In their recent trip to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Professor Carolina de Weerth and postdoctoral fellow Bonnie Brett had the wonderful opportunity to meet with the Dutch ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire and her assistant to discuss their recent research project (ARC – Abidjan: Recherche sur la Cognition), their efforts to introduce affordable and locally made probiotic products into the local market, and an exciting initiative they are heading up – research capacity building for Ivoirian PhD students!
During the ARC project, Carolina and Bonnie recruited and hired a very talented team of doctoral student research assistants who played an integral role in the project, not only completing data and biological sample collection, but also guiding many technical and cultural aspects of the project. Carolina and Bonnie were thrilled to have such a dedicated team and remain in contact with them today. Now that the study is complete, Carolina and Bonnie hope to bring these students to the Netherlands to work alongside the members of the DPB Lab for some months. This opportunity will increase their research related English skills and statistical knowledge, making them even more competitive in the local job market once they obtain their PhDs.
The meeting with the Dutch ambassador was very enjoyable and productive, with the ambassador providing much useful information and suggestions for all aspects of our work in Côte d’Ivoire. Now, with her advice and support, we are working together with our research team to plan for the next phase of the capacity building project – the trip to the Netherlands!