BSI- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana

Who we are

BSI- Ghana is being pioneered by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. The group comprises both undergraduate and post-graduates as well as recent graduates in any bio-science discipline. BSI- KNUST is therefore a purely student-led non-profit initiative which seeks to promote professional and career development of its members through mentorship and other well-structured programs/activities. We support community engagement/outreaches as well as inter-cultural dialogue between like-minded scholars around the world.

Projects

Data Science Skills Development Program

Recent advances in molecular biology coupled with advances in genomic technologies and a trend towards other Omic’s sciences, have led to an overflow of biological data. It is obvious that computing and sequencing are rapidly and drastically changing the face of every division of biology across many institutions worldwide. While most training programs focus on experimental methods/assays using current data-rich technologies, no particular attention is paid to the computational skills required today’s biomedical scientist to generate lots of biological insights hidden the mass, varied and ever increasing biological data. BSI-KNUST therefore seeks to address this problem by giving its members key computational skills.

Community engagement/outreach

BSI-Ghana is a platform for biomedical scientists to actively engage their communities in health-related issues in addition to responding to the health and socio-economic needs of their community in their our own small way. Educational programs focusing on preventive health and response to community/country-wide health crises are strongly encouraged. Medical volunteer programs as well as promotion of small-medium scale projects that address peculiar needs of societies are organized

Career and professional development

BSI- KNUST seeks to build capacity and equip young scientists with key life-long skills throughout her career. It is the aim of BSI-Ghana that its members are successful in every sphere of their career. Therefore frequent workshops on effective study techniques, presentation skills, data analysis, research ethics, time and stress management, key concepts in molecular biology and immunology are organized as part of our yearly programs. Writing sessions to teach students how to write scientific articles are also encouraged.

Mentorship and coaching

Given that there is a great need to nurture and guide the next generation of scientists, particularly in developing countries, mentorship remains a core of BSI-KNUST activities. Occasional mentorship sessions with invited resource persons are featured in our yearly programs. In addition, undergraduates in junior classes are paired with members in their penultimate years to be engaged in research projects being taken-up by final year students. Moreover, provisions are made for undergraduates to partner with postgraduate research students to learn research ethics and gain further research experience. Occasionally, research positions in the various labs of faculty members are advertised to allow interested students to join. We seek to build a network of this scientific research program throughout universities in Ghana to facilitate inter-institutional research and collaboration.

Exchange program and internship

Exchange programs are great opportunities for students to acquire special knowledge and to experience the rich cultural diversity of its host institutions and community. Internships and research training can help students particularly in resource limited countries to acquire pertinent research skills and techniques which might not be available in one’s home institution. BSI-KNUST aims to partner with other BSI chapters in other countries to support student movement across institutions in order to acquire research skills, extra knowledge and to explore other people’s culture.

Conferences and scientific meetings

High travel costs and conference registration fees are huge impediments to the participation of most scientist/students in scientific conferences and workshops, particularly in developing countries. BSI-KNUST aims to leverage on the innovative annual BSI remote conference platform to promote the participation of students, particularly those living in resource-limited countries, in such international research gatherings to share ideas, gain lots of scientific insights and to network.