IVVN Annual Report 2022

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The IVVN’s activities are centred around four key work areas: facilitation of networking between members, training early career researchers to ensure a strong research landscape now and in the future, supporting scientific collaborations that will help develop new and improved vaccines, and promoting gender balance in veterinary vaccinology research.

Facilitation of networking

We seek to bring a large but widely dispersed community together through our international conferences and workshops. Since 2020, these activities have taken place online, and we hope to continue our webinars, virtual symposia and online workshops even as we look to resume in-person events.

Members are kept informed about the Network’s activities through our website, a monthly newsletter and our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Training for early career researchers

The IVVN is committed to supporting the training and development of early career researchers, especially those working in LMICs. We do this through conference scholarships to attend international meetings, running skills-based workshops at our annual conferences, and through our programme of online training courses.

Supporting scientific collaboration

The IVVN’s catalyst funding schemes award collaborative research to tackle key bottlenecks in LMIC-relevant vaccine development. Since 2017, we have funded 13 pump-priming awards worth up to £100,000 each. We also have a funding programme to facilitate laboratory exchanges with £10,000 available for each award; 11 exchanges have already been funded, with more projects due to be awarded soon.

Promoting gender balance

The IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme equips a network of women African scientists with the knowledge and tools they need to host interactive workshops in their local schools. The programme launched in 2019 and now has team members based in seven African countries.

The IVVN also runs a Fellowship Programme for women postdoctoral researchers, which is co-funded with Canada’s International Development Research Centre. The first six project are now nearing completion, and our fellows recently presented at a special online dissemination event.

IVVN awarded additional funding to support activities

Earlier this year, the IVVN was delighted to be awarded £450,000 of additional funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The GCRF supports cutting-edge research to address challenges faced by developing countries. It is part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA) and is managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Since 2017, the Network has supported a growing number of veterinary vaccinologists around the world, and we now have more than 1,700 members in 93 countries. The additional funding reflects the strategically important role the Network plays in bringing together this global community.

The additional funds will supplement the original £2.8m grant  from GCRF that has funded the Network's activities since its launch.

With this award, the IVVN will be offering members access to new events, training opportunities and funding calls. The award will also provide additional support to the African Schools Outreach Programme, which has continued to grow since its 2019 launch, and help fund our online activities.

Fourth round of laboratory exchanges announced

The first new opportunity we can run using this additional funding is a new round of laboratory exchange funding.

This new call, announced in September, is the fourth round of this funding scheme, with 11 projects awarded in previous cycles.

Successful applicants will receive an award of up to £10,000 to facilitate the transfer of skills or experience between laboratories, and/or to allow specialised proof-of-concept work to take place. These funds can be spent on travel, accommodation and laboratory consumables for a visiting researcher to spend time in a hosting researcher’s laboratory.

IVVN laboratory exchanges are awarded competitively, with submitted applications reviewed by members of the IVVN Network Management Board. Applications closed on 5 October, and the successful projects will be announced later this year.