The gnatwork: building capacity for research on neglected tropical vectors

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: Entomology

Abstract

The vector-borne disease challenge this network addresses is to develop multidisciplinary techniques that can be used in research across three neglected vector groups: biting midges, sandflies and blackflies. These groups are responsible for the transmission of internationally important pathogens worldwide and disproportionately impact upon countries receiving official development assistance from the UK. At present, communication between communities studying midges, sandflies and blackflies is almost non-existent for a wide variety of reasons, mostly associated with differences in the type of pathogens each group transmits and the host in which they cause disease. The single most important bottleneck shared in research of all these haematophagous insects, however, is their small body size. This imposes constraints on a vast range of research areas from behavioural ecology to genomics and often precludes recruitment of new workers due to their perceived difficulty as subjects. When combined with fluctuations in funding that are an intrinsic factor in pathogen research this creates a significant challenge in retaining a critical mass of researchers, particularly in countries where medical and veterinary priorities change rapidly. By bringing together workers in two countries where research is relevant to development, we can make significant progress in translating techniques across all three vector groups and build a more resilient research base for these groups.

The network management board contains acknowledged and established experts on biting midges, sandflies and blackflies and early career researchers with an equal gender balance. We will initially base the project in Bangladesh and Brazil where there are existing communities of workers on all three groups that remain entirely disconnected. We have therefore recruited management leads for both Brazil and Bangladesh who will work with the Director and co-Director to bring together workers through project meetings. At these meetings, we will use workshops to train students and early career researchers with a pragmatic approach in establishing a sufficient baseline of expertise to improve working practices. Areas that we feel can be significantly improved are in experimental design, taxonomy of insect fauna and practical fieldwork projects. We have also focussed on epidemiological techniques that share similarities between the groups including the analysis of surveillance data on spatial and temporal levels.

As part of the network, we will also fund six catalyst projects of up to £100k across two calls. The aim of these projects will be to provide validated approaches for techniques that can be used across the three vector groups and potentially extended to others. There will be a clear emphasis during these projects in providing data quickly to as broad a proportion of the community as possible as the aim is to underpin larger collaborative applications. There will be a requirement for at least a proportion of each study to be conducted in either Brazil, or Bangladesh, or both countries. The development of south-south relationships will be a feature of the project as communities studying these vector communities in the two countries have few current lines of collaboration and face similar logistical issues in implementing research in the field. The use of students and early career researchers in these research projects will be encouraged and each will have a high profile on the network website to enhance career prospects.

Technical Summary

The aim of this network is to bring together workers on neglected Dipteran vectors of pathogens with a focus on biting midges (Family Ceratopogonidae); sandflies (Family: Psychodidae) and blackflies (Simulidae). The aim is to create a cadre of workers who can carry out coherent studies of all three groups while providing catalyst grants that are transformative in underpinning future collaborative applications. Funding for studies of these groups tends to be intermittent and linked directly to disease impact within countries, hence by developing critical mass in research across the groups we will build sustainability across the communities. We will use both annual meetings and a dedicated and useful website to drive this process, making use of a management board that is primarily based around workers in field-based epidemiology. A major unifying factor in this is the fact that these groups have the smallest body size of vector species which imposes severe constraints on research ranging from the ability to extract high quality DNA/RNA from individual insects to fundamental behavioural studies in the field and laboratory. We will therefore fund up to 6 projects of £100 000 maximum value to produce cross-vector studies that will address some of these bottlenecks to progress. It is expected that these will be placed into the public domain in the lifetime of the project enabling them to be used by members of the community to underpin larger collaborative applications.

Planned Impact

The impacts of the project can be divided into those associated with the network (including annual meetings and the website facility) and those arising from the catalyst grant funding (£600 000 over three years).

