TReND’s Volunteering Program is waiting for you!

During the first half of 2017 things were quite busy for TReND’s Volunteering ProgramSeven European researchers visited Universities in Sudan, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, and more projects are one the making! Below you can read what some of our volunteers thought about their experiences.

If you get inspired and would also like to spend some time teaching in Africa, apply to our Volunteering Program now!

Anna Bennis

PhD candidate Dept Clinical Genetics, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Volunteered  at the University of Freetown, Sierra Leone, between mid-February and mid-April 2017

“Creativity is such an important part of science. I am very happy with the effort of the students and so proud of them! And also I had a really good time teaching and talking with them”

“I really enjoyed discussing research with the students. I remember the amazement and enthusiasm about sheep Dolly and the possibility to clone, and all the questions that came up. We talked about what makes a cell a cell: what does it consist of, what makes a neuron a neuron and a skin cell a skin cell when the DNA is the same in every cell”

Dr. Luisa Vigevani and Dr. Domenica Marchese

Post docs at the Centre of genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain
Volunteers at the University of Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2017

“What mainly rewarded us from this volunteering experience was to see that students were very curious and excited to learn, but also very eager to show and discuss with us their projects and results. This, in fact, was an interesting occasion of professional growth also for us!”

Carolina Thieleke Matos

Former postdoc at Postdoctoral Researcher at Imperial College London and University College of London, London, UK
Volunteered at the IMTU University, Tanzania, in January 2017

“When IMTU University asked me to join them for a couple of months I could not believe it. Luckily I was able to take that opportunity and in six months I was flying on my way to Dar es Salam to teach parasitology.  I can tell you that I ended up learning more than teaching.  Thanks to Trend in Africa organization, this kind of exchange is now possible and everyone that has the chance should do it!”


One of Carolina’s students said:

“It was really a great honour and privilege meeting Madame Carolina and spending a few months with her, apart from her friendly nature it was very eye opening and encouraging for me to learn more about what is really out there and she has only just increased my curiosity to keep on striving to attain new knowledge and information only to apply them in my home town and try making it a better place…”


Click here to learn more about TReND’s Volunteering Program now

Applications open now: 7th Neuroscience school, Gombe, Nigeria

We are excited to announce the 7th installment of our annual Drosophila Neurogenetics course, this time to be held at Gombe State University, Nigeria.

13th November – 2nd December 2017.

Deadline Sept 1st 2017. Applications are now closed!

For an impression of previous schools, see here:

Past neuroscience schools

– 4th IBRO school on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics, KIU Dar es Salaam campus, Tanzania. 24th October 13th November 2016 . Course Booklet, Picture Gallery

–  5th TReND/ISN school on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics, KIU Dar es Salaam campus, Tanzania. 17th August 05th September 2015 . Course Booklet, Picture Gallery

– 3rd IBRO school on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics, Department of Zoology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 11th-30th August 2014 . Applications will likely open in April 2014. Course Booklet, Picture Gallery

– 2nd IBRO school on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics, School of Health Sciences, Kampala International University, Uganda. 19th August – 8th September 2013. Full report. programme. Course Booklet. Picture Gallery

– 1st IBRO school on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics, School of Health Sciences, Kampala International University, Uganda. 20th August – 7th September 2012. report. programme. Course Booklet . Picture Gallery

– Drosophila neurogenetics course. School of Health Sciences, Kampala International University, Uganda. 10th – 29th October 2011. Blog of the course. Picture Gallery

Outreach in Entebbe, Uganda

Our outreach team used their spare time before the SONA Conference in Entebbe last month to inspire students from six secondary schools about science. They got the students to learn first hand, through experiments, about fractionating and estimating protein concentration in house flies; learned how to investigate learning and memory in fruit fly larvae; couple the DNA and some students even got to simulate brain signal speed and how it goes aberrant in cases of dementia. At the end, students made a presentation on their experiments, for which many won prizes and reagent leftovers were donated to all the schools that participated. Many thanks to Mahmoud, Yunusa and Sadiq for organising the outreach. We thank the Serpell lab, University of Sussex UK and the Galizia lab, University of Konstanz, Germany,  for donating some reagents used for the outreach.  See some pictures for impression.

3D printing open day!

The ongoing Open Labware workshop held at Ibadan, Nigeria had for the first time an “Open Door Day”. On this day, the university community, high school students, the general population as well as representatives from the local industry were invited to visit our lecture hall and talk about 3D printing, open source technologies and the projects participants have been developing! Our aim was to expose people to new ideas and technologies as well as create a welcoming environment to foster local collaborations. We had a very rewarding day, with many visitors and interesting discussions!

3D printing and electronics course, Ibadan, Nigeria

After two weeks of intensive hands on training, the 2nd Open Labware workshop is close to conclusion. Here, at the Department of Physiology in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, participants from seven different countries are learning about open source technologies, 3D printing and electronics in order to build laboratory equipment. Each group is going to leave with a fully functional 3D printer, Arduino kits and one piece of equipment developed by them during the course, including centrifuges, microscopes, orbital shaker, 3 axes micro manipulator and PCR machines.

Many thanks to the Volkswagenstiftung for their continued support in making this possible!