KARACHI, March 28: A three-day workshop on guidelines to grant writing skills concluded yesterday at the Professional Skills Development Centre, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS). The workshop was organised in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

The objective of the workshop was to educate medical professionals and students involved in research about how to write a convincing application for a grant in bio-medical research, the various research methods, funding resources and challenges in the field.

“We don’t have a research culture in society. This is because research is a demanding job in terms of money and time and there had hardly been any government support earlier. Now, with the initiatives of Higher Education Commission, this workshop is a step to encourage research activities in medical institutions, especially in DUHS, which lags far behind in this field,” said Dr Sharaf Ali Shah, the course director.

The contribution of Aga Khan University and Hospital to bio-medical research, he said, was 70 per cent, while the remaining 30 per cent was shared by other institutions. At present, only three to four research papers from DUHS were printed in recognised international journals and this trend needed to be changed, he said.

The workshop was conducted by Sibylle Kristensen, Assistant Professor, Director, UAB International Research Training Programme, Travis Broome and Alexis McCain.

About the research infrastructure in Pakistan, Kristensen said that there were institutions which did meet the international criteria. But people needed to know that competition was getting tougher day by day, while there was hardly any raise in the research grant money.

Thirty-five professionals from Aga Khan University and Hospital, DUHS, Baqai University, Pakistan Medical Research Council, JPMC and the Health Department participated in the workshop.—A Reporter

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