A new excellence scholarship for the Bordeaux School of Public Health supported by the Pierre Fabre Foundation

The Pierre Fabre Foundation has launched the "Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize / Pierre Fabre Foundation" excellence scholarship, in partnership with the University of Bordeaux’s School of Public Health on the topic of women's health.

  • 05/01/2023

Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital © Alexis Huguet _ Pierre Fabre Foundation Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital © Alexis Huguet _ Pierre Fabre Foundation

As a partner of Dr. Denis Mukwege since 2018 within the framework of programs for the care of victims of gender-based sexual violence, the Pierre Fabre Foundation will finance an annual scholarship for a Bordeaux School of Public Health (ISPED) student starting from the beginning of the 2023 academic year. This initiative is open to health professionals (doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, nurses, midwives) from French-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia who wish to follow the second year of the "Global Health in the South" Master program and conduct research on the theme of women's health in their country.

Subjects relating to the prevention and management of gender-based sexual violence, Denis Mukwege's theme of choice, are particularly targeted by this grant.
This new scholarship complements the existing "Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Nobel Prize in Medicine / ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases" scholarships, set up 10 years ago by ISPED.
Every year since, health professionals from developing countries have followed the same Master program and have completed their research internship on the theme of infectious diseases.

Three questions to Renaud Becquet, epidemiologist, coordinator of the "Global Health in the South" Master program at ISPED, co-director of the Global Health in the Global South (GHiGS) team at the Bordeaux Population Health research center, creator and manager of the excellence scholarship program.

Why launch this new "Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize / Pierre Fabre Foundation" scholarship?

As intended by its founder, Roger Salamon, and in the continuity of his successive directors, the Bordeaux School of Public Health strives to develop and strengthen the public health skills of health professionals in southern countries. This new scholarship is fully in keeping with this objective. Indeed, women's health and maternal mortality faced by young African doctors remain to this day unacceptably high. Sexual violence against women is a weapon of war in some regions. It is an absolute plague. We are happy to help health professionals return to their home countries with more knowledge upon completion of their Master and the opportunity to improve public health there. This objective is in line with the origin of the Françoise Barré-Sinoussi excellence scholarships, which have existed for 10 years and target infectious diseases with the support of the ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases.

What does the scholarship include?

The objective for candidates of this scholarship is to follow the second year Master program in Bordeaux but also to train in research, in the aim of pursuing a thesis once they have returned home. The grant financed by the Pierre Fabre Foundation is intended to cover registration fees, travel and living expenses during the 7 months of face-to-face training in Bordeaux, and then throughout the 5 months of internship in the laureate's home country.
The 2023 call for applications opened during the fall of 2022. Applications will be pre-selected by ISPED teachers based on pedagogical eligibility criteria between January and April. Then, the selection committee will study the eligible applications and will make its decision in May for the start of the 2023 academic year. This committee will be chaired by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Denis Mukwege in person, which promises engaging exchanges with two Nobel Prize winners who are totally committed to the training of health professionals from the south.
We are expecting between 30 and 40 applications this year for both scholarships, knowing that the same candidate can apply for both to maximize their chances of obtaining one.
Applications are currently being received and it is an obstacle course for these Africans who have never had the opportunity to come to France. Beyond their desire to learn science, this is an opportunity for them to build a career plan.

What defines the originality of these scholarships?

ISPED benefits from genuine worldwide recognition in terms of public health education.
The focus on southern countried is a specificity of Bordeaux. We are the only institute to offer a Master program of this type and our two excellence scholarships are unique.
Experience shows that the Françoise Barré-Sinoussi laureates continue their research in their home country, often in connection with a French doctoral school, where some have even become statutory researchers.
In addition, future Denis Mukwege laureates will be fortunate to be under the wing of the Pierre Fabre Foundation, whose mission and family spirit are remarkable.

Denis Mukwege, "the surgeon who repairs women"

Kino Congolese gynecologist and human rights activist, Denis Mukwege specializes in the care of women victims of sexual assault in a region where gang rape is used as a weapon of war. He provides them with medical help as well as psychological, economic and legal assistance.
Denis Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his commitment against female genital mutilation.