Archive of European Projects

Innovation in teaching, training and dissemination of virology
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Like viruses themselves, the scientific discipline of Virology has evolved from the study of viruses, to overlap and intertwine with many other scientific disciplines, both traditional and contemporary. As these developments into new areas of science such as gene therapy in treating cancers, reverse genetics in biotechnological assay development and nanotechnology in vaccine design continue to grow, so too does that gap in what knowledge being transferred to students working in the traditional fields of virology and these emerging fields. The objectives of this project are to build on a network of European virologists, teachers, trainers and experts in their respective fields of virology, to consolidate all of the training material and techniques that are currently being used. Novel material provided by the partners will contribute to online Virology courses, social and interactive applications and educational games for teachers and the general public, and the establishing of a European diploma of virology. The eight participants involved are from different training institutions across Europe each with world leading expertise in their respective areas of Virology. The partner countries are Spain, UK, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and Serbia. The activities included in the project are logically and chronologically defined. An initial preparatory stage of building an extensive list of teachers and trainers in Europe that can directly benefit from the project outcomes. The cataloguing of existing Virology training material used by the partner institutions and the putting in place of a memorandum of understanding regarding the free and open sharing of this material with the partners. Development of a European Virology training website and a platform for partners to upload newly developed material based on what field of Virology they are responsible for contributing, eight in total. The consolidated material will be reviewed, collectively improved and added to the website, before being translated it the EU official languages. These contemporary training materials will then be presented it in a novel and relevant platforms for teachers, students and the general public to avail of. The main outcomes of this project will include: Formation of a European Network of Virology Trainers and Educators Establishing of a European Virology training and educational Virology Website A European laboratory training manual for teachers and trainers Online Virology Courses Quarterly partner-hosted Virology webinars on a topical area of virology for the Public An educational smartphone app A collaborative textbook for training in Virology A facebook and a blog on Virology. The impact of this project is far reaching, but most importantly includes an improvement in the quality of teaching Virology and optimization of the training resources from the EU. Additionally, developing novel strategies in teaching and disseminating information to students will modernize the way the Virology will be taught. The longer term benefits are an improvement in the motivation of students as they will be using technologies more in line with modern day developments in the field, as well as capitalising on social media as a tool for educating. This will result in better prepared professionals able to confront more effectively the challenges posed by viruses in our society and the impacts that has on public health, the environment, and on the economics of disease burden and the relevance in agricultural, veterinary and medical aspects. A final and important long term benefit will be an improvement to the general public’s general knowledge of what viruses are and an enhanced understanding on how they affect us and what we can do to prevent their spread.
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