Impact of the Network: The network will support three meetings based in the UK, Bangladesh and Brazil. The UK meeting will focus initially upon ensuring that the resources produced during the project are relevant, focussed and will have a specific and measurable impact within the lifetime of the grant. We expect this to influence both the website design, which will be presented in a preliminary form at the meeting, our strategy regarding early careers development and the development of transferable skills in study of the three neglected vector groups in Bangladesh and Brazil. Later meetings in Bangladesh and Brazil will develop specific skills based around experimental design, taxonomy and epidemiology in a cohort of 20-30 early career scientists in these countries. We will specifically follow the careers of these scientists, both within and beyond the lifespan of the project to understand what challenges are present in establishing a scientific career in these fields and how to effectively promote this career choice. The aim will be to provide a balanced assessment of the utility of short term training provided within the project and the broader impact of the network in both bringing people into contact with other employers and in creating lasting links between researchers.
The website facility will enable long-term contact within the community and also act as a focus for building relationships with policy makers and the general public. By releasing data and validated methodologies through the website we will encourage increased traffic and additionally gain direct feedback on uptake from those within the VBD field. In addition, we will prepare specific briefing documents for policy makers, initially tailored to the countries concerned, but expanded toinclude global oversight. These will be discussed with the external panel member who will be drawn from an OIE/WHO background. We expect this overview to inform disease control In Bangladesh and Brazil by providing points of contact for specific areas of research. The general public will benefit from lay overviews of research and video interviews of researchers involved in the project explaining both their research and its impact.

Impact of Catalyst Funding: The aim of the catalyst funds is to provide validated, transformative studies that underpin future grant applications relevant to a wide range of users. In addition, these short-term projects will provide a boost to early career researchers, enabling them to obtain a significant profile in the field. A key factor in the success of this process will be making results of studies available within a very short period following study completion. Hence we will require projects funded to release data to repositories immediately following study completion. Simultaneously we will advertise the work of researchers on our website, raising their profile in the community and increasing their probability of future employment. We believe that this is preferable to the common situation where early career researchers employed on short term contracts do not receive full value for their studies and tend to lose contact with projects following their completion. We feel that this will lead to a greater than average employment for those participating on projects and we will compare this cohort of researchers with those not selected for funding at the end of the project to assess impact.

The broader aim of the catalyst funding will be to enable projects based on neglected vectors that currently suffer from technical bottlenecks to research. The pathogen transmission aspect of research is reviewed in the ODA impact document and is considerable, impacting on a range of resource poor populations and in animal welfare and prod

