The global health scene is still largely dominated by Northern stakeholders. The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium (ITM) wants to encourage “Emerging Voices” from developing countries to participate actively in international academic conferences and to raise their voice in the scientific debate.

To identify those promising experts, we launch an essay competition for “Emerging Voices” from developing countries on how health research can foster significant progress towards universal health coverage in low income countries.

The theme of the competition is in line with the essay competition for young researchers launched on March 5 in The Lancet : “health systems research: towards universal health coverage”. (Samarasekera & Jupp 2010) and advertised on the Global Symposium’s Website.

We do however allow broader interpretations of the theme.

We invite “Emerging Voices” from developing countries to submit apersonal single author essay. Authors must have been born on or after Jan 1,1965. The essay can be in English or in French, and should not exceed 1500words. It will be accompanied by a short CV and a cover letter. The submission of an abstract related to the research the author is participating in is encouraged. Potential participants must inform us about their intention to participate by 4 June 2010. By 30 July 2010 we should receive the final submission (by email at emergingvoices2010@itg.be)Authors of selected essays will be invited to present their work at the colloquium of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium (8 – 10 November 2010) and to participate in the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (Montreux, Switzerland, November 16–19, 2010).

Selected Authors can benefit from didactic coaching. This includes (1) distance support; (2) intensive training in Antwerp during the first week of November 2010; (3) constructive feed-back and advice from senior scientists and participants in the ITM colloquium; (4) finally, the authors of the essays can also receive coaching to finalise their essays and research papers for submission to scientific journals.

A number of travel grants to participate in the Antwerp and Montreux events in November 2010 will be awarded to Emerging Voices who lack sufficient financial means.

We encourage potential participants to send us a pre-submission enquiry for further orientation @ emergingvoices2010@itg.be. Detailed rules and additional information can be found on the website of the colloquium

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