Elizabeth Stanley-Batchilly, Theme Project Manager, Vaccines and Immunity Theme, has recently being awarded the prestigious “Best Paper of the Year Award” by the Society for Research on Administrators (SRA) International’s for a paper titled Creating a Sustainable Research Environment through Capacity-Building Initiatives.
The abstract of the winning paper was submitted in June 2016 and presented during the SRA annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA in October 2016. She was named the winner of SRA International’s 2016 Symposium in November 2016. As the proud winner, Elizabeth will be receiving her award during the 2017 SRA International Annual Meeting, October 14 – 18, at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Canada.
According to Elizabeth, the rationale behind this paper was based on the fact that research is not prioritised by African Governments as the region has a very poor infrastructural and human resources to support health research. Most of the research being done in the region is not aligned with the health needs of the region and neither does it address the health needs of the populations. Therefore this paper focused on how research capacity is being built in Africa considering the pivotal role that research plays in global health.
Elizabeth remarked “for the region to make progress towards achieving its health targets, research must be aligned with health priorities of the region. This entails the building of functional health research systems that will promote identification of new tools as well as optimise the use of old tools to improve the health of the people.” As a leading research institution in Africa, MRCG has taken notable steps in strengthening research capacity, she added.
Award winner Elizabeth Stanley-Batchilly holds a BSC in Business Management (International Business) and MSC in Project Management both from University of Salford, United Kingdom. She joined MRC Unit The Gambia as Senior Project Administrator in 2010 and was promoted to Theme Project Manager in March 2013. During her appointment as Senior Project Administrator, Elizabeth had the opportunity to work on a wide range of research projects which includes; clinical trials, epidemiological studies and other study designs.
Elizabeth’s first remarkable achievement was with the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pneumococcal protein vaccine trial (SPICAR) study which achieved its recruitment target ahead of schedule. This was followed by the successful initiation and completion of the Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) clinical trial.
Elizabeth considers each successful grant, The Unit achieves within her projects a personal achievement. Elizabeth does not limit herself to her administration role, her passion and interest in capacity building initiatives have landed her with several accepted abstracts and paper presentations from international publishing bodies.
According to Prof Beate Kampmann, Theme Leader Vaccines and Immunity (VIT), “Elizabeth is a cornerstone for all of our activities in VIT and I have always been aware of er crucial role in our team. It is also to her credit that her work never stops in her comfort zone and she always stretches her mind- and her engagement. To win this award is a major credit to all of her efforts and I am not surprised, but absolutely delighted.”
When asked to comment on Elizabeth’s achievement, Dembo Kanteh, Coordinator West Africa Research Platform said, “An absolutely conscientious and dedicated member to have in any team. Tasks dedicated to her are as good as already done. Well done and keep it up.”