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Key finding (i) Noteworthy new research network and collaborations. Prior to the Gnatwork, there was little connection between blackfly, sandfly and biting midge researchers, despite similar challenges in working with the vectors. The Gnatwork has created an network of 358 members, across 148 countries (officially signed up via the website) working across these three groups. https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/members Of particular note, we have funded eight small-scale projects that link researchers in the UK with researchers working in countries receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA), in areas impacted by the pathogens transmitted by these vectors. For these projects: 20 UK scientists, 16 scientists from 6 countries receiving ODA and 4 scientists from non-UK non-ODA countries are involved. This has included multiple novel international collaborations, including one facilitated by the Gnatwork Community Call application process, in which we hosted an online collaborator search.
Key finding (ii) Increased research capability generated from training delivered in specialist skills. Twenty-eight early-career researchers (ECRs) in South America (Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina) and 26 ECRs from Bangladesh/India have received four days of training, funded by the Gnatwork, taught by international experts in blackfly, sandfly and biting midge biology. Lessons included: experimental design, trapping, morphological identification, molecular barcoding and basic statistics.
Furthermore, as part of our pump-prime funding projects, we emphasised the importance training of ECRs, with all eight projects training ECR(s) either in the UK or country receiving ODA. Of particular note, five international ECRs (Brazil, Ghana [2], Bangladesh, Spain) have received training in the UK in specialist skills. This includes: micro-CT scanning, novel sequencing technologies (MinION), immunomarking of insects and identification of vector species.
Key finding (iii) Important new research resources identified. All Gnatwork projects and training courses release their data and protocols to the Gnatwork, which are freely available on the Gnatwork website: to date this includes 17 protocols, 3 fact sheets, Culicoides identification keys, 45 videos and links to 14 external resources. Of particular note, one Gnatwork project provided the first ever micro-CT scan images of blackflies and sandflies infected with Onchocerca and Leishmania, respectively, which can be seen at https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/micro-ct-visualisation-of-the-parasite-host-interface-in-small-biting-flies. Data from all other projects will be made available over the coming months.
Exploitation Route Outcome 1: Provision of data to the vector-borne community. All of the studies that we have funded are pump-prime funding studies and therefore generate preliminary data for further exploration. The data produced by these projects is going to be uploaded on the website (example https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/micro-ct-visualisation-of-the-parasite-host-interface-in-small-biting-flies). This will then be freely available for other scientists to use and expand upon.
Outcome 2: Transferrable skills taught to over 50 early-career researchers. Thus providing the necessary skills and platform to individuals to further their career in scientific research. We have kept in contact with the participants after the workshop to provide any further advice where needed. For one of the participants, they were directly invitated to participate in two pump-prime funding projects, which has resulted in further training and networking for the individual.
Outcome 3: Increased resilience in the vector-borne community. By ensuring all our funded projects contain international collaborations, link multiple vector groups and train ECRs, we have ensured that the project leaves lasting links between the three previously separate vector communities. Furthermore, all Gnatwork members are added onto the Gnatwork website (map with location, expertise and areas of research) to act as a platform for new collaboration and for knowledge sharing. This enhanced communication provides a platform for future potential studies and collaborations.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Healthcare

URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/
 
Description • The Micro-CT scanning project that we have funded has provide the first 3D scans of blackflies and sandflies, which are being utilised by Dr Martin Hall (The Natural History Museum) for public engagement. This includes being shown at a public engagement event attended by >3,100 members of the public at the Natural History Museum on 27th September 2019 (the European Researchers Night, a European Union funded event). • All the pump-prime projects that we have funded link to countries receiving ODA, where they are required to have significant in-country impacts, including payment of salaries for ODA researchers during the projects (seven projects) and transfer of equipment on project completion.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Healthcare
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Assisting with teaching of a Masters lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Assisted with teaching a session on animal viruses at The University of Surrey for students on a masters course. This included promotion of the work that Pirbright does.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bangladesh 2018 Gnatwork Workshop and Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Five day international conference, held in Bangladesh. Started with a one-day conference in Bangladesh, where 10 invited international experts spoke on vector biology to an audience of 70 researchers from Southern Asia. During this day the recipients of the travel bursary scheme also presented a poster. Following this, a four day training workshop was held with 26 early-career participants from India and Bangladesh to provide practical experience of working across the three vector groups.
The aims of this workshop were to link to the VBD community in Southern Asia and get individuals within this region to network. To provide transferable skills to early-career researchers, to enable them to work across vector groups and learn techniques applicable to all.
Outputs: 70 individuals from Southern Asia got the opportunity to network at the conference day (individuals worked on different vectors, across the animal and human health - who had not previously met). 26 early-career researchers were taught transferable skills across the three vector groups of the Gnatwork. By spending 5 days together, they also created a community of early-career researches from Bangladesh and India, including becoming Gnatwork members. The Gnatwork paid for Debashis Ghosh (ECR from Bangladesh on sandflies) to visit biting midge experts in India to form collaborations and learn about the differences in research techniques between vectors prior to the meeting. We hope this collaboration will continue. Furthermore, we got two applications to our second pump-prime funding call from individuals associated with this course.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/bangladesh-18
 
