The Union/MSF 9-12 month (SORT IT) course

Course Description

The Union offers an intensive course in operational research that consists of three 6-day modules spaced out over 9-12 months. The aim is to help participants develop the practical skills for conducting and publishing operational research.

In Module 1, participants work with facilitators to develop their own research protocol with due attention to ethics. In Module 2, they learn about electronic quality-assured data capture and analysis using open and free access software (EpiData). They return to their countries and work stations and collect data. They then return to Module 3, with data collected and analysed, and learn how to write their own scientific paper, which is then submitted within four weeks to an international or national peer-reviewed journal.

The training format includes lectures, break-out mentor groups and plenary sessions where participants present their work (protocols and papers in progress) to the whole group and receive feedback from their peers and facilitators. Milestones must be achieved to remain in the course.

In July 2012, The Union and MSF joined forces with the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Geneva, and the capacity building courses have now come under a new global partnership call SORT IT [structured operational research training initiative].  

Operational Research Courses 2015

Established SORT IT Courses
These courses are ongoing from 2014

Central Asia OR 1
Module 3:  23–28 March

Paris OR5
Module 3: 5-12 June

Panama OR1
Module 3: 13-18 July
New SORT IT Courses
These courses begin/end in 2015 with the exception of the Chennai course, which will end in 2016.

Asia OR 4
Modules 1 and 2: 2-14 March
Module 3: 11-18 December

Africa OR4
Modules 1 and 2: 9–21 March
Module 3: 20-27 November

Chennai OR 3
Modules 1 and 2: 7-18 September
Module 3: 2016 (dates TBA)
New India Short Courses

First India Short Course: 4-5 April
Second India Short Course: 10-11 October

Application process: About 3-4 months before the course starts, a call for applications and a course brief are circulated widely via e-mail and through contacts. Candidates have to complete an application form by a stated deadline, and participants (12 per course) are selected by a committee that assesses all applications.

Offical Language: English