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Creation of a network for Global Health Students of Norway

George T. Kitching, Anton Hasselgren, Cathrin Brøndbo Larsen, Marie Sigstad, Kristina Sivertsen, Iril Naustdal, Davina Kaur Patel About the authors

As students learning and engaging in global health research in Norway, implementing and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals will affect our work for the next 15 years and beyond. In this article we introduce the new network Global Health Students of Norway (GHS-Norway) which aims to forge interdisciplinary connections between students.

Norway has a strong history of global health research, supported by health professionals and scientists. Networks such as the Norwegian Forum for Global Health Research (active for over 10 years) and new initiatives such as the Network for Social Sciences in Norwegian Global Health Research, connect health professionals and scientists to disseminate and discuss current research and new opportunities. Continuing the tradition of strong research begins with students. The health impacts of climate change and implementation and follow-up of the Sustainable Development Goals call for the creation of a closer, interdisciplinary network among students of global health (13). We propose to develop a community of students in Norway who are interested in the field of global health, with an emphasis on open channels of communication and cross-collaboration between universities. In short, we propose a network: Global Health Students of Norway (GHS-Norway).

This Global Health Students of Norway network will be focused primarily towards masters and doctoral students studying public, international or global health at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Bergen, the University of Oslo and the University of Tromsø. As global health issues are complex and transdisciplinary, students from all fields and universities who are eager to learn and engage in global health research are welcome to join.

Proposed network functions

The critical question this network will address is how to engage and develop a strong interdisciplinary community of students in Norway with knowledge of, and interest in, global health. This network will function as an information hub, by opening communication channels between students interested in global health. This will create possibilities for new research, work opportunities, and potential collaborative projects between universities in Norway and internationally. The network could also help sponsor students to attend global health conferences, arrange digital workshops and link students to existing professional global health networks in Norway and abroad. The Swedish Network for International Health, an inspiring student network developed for Swedish global health students and professionals, is one example of an existing network with similar goals, which has developed successful conferences, a mentorship programme, and an edited student newsletter.

Anticipated benefits

We anticipate many potential long-term benefits stemming from the creation of Global Health Students of Norway. With enough support and committed student participation, the network could host an annual student-organised conference on global health. Bringing students together is the key to inspiring each other and igniting curiosity. Beyond organising a conference, inter-university partnership could also lead to the establishment of collaborative projects and interdisciplinary teamwork between students, focusing on technological innovation in global health.

Through the creation of links between students interested in global health at these universities, Global Health Students of Norway will help ensure that future generations of health professionals and scientists are well connected and engaged in cross-disciplinary cooperation. We invite all students in Norway interested in global health to join the Global Health Students of Norway. Please contact ghs.norway@gmail.com to join.

This article is part of the series ‘Global Health in the Era of Agenda 2030’, a collaboration between Norad, the Centre for Global Health at the University of Oslo and The Journal of the Norwegian medical association. Articles are published in English only. The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors only.

1

Costello A, Abbas M, Allen A et al. Managing the health effects of climate change. Lancet 2009; 373: 1693 - 733. [PubMed][CrossRef]

2

Watts N, Adger WN, Agnolucci P et al. Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health. Lancet 2015; 386: 1861 - 914. [PubMed][CrossRef]

3

World Health Organization. Health in 2015: from MDGs, Millennium Development Goals to SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals. 2015.

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