Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Laying a foundation for Fieldworkers’ bursary at MLW

My thoughts about fieldworkers at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust (MLW) grew into a passion in 2013 when Dorcas visited the institution; because of her visit Science Communication department organized a meeting for her to interact with this group of staff who since then were working in their different projects without knowing each other’s role. Personally I didn’t attend the meeting because of other commitments at a field site but upon my return each fieldworker who attended the meeting shared with me crucial issues that came up while interacting with Dorcas, at the end of my conversation with each one of them the question that they kept on asking was about what will be our next step to make sure that the fieldworkers’ are well placed and recognized at MLW.

The question gave us a lot to think about. This is why together with Social Science team, operations and science communication we applied for a bursary to carry out a research to go deep into the issues that were shared by fieldworkers at the first meeting. So far the protocol has been finalized and is ready for submission to College of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (COMREC), the only setback that we have met at the moment is that there is a discussion going on between MLW senior management and COMREC concerning the issue of overheads; initially all studies funded by Wellcome trust were exempted from paying overheads but now the practice is yet to change and we are requested to do so, at the moment all submissions from MLW have been suspended until the issue is sorted out. Our next plan is to have everything in order to proceed with data collection soon after the approval from the the board. 

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Comment by Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy on July 23, 2015 at 9:01

Dear Elvis,

Thanks for posting your update on your current activities. I can see you have an Ethics body to review social science protocol and I would like to learn the way they review, do they have any SOP, checklist or principles in order to give an approval for a proposal?  I wish the problem with the overhead issue will be sorted out quickly and you can carry out your project. 


Comment by Maureen Njue on July 24, 2015 at 8:11

Hi Elvis,

Sounds like you have made great progress towards starting your work. I hope you get the institutional issues resolved so that you can get started with your data collection. Wishing you well.

Best Wishes


Comment by Rodrick Sambakunsi on July 27, 2015 at 14:38

Elvis I am as excited as you are about this project. What excites me a lot is the passion that you have on field work. I think we can also tap a lot of experience from our Kilifi cousins who have done a lot already on field workers. It is my sincere hope that Francis and his team will continue offering you support for this project to be of great value to field workers and MLW.

We will all be there to support you.

Best Wishes


Comment by Elvis Moyo on July 27, 2015 at 22:01

Hi Thuy, thanks for asking. The ethics committee has SOPs and a checklist which  need to be followed before they approve any protocol. Maureen am also hoping that we will soon pass this stage and have the approval so that we start data collection and thanks Rodrick for the best wishes and support from both MLW and Kilifi team. 

Comment by Michael Parker on August 5, 2015 at 8:18

Hi Elvis,

It is wonderful to hear about your enthusiasm for the project. I think it is a really exciting set or issues and a great project. Hopefully the institutional issues will get sorted out soon and you will be able to start the data collection part of the project. I am really looking forward to hearing more about it!

Comment by Elvis Moyo on August 5, 2015 at 9:33

Thank you Mike, I will share more updates as we go along hoping that very soon we will get an approval. 

Comment by Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy on August 6, 2015 at 5:14

Hi Elvis,

That's great your ECs has SOPs and a checklist in conducting the project review. I wonder if you could share those SOPs and checklist if you having one or maybe the brief of what they are looking at the protocol? It will be a very good lesson/reference for other ECs. Please contact me via email if you decide to share them in private. (thuyntth@oucru.org)



Comment by Elvis Moyo on August 6, 2015 at 6:49

Hi Thuy, i will  definitely do that through Neema and her department and very soon one of them will write you.

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