Description Bluetongue and Wildlife (15 minute presentation on Epizootic Haemorhagic Disease Virus), (July/Pirbright, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Policymakers reported greater interest in deer-associated diseases including EHDV and BTV
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network Manager Emma Howson helped with running a stall for The Pirbright Institute at The Cheltenham Science Festival (7th June 2019) to promote the work of the institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Co-Chair "What works for networks" at Ento 19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Co-chaired a workshop on "what works for networks" alongside Global Vector Hub, AntiVec and APMEN. This sparked discussion in to what individuals would like networks to provide for them, how communication and links should be maintained and how to ensure the sustainability of networks beyond funding. This culminated in a infographic of the responses which was shared via social media (twitter and website).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/ento-19-0
 
Description Cuilicoides interest group: The Pirbright Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Culicoides interest group was held at The Pirbright Institute on 16 Jan 2018. A 15 minute talk was given which led to interest in the Gnatwork, including a number of new members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Cuilicoides-bourne virus interest group (CVIG) 2019: The Pirbright Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Culicoides-bourne virus interest group was held at The Pirbright Institute on 14 June 2019. A 15 minute talk was given which led to interest in the Gnatwork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/early-career-presenations-for-culicoides-borne-virus-interest-group
 
Description European Society Vector Ecology (Invited Chair for two sessions and speaker for 15min talk); (October/Palermo, Sicily) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chaired two sessions, one on vector-borne diseases, one on scientific networks. Latter included a discussion with early career researchers. Main outcome was coordination between active networks including The Gnatwork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.sove.org/European%20SOVE%20folder/greecescientificprogram/palermo_Scientific_program_revi...
 
Description Female role models 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Media release from Pirbright on Female role models in science. I provided a reason how female role models had helped to shape my career. This was released on twitter and facebook.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Gnatwork Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact New website established to act as focalpoint of project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/
 
Description Gnatwork facebook feed 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Gnatwork facebook feed acts as a secondary social media stream to update individuals on Gnatwork news/events and general interest points for entomologists. It is also used to advertise pump-prime funding calls and opportunities for Gnatwork members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Gnatwork newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Monthly newsletters are sent out from mailchimp every month to sign-ups. These include news/events on the Gnatwork, call advertisements, conferences coming up, interesting publications and news from the entomolgoy worls.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/news-events/news/gnatwork-newsletters
 
Description Gnatwork twitter feed 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Gnatwork twitter feed acts as the main social media stream to update individuals on Gnatwork news/events and general interest points for entomologists. It is also used to advertise pump-prime funding calls and opportunities for Gnatwork members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://twitter.com/the_gnatwork
 
Description Gordons school science career talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop held with students at Gordons school science club to showcase science careers and the work that The Pirbright Institute does.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Holt School Bee Meadow & A-level outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop held with students at Holt school to showcase science careers, the importance of studying entomology and the work that The Pirbright Institute does.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description InnovSur : Conference in IRD Montpellier on Insect Vector Surveillance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Working group on standardisation of techniques for surveillance of insect vectors. Included break out group brainstorming and subsequent commentaries. Total audience approximately 110 people for main lectures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.alphavisa.com/isessah-innovsur/2018/
 
Description Invited Chair at European Congress of Entomology (Naples,July) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chaired session on vector-borne diseases at meeting and subsequent question sessions with 15 minute presentation on Culicoides biting midges.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ece2018.com/scientific-programme/day-1-monday-2-july/
 
Description Invited Lecture - Antivec Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation give on 'The Gnatwork'. 21/06/19.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/antivec/
 
Description Invited Lecture - Wageningen University and Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk title: Culicoides-borne arboviruses in Europe - Invited lecture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited presentation at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (January; Riems) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Formal presentation on biting midges and bluetongue to professional audience with question session and collaborative meetings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited speaker at APHA surveillance meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker on insect surveillance at Animal and Plant Health Agency meeting with discussion around current studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Scientific Presentation: SOVE lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Society of Vector Ecology Presentation 'The Gnatwork'. 6th October 2017 over 150 attendance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.uibcongres.org/sove2017/
 
