FICSAP Annual Report 2023


The main activity of FICSAP, in collaboration with FIPAE, this year has been a joint pilot programme with Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia aimed at facilitating the development of emerging anatomists from Africa in educational research. The programme is modelled on one that Flinders has been running for health professional students and runs over ~ 6 months. It involves 3 formal 2 hour teaching sessions accompanied by one on one mentoring in between the sessions. By the end of the programme the student is expected to have developed a written research proposal that is ready, subject to appropriate ethical approval, to be implemented. 

All African anatomical societies (anglophone and francophone) associated with the IFAA were contacted at the beginning of the year and expressions of interest were sought from early career anatomists. Eleven full applications were received. A small committee including Nalini Pather (FIPAE), Helen Nicholson, Carol Hartmann and Koshila Kumar and Svetlana King from Flinders reviewed all of the applications and 6 applicants were chosen and subsequently accepted positions on the programme. The successful candidates come from Nigeria, Somalia and the Ivory Coast. The programme began in July and the teaching sessions delivered by Flinders staff via Teams occurred ~ every 6 weeks. Mentoring was provided by 3 members of FICSAP and 3 members of FIPAE. The last teaching session occurred in October and we are awaiting the submission of the research proposals by the candidates in early December. On the whole attendance at the Teams sessions by candidates and mentors has been good, although the quality of internet provision in some African countries has sometimes been an issue.

As part of the evaluation process, ethical approval has been obtained and the Flinders team are conducting an action research process involving candidates and mentors. It is hoped that this and a general update of the programme will be able to be presented as a symposium at the IFAA Congress in 2024. Depending on the evaluation outcomes, we will consider rolling out the project again in 2024/5.

21 November 2023

Helen Nicholson


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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