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From Research to Practice
Training Course in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research 2010


May-October 2010
6 months distance learning

13-17 June 2011
Intensive training in WHO Geneva

organised by
the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
(WHO Collaborating Centre in Education and Research in Human Reproduction)
the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme for Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, Department of Reproductive Health and Research; Family and Community Health Cluster (WHO/RHR)
Réseau en Afrique francophone pour la télémédecine (RAFT), HUG (Geneva University Hospitals)
Luc Montagnier Foundation


The Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER) in collaboration with World Health Organization and other partners announces the on-line training course on research methodology in sexual and reproductive health labeled as " From Research to Practice: Training in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research.". This course is an appropriate package of training, which meets the needs of health care providers and other professional involved in research in many countries.

The course aims to provide a cadre of health practitioners in different countries with knowledge, skills and competencies in sexual and reproductive health as well as research in this filed, especially for those health care providers, whose access to learning is limited by time, financial resource or other constraints and where access to quality education and learning in the field of reproductive health is limited. With this training program, participants will learn from first hand health experiences in day to day demands and through longer term challenges in the field of sexual and reproductive health and research. The program is designed to address a wider range of contemporary reproductive and sexual health problems, especially in developing countries.

What distinguishes this course from other courses is that the participants build direct contact with WHO (Department of Reproductive Health and Research) and other important research institutions. This enforce their professional network and will open new opportunities in their carrier if they are motivated and have innovative ideas and ambitions.

Course objectives

  • To contribute to greater sharing of competence and knowledge between health workers in developing countries, local and international health and training institutions.
  • To provide access to education and learning by establishing a distance learning program to professionals who want to learn more in their field but have limited access to training due to time, place and financial constraints.
  • To provide skills in research methodology in-order to improve the capacity of health workforce to initiate or participate in research on sexual and reproductive health and enable them to identify and address priority areas on research in this field.
  • To offer a quality of instruction through online facility incorporating a broader range of information, integrating course content with the informational resources of the Web. To create a network between health professionals of different horizons and training and research institutions for the exchange of knowledge and information.

Learning objectives

  • Improving the capacity of professionals for research and evidence-based approach;
  • The recognition that research plays a crucial role in the identification of reproductive health needs within communities;
  • The generation of new knowledge for advocacy;
  • The selection and testing of priority prevention and care interventions;
  • The resolution of reproductive health problems;
  • The improvement of policy formulation through evidence-based recommendations;
  • The strengthening of service programs by applying research generated technologies and up-to-date practice guidelines and decisions about the appropriate allocation of health resources with the overall aim of promoting the well-being of communities.

Learning methods

1. Our on-line and interactive course is designed using a combination of the following teaching styles and technologies:

  • On-line presentations: may include synchronous (real-time) presentations and/or playback.
  • Individual mentoring & follow-up: feedback & consultation with the course mentor via email, audio/video chat...
  • Live on-line interaction with peers, tutors & mentors: participative, forums, news groups, audio/video chat...
  • Evaluation by mentor and coordinators: assignments submitted electronically and corrected by the course mentor / coordinator.

For each module students will receive assignment from course organizers, especially the coordinator of a specific module. These expectations for student work will be clearly defined during the orientation. Teachers will need to determine the appropriate time frame in which to expect students to complete work. The students will be instructed on how to submit work for evaluation and when and via what mechanism(s) they will receive feedback.

2. Intensive Training Course in Geneva: The students with high score and with a relevant research project will be invited to participate in an extensive training which will be organized in WHO Head Quarters in Geneva. This will give these students the opportunity to work more on their research projects and to get in contact with WHO and other partners resource persons.

Second Life WHO project

In collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine, the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research and the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, we plan to use the virtual world Second Life (SL) to deliver three special sessions guest lectures in the course.
Second Life is an online immersive, virtual world that supports a high level of social networking and interaction with information. Students in this course will enter Second Life as avatars where they can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, create and exchange ideas, and learn from designed experiences. In this course, Second Life will also be used to facilitate the interaction between participants and lecturers. In preparation for these special lecture events, we will help students and lecturers become familiar with how to sign up and use Second Life via several training activities.

Course content

Four modules are developed within this course:

  1. Maternal and Perinatal Health
  2. Sexually Transmitted Infections & HIV
  3. Sexual Health with a special focus on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
  4. Community Genetics

These modules are supplemented by a core module on epidemiology, research methods, ethics in research, scientific writing and research protocol development. This will help the participants to acquire the necessary knowledge to design and develop a quality research protocol, which meets the standard criteria.

Eligible candidates

Public health professionals, project planners and managers, paramedical staff, social scientists from developing as well as developed countries. Selection of candidates will be undertaken by a scientific committee comprised of Partner agencies and universities.

Admission procedures

In order to be considered by the course organizers, the following documents are required:

  • a completed application form
  • a curriculum vitae, including sections on: current and previous positions; responsibilities in research, teaching and clinical work; the institution currently employed; a list of publications (if available)
  • a certified copy of the university diploma/s
  • a letter of motivation stating clearly the interests and reasons for applying to the course
  • an outline of the scientific paper that will be completed/written up as part of the exams
  • an official attestation confirming proficiency in the English language
  • two letters of reference, preferably one from the current employer
  • if possible, an introduction by the candidate's Head of Department stating her/his current role and future involvement in the country's National Reproductive Health Program.

Duration of the training course

May-October 2010: 6 months distance learning.

February 2011: one week of  intensive training at WHO in Geneva for selected candidates.

Teaching language

The teaching language of the course is English. Both English and French can be used for the preparation of the mini-thesis. However, in order to follow the course lectures, it is of utmost importance that the participant’s level of understanding English is adequate. Thus, an official attestation of English proficiency is required to attend the training program.


The students' activities will be under the supervision of the scientific committee. The scientific committee will do the final assessment of the students and will choose the eligible candidates for the intensive training course which will be held at WHO in Geneva.
In order to obtain the certificate, participants will have to prepare a bibliographic review on a topic of their interest and/or a research project, under the guidance of a tutor.
During the course, participants will be required to write a scientific paper. This 'mini-thesis' gives participants the opportunity to apply the tools they learn during the course, such as critically appraising the literature, choosing the right study design or systematically reviewing the literature. Throughout the course, participants will get advice from module coordinator of the coordinator of the course, concerned teachers or tutor of their choice. The aim is to guide participants in preparing a scientific paper that would lead to a publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Roles of local coordinator

  • Assure contact and networking with the course participants at local level.
  • Provision of technical assistance at local level.
  • Introduction of  appropriate lecturers for topics included in different modules.
  • Provision of mentors at local level for students.
  • Assure communication within course organizers and learners.
  • Advertise the course and help in recruiting participants.
  • Provide their premises if needed.
  • Assist in the follow-up, assessment and final evaluation of students.


After required course attendance and having passed the exams, the participant will obtain a certificate delivered by the organizing institutions.


The tuition fee is CHF 1500 per participant. Through contributions from several donor organizations, the course organizers are making available a limited number of study grants, which will be offered to selected participants to meet some of the costs of their participation in the course.


The application form is available on https://www.gfmer.ch/SRH-Course-2010/SRH-Course-2010-Application.htm.

All application documents along with copies of diplomas, certificates and letters of reference can be sent by email, post or by fax to:

Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Villa Grand-Montfleury
Chemin du Grand-Montfleury 48
1290 Versoix - Switzerland
E-mail: application@gfmer.org
Fax: +41.22.346.78.34