Professor Tobias Chirwa
Sub-Saharan African Consortium for Advanced Biostatistical Training (S2ACABT)
Professor Tobias Chirwa from the University of the Witwatersrand leads the £3.5 million Sub-Saharan African Consortium for Advanced Biostatistical Training (S2ACABT) consortium is training master’s and PhD students from across Africa in biostatistics.
The training programme will address a fundamental gap in expertise in the area of biostatistics, a discipline that is essential for a broad range of research areas and crucial for developing robust research questions.
Professor Chirwa is a leading researcher in biostatistics - mainly related to the epidemiology of infectious diseases and health interventions - and has extensive experience in providing training and supervision to researchers.
The consortium will emphasise the use of open access data generated through demographic and health surveillance sites and health research in the region. Recent funding initiatives have hugely increased the volume of high-quality data generated, but there are clear discrepancies between the amount of data and the capacity to analyse it.
By creating a network of biostatisticians and informed researchers across nine African countries, newly formed collaborations will seek to build the profile of careers in biostatistics. Students from high schools and undergraduate universities will be targeted, with a deliberate effort made to encourage female applicants.
Students who join the programme will be supported by supervisors including leading statisticians, epidemiologists and modellers from international institutions.