Description Southern England Virology Network meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gnatwork was presented at The Southern England Virology Network meeting at The Pirbright Institute (19/09/2018). Talk generated interest in the Gnatwork and updated The Pirbright Institute on current Gnatwork progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Spoke and ran a stand at ISOPS Galapagos 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Gnatwork stall was set-up and manned throughout the 10th International Symposium On Phlebotomine Sandflies, USFQ, Galapogos. This included promoting the Gnatwork, meeting potential members and promoting the latest pump-prime funding call. I also did an oral presentation at the conference to promote the Gnatwork, funding calls and opportunities that we offer. From this, three individuals who attended applied for and were accepted on out travel bursary scheme for the Brazil workshop 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/isops-x
 
Description Sutton College Lecture (Enjoy your retirement) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk to group on virus outbreaks (Enjoy your retirement) - 16 people & class coordinator. Included simulation of a virus outbreak.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Gnatwork International Workshop: Bangladesh 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact DAC-listed countries involved: India, Bangladesh, Colombia

Benefits to the DAC-listed countries, including progress towards delivering economic development and welfare:

1. Key findings: The one-day conference enabled networking of 70 individuals from DAC-listed countries with 10 international experts on vector biology. The 26 early-career researchers (ECR) were all from DAC-listed countries and were trained in scientific techniques across three vector groups (blackflies, sandflies, biting midges) on a four day training course.
2. Societal benefit: A session was held specifically for speakers from DAC-listed countries in addition to a poster session from 26 ECRs, as a platform for sharing and discussing research in Southern Asia.
3. Collaborations: The conference was run through collaboration with The Pirbright Institute (UK), The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (Bangladesh).
4. Additional collaborations / further funding: Two of the individuals who helped to organise and run the course applied for Gnatwork pump-prime funding call two, Transformative Science. These were both in collaboration with UK institutions.
5. Economic benefit: All early-career researchers received a travel bursary to attend. Of the invited experts that attended on Gnatwork funing, two were from DAC-listed countries (Colombia and India).
6. Sustainable development goals: Good health and wellbeing and quality education - Training was provided on major vectors of pathogens affecting humans, livestock and wildlife by 10 international experts in the field, thus increasing the in-county awareness and capacity to study vectors that transmit pathogens of human and animal importance.
7. Gender related impact: the gender balance of the international experts providing the training was equal. 30% of the attendees (ECR) were female.
8. Next destination: The majority of participants were masters / PhD level, as such the training provided gives them a platform of basic laboratory skills and knowledge for their future scientific careers. Furthermore, personal links with the experts both in and out of country provides a support network.
9. Engagement activities: The workshop and outputs are presented on the Gnatwork website, twitter feed and Gnatwork newsletters. All ECRs are signed up as Gnatwork members with an online profile. Some ECRs have provided further information, enabling them to have a dedicated space on the website, as well as having researcher profiles within Gnatwork newsletters to advertise their research to network members.
10. Research tools and methods: A book of protocols was devised for the training course. This was provided to all attendees, to ensure they could use the methods in their own research. Protocols are also now open access on the Gnatwork website. All un-used consumables purchased for the conference were donated to icddr,b to ensure continuation of methods. Participants were also given a basic slide mounting kit for future use.
11. Use of facilities and resources: The conference was held at icddr,b and a workshop venue in Bangladesh. As such, all venues and large equipment used were from a DAC-list country.

Secondary benefits:
1. Secondments: Before the conference, we paid for an ECR from icddr,b Bangladesh, to visit The University of Burdwan, India. During the visit, the ECR was taught a number of new techniques for working on an alternative vector, and brought these techniques back to Bangladesh, for both teaching on the course and their own scientific development. This trip also enabled initial connections between two laboratories in ODA countries to be made for future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/bangladesh-18
 
