How to organize an IUIS Immunology Course
The following provides a guideline for the organization of an IUIS Immunology Course. Please get back to the Education Committee (EDU) for further details and questions.
1. EDU-sponsored IUIS Immunology Courses are usually one-week regional courses, which take place in developing countries. Where appropriate, the one-week (theoretical) course may be followed by a practical course/training in a specific methodology (e.g., flow cytometry). Typically, IUIS courses do NOT take place in association with another congress/meeting with the possible exception as a first step to explore new regions. So far, the focus has been on Africa and Latin America, but other regions (e.g., Asia) will be considered. The EDU budget allows to partially support 2-3 courses per year. EDU does NOT co-finance established courses and “schools” in developed regions (e.g., Europe, US). However, EDU supports travel fellowships for selected established courses (such as the AAI Introductory and Advanced courses, and The German Society of Immunology (DGfI) Spring School).
2. The EDU support will not be enough to fully cover the expenses of an IUIS Course. Therefore, additional funds will need to be raised (e.g. from industry, your Regional Federation, private foundations, etc.). Ideally, participation for students is free (i.e., travel expenses and accommodation are covered). If not possible, a reasonable registration can be charged and then students can apply for awards to cover their registration and travel.
3. The topic, country and location of an IUIS Immunology Course should be selected in agreement with the relevant Regional IUIS Federations (i.e., ALAI, FAIS, FIMSA) and should be based on the immunological topics most relevant to the particular area.
4. According to our experience, the preparation of an IUIS course takes from 12-18 months. Therefore, the local organizers should begin early with the organization.
5. As the local organizer, you should develop ideas regarding the topics of the course and potential faculty. Contact EDU at an early stage so that we can support the organization (also with suggestions for potential faculty members).
6. The faculty usually consists of a balance of local/national and international experts. Make sure that the speakers are willing (and able) to teach; an IUIS course is NOT a congress! When selecting the potential faculty, consider gender balance! Faculty members should stay through the whole course and not just fly in and fly out again. This is a unique opportunity for the participants to closely interact with national and international experts. Faculty will be provided with accommodation and food during the course. However, they might be asked to provide their own air travel, if sufficient funds for the course cannot be raised.
IUIS Course Organization_290118
7. Try to have students and faculty stay at the same hotel. Meeting people at breakfast or dinner greatly enhances the interactions!
8. IUIS courses are highly interactive. When organizing the program, leave sufficient time for poster sessions and meet-the-expert round table discussions. Moreover, it proved highly successful to include sessions on soft skills (e.g., how to write a grant application).
9. The announcement of an IUIS course should be distributed widely and in time. You will need to organize the selection process of participants based on CV, motivation letter, supervisor’s support letter, abstract, etc. EDU Committee members will be involved in the selection of candidates.
10. For each IUIS course, educational materials will be made available to participants approximately 6 weeks before the course commences using the Immunopaedia platform (www.immunopeadia.org). Immunopaedia is IUIS supported and is designed to provide core and specific themed modules on immunology. The pre-course material is organized by EDU Vice Chair Clive Gray (based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa). It is important to contact Clive Gray at the very early stage of course preparation, so that it becomes integrated into the course development. The Immunoapedia team will work closely with you and your team to collect and prepare immunology material from the invited speakers. This allows the registered students to prepare themselves for the course before arrival and so that the basic core knowledge of immunology is covered prior to the course. It is advisable that you identify two or three PhD or post-doctoral fellows who can take over the responsibility to contact the speakers in time and to adapt the material that can be used on the Immunopaedia platform.