community, translating website, transcription and translation of seminars, and reaching out to more junior scientists. Email Ousmane Diallo if you would like to be added.

Data and Technical Resources

Scheduling a group committee meeting. Email Justin Millar if you would like to participate.

Membership

Please forward the sign-up link to anyone you think may be interested in AMMnet:

English: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfW1su4kM_jtdah_JrnGahCe8_KnTl7cQP1slp1NHqmA3o1tg/viewform

French: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSesk1j6LjQgmFOdm-IpQ94rjdDW4tHj5PvyTLLnTkn6kb7roA/viewform

Seminars

  • Upcoming meetings:
    • October: Letitia (main talk) and Annie (spotlight)
    • November: canceled for ASTMH
    • December: Shufang Zhang from Global Fund (main talk); still need a spotlight speaker
  • Preparing a survey for everyone to provide feedback on what they’d like to see; based on results we can start to fill out the schedule starting in 2023.
  • Discussed some finer points of seminar operations (announcement slides, staying on time, speaker reminders, etc.)

Contact Caitlin Bever if you would like to participate or have an idea for a seminar speaker.

Training and Exchange Program

Met this month to discuss and develop priorities, will identify small targets and plan to achieve them. Email Emilie Pothin if you would like to be added.

Values and Guidance for Effective Country Support

Last meeting Aug 30th to define best practice document. Committee is preparing draft to share with AMMnet members when ready. Next meeting week of 17 October. Contact Manuela Runge if interested.

Website/Social Networking

Our twitter handle @AMMnetwork has 500+ followers!

Please contact Tatiana if you would like to participate and are not on the mailing list yet.

Workshops

  • virtual workshops planned: 3rd week Nov (elimination topics, ~90 mins); early 2023: geospatial
  • brainstormed ideas for more training-related workshops

Next meeting on Oct 20. Contact Jaline Gerardin if you would like to be added.

  1. Monthly seminar recap

At our September seminar, Emma Fairbanks from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute presented on “Novel vector control tools: Estimating personal and community protection from semi-field studies”. She discussed modeling work done to predict the impact of spatial repellents and treated clothing on vectorial capacity.

At our next seminar on DATE, Letitia Onyango and Ghislaine Ouedraogo-Ametchie from Northwestern University will present on preliminary findings from their modeling capacity study. The seminar will take place as usual via Zoom here at 3pm UTC.

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