Description The Gnatwork International Workshop: Brazil 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact DAC-listed countries involved: Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico. Benefits to the DAC-listed countries, including progress towards delivering economic development and welfare: 1. Key findings: The one-day conference enabled networking of 62 individuals from DAC-listed countries with 11 international experts on vector biology. The 28 early-career researchers (ECR) were all from DAC-listed countries and were trained in scientific techniques across three vector groups (blackflies, sandflies, biting midges) on a four day training course. 2. Societal benefit: A session was held specifically for speakers from DAC-listed countries in addition to a poster session from 28 ECRs, as a platform for sharing and discussing research in Southern Asia. 3. Collaborations: The conference was run through collaboration with The Pirbright Institute (UK), The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK) and UFMG (Brazil). 4. Additional collaborations / further funding: One of the individuals who helped to organise and run the course applied for Gnatwork pump-prime funding call three, Community Call in collaboration with a UK institution. 5. Economic benefit: All early-career researchers received a travel bursary to attend. Of the invited experts that attended on Gnatwork funding, two were from DAC-listed countries (Bangladesh, Brazil). 6. Sustainable development goals: Good health and wellbeing and quality education - Training was provided on major vectors of pathogens affecting humans, livestock and wildlife by 8 international experts in the field, thus increasing the in-county awareness and capacity to study vectors that transmit pathogens of human and animal importance. 7. 71% of the attendees (ECR) were female. 8. Next destination: The majority of participants were masters / PhD level, as such the training provided gives them a platform of basic laboratory skills and knowledge for their future scientific careers. Furthermore, personal links with the experts both in and out of country provides a support network. 9. Engagement activities: The workshop and outputs are presented on the Gnatwork website, twitter feed and Gnatwork newsletters. All ECRs are signed up as Gnatwork members with an online profile. 10. Research tools and methods: A book of protocols was devised for the training course. This was provided to all attendees, to ensure they could use the methods in their own research. Protocols are also now open access on the Gnatwork website. All un-used consumables purchased for the conference were donated to UFMG to ensure continuation of methods. Participants were also given a basic slide mounting kit for future use. 11. Use of facilities and resources: The conference was held at UFMG. As such, all venues and large equipment used were from a DAC-list country. Secondary benefits: this trip also enabled initial connections between two laboratories in ODA countries (UFMG and icddr,b [Bangladesh]) to be made for future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gnatwork.ac.uk/brazil-19
 
Description UK vector meeting 2018 (Organising committee; Chair) (December; John Innes Centre, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chaired and helped organise meeting on UK Vector-borne Diseases as part of committee. Included reviewing talks and inviting speakers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.hpruezi.nihr.ac.uk/media/29013/master-draft-vbd-programme-with-titles-oct18_.pdf
 
Description VIII International Simuliidae Symposium 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 2018 Simuliidae Symposium was held at the University of Birmingham on the 21-22 June 2018. Gnatwork Manager Emma Howson attended the symposium to introduce blackfly researchers to the Gnatwork and the opportunities for funding during a 20 minute presentation. Receivers of Gnatwork pump-prime funding were also met. The talk led to interest in the Gnatwork, including a number of new members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/biosciences/news/2018/21Jun-VIII-International-Simuliidae-Sympo...
 
Description Vector-Borne Diseases in the UK - Biennial Meeting, 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Gnatwork stall was set-up and manned throughout the UK VBD conference John Innes Centre (Jic), Norwich Research Park, Norwich. This included promoting the Gnatwork, meeting potential members and promoting the latest pump-prime funding call. After this, two attendees applied for pump-pump funding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.hpruezi.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/vbd-uk-2018/
 
Description XI EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF ENTOMOLOGY 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 15 minute talk on the Gnatwork (opportunities and how to get involved) was given by Emma Howson during the EU Networks and Infrastructures in Vector Research. The talk generated interest and a number of new members to the Gnatwork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ece2018.com/
 
Description the Bluetongue reference laboratories workshop 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gnatwork was presented at the Bluetongue reference laboratories workshop 2018 in Madrid (27-28/11/2018), to share Gnatwork opportunities and progress to date. Interest in the Gnatwork was gained, including addition of Gnatwork members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018