Strategic Workshop, Durban, South Africa, 16th-20th July 2018

This meeting brought together a multi-disciplinary, international group of principal investigators who aim together to submit successful global health funding applications. This workshop was funded through University of Bristol Global Challenges Research Funding and Academy of Medical Sciences GCRF Networking Funding and hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Out network members are currently representatives of four Sub-Saharan Countries; South Africa; The Gambia; Uganda and Zimbabwe. The workshop combined 5-days of scientific and strategic presentations to introduce the network members to each other, to identify key research areas and themes, describe our equipment and data resources for future research plans and to provide early- and mid- career researcher’s opportunity to discuss future plans, personal funding awards and career progression. The final part of the workshop was to shape a grant application based on our discussions and previous work.

The workshop was extremely valuable, production and an excellent success, bringing together a network of people who until now have only met virtually.


  1. To build a professional collaborative network which will underpin future research funding applications
  2. To gain an understanding of each individual researcher’s skills, resources, priorities, and current research collaborations and networks
  3. To review the group’s portfolio of currently funded / active research activity, with timelines for outcomes
  4. To review our most recent/ preliminary/ early/ pilot data that could inform a grant proposal
  5. To review the grant applications the group has submitted (in the last 2 years) but which have not been funded, and to assess why the application was not successful and lessons learned
  6. To list all possible sources of funding for SAMSON associated projects and determine timelines for each
  7. To decide upon the key research questions we as a collaborative which to address in the next 5 years
  8. To agree the structure of future grant proposals and develop individual action plans and timelines
  9. To develop the content of the work-packages which will fit within our future grant proposals
  10. To plan our next meeting in 2019 (funding in place for this)
  11. To draft an Editorial / Position Statement from the ‘SAMSON Working Group’ which outlines the MSK research priorities for the SSA region

Workshop attendees

Name From Area of Expertise
Dr Celia Gregson Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Bristol Medical, School, University of Bristol, UK Clinical Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Disease
A/Prof Kate Ward MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, UK Lifecourse Musculoskeletal Health
Dr Sarah Drew Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Bristol Medical, School, University of Bristol, UK Qualitative Research Methodology
Dr Nyasha Mafirakureva Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, UK Health economics
Prof Rashida Ferrand London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)/ Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), Zimbabwe Epidemiology, Adolescent health & HIV
Dr Landing Jarjou MRC The Gambia, Keneba Nutrition
Dr Flavia Matovu Kiweewa Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration (MU-JHU), Kampala, Uganda Musculoskeletal Health Research
Dr Erisa Mwaka Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda Orthopaedics
Prof Bilkish Cassim University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, SA Ageing
Dr Farhanah Paruk University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, SA Ageing & Rheumatology
A/Prof Lisa Micklesfield MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU) at the University of the Witwatersrand, SA Physical activity & mid-life cardio-metabolic
Prof Mkhululi Lukhele University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr Kogie Naidoo Centre of the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban, SA HIV
Dr Adeil Chikobvu University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA Statistics and Health economics
Dr Tamsanqa Mazibuko University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr Susan Brown University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, SA Endocrinology
Prof Daya Moodley University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, SA Women’s Health