Course Overview
The goal of the H3ABioNet and University of Botswana curriculum development workshop is to present success stories of Masters programmes that have been developed elsewhere and then discuss the challenges in starting such a programme at African universities who don’t yet offer them, and how to overcome these challenges. The workshop will also discuss what curriculum should be taught and how to train faculty to do this teaching.  Many institutions in Africa have expressed the will to start degree programmes in bioinformatics, this workshop will enable them to discuss the issues around this and how they can share resources and experience to get it off the ground. Several PIs both within H3Africa and those closely linked to the consortium have expressed their frustrations at not having a degree programme in bioinformatics at their institutions. At the last H3Africa consortium meeting, the CafGEN project, led by Botswana, noted their interest in working with H3ABioNet to develop a bioinformatics degree in Gabarone. Further discussions with other groups have shown that there are many institutions in Africa who face a similar issue so it makes sense for all these groups to get together and discuss how to go about starting such degree programmes. If we want to train bioinformaticians in Africa, we need to train them at the postgraduate level, where they can have focussed courses and undertake high quality bioinformatics projects for their dissertations. Therefore it is important that H3ABioNet focusses some of its training efforts at this fundamental stage of career development. This workshop will bring together people who have developed such programmes and people who need them in order to formulate a plan for how to go forward with this.
Intended Audience
Those who have developed bioinformatics curriculum and people who need them in order to formulate a plan for how to go forward with this.
Keywords: Bioinformatics, training, curriculum development
Skill level of training: Advanced
Language: English
Credential awarded: No credential awarded
Type of training: Face-to-face
Venue of the course:
Dates for the course: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 CAT to 14:30 CAT
Course organisers: European Bioinformatics Institute, Cancer Research Center (IBMCC, CSIC/USAL), Salamanca Spain, University of Cape Town South Africa, CGRI/NABDA Abuja Nigeria University of Khartoum, Sudan, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Malawi Bioinformatics consultant for DIPLOMICS Cape Town South Africa, Rhodes University Grahamstown South Africa, University of Science Technology and Technology of Bamako Mali, University of Malaga Spain, Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB) Geneva Switzerland, Ohio State University Ohio USA
Course Sponsors: H3ABioNet Local Classrooms
Course objectives

Classroom applications

Registration for classrooms opens: Thu, 01/01/1970
Registration for classrooms closes: Thu, 01/01/1970
Link to classroom application form:
Notification date for successful classrooms: Thu, 01/01/1970
Maximum number of participants that may be accepted per classroom will be capped at

Participant applications

Registration for participants opens: Thu, 01/01/1970
Registration for participants closes: Thu, 01/01/1970
Participant registration link:
Syllabus and Tools

11th March, 2014

8:30am - 9:00am

Registration and welcome

9:00am - 9:30am

Brief introduction and anticipated outcomes of the H3ABioNet curriculum development workshop by participants.
Dr Sumir Panji: Why do we need Bioinformatics degree programmes in Africa?

9:30am - 9:50am

Dr. Oyekanmi Nashiru: Perspective on the Priorities for Bioinformatics Education in the 21st Century

9:50am - 10:10am

Prof. Faisal Fadlelmola: Bioinformatics Degree Curriculum Development: The African Challenge and Lessons Learned

10:10am - 10:30am

Prof. Nicola Mulder: The South African Perspective

10:30am - 11:00am

Tea / Coffee Break

11:00am - 11:20am

Dr.Benjamin Kumwenda: A road map to development of Bioinformatics in Malawi

11:20am - 11:40am

Dr. Etienne de Villiers: KWTRP Masters level bioinformatics curriculum for East Africa

11:40 - 12:00pm

Prof. Ozlem Tastan Bishop: One-Year Coursework and Dissertation Bioinformatics MSc Programme at Rhodes University

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Open discussion: A Research vs Structured Bioinformatics programme

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Dr. Mamadou Wele (via Skype): Establishment of an MSc Bioinformatics programme in Mali

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Prof. Oswaldo Trelles (via Skype): MSc Bioinformatics program in Spain

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Prof. Patricia Palagi: MSc Bioinformatics program at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB)

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Open discussion: Amount of institutional support available e.g infrastructure, trained faculty, etc. How to train trainers

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Tea / Coffee Break

4:00pm – 4:30pm

Prof. Lonnie Welch (via Skype): Bioinformatics Curriculum Guidelines Towards a Definition of Core Competencies

4:30pm – 5:00pm

Break away session: Different models of bioinformatics training / education (single Institution vs cross-Institution) which one is applicable to your scenario?

5:00pm – 5:30pm

Report back from break away sessions


12th March, 2014

9:00am – 9:30am

Dr.Gomotsegang Pule: Requirements for the registration and accreditation of an MSc degree programme

9:30am – 10:30am

Open discussion: Accreditation, registration and Institutional requirements for establishing a MSc Bioinformatics programme

10:30am – 11:00am

Tea / Coffee break

11:00am – 11:20pm

Talk: Examples of different curriculums


Open discussion: Core vs elective topics for a MSc bioinformatics curricula and applicability to your scenario

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Open discussion: Build bioinformatics program according to expertise available at University e.g HIV or malaria research

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Wrap-up discussion of educational models, curricula and implementation

Course limitations
For more information, please visit
Training material availability

Training materials for this course are available as a single downloadable archive here: Should you re-use any of these materials, please ensure that both the author/s of the material AND H3ABioNet are clearly credited.