CRDF Global Selected to Promote Safe and Responsible Science in Iraq by the WMD Threat Reduction Program Division of Global Affairs Canada
CRDF Global has been selected by the WMD Threat Reduction Program Division of Global Affairs Canada, to provide a series of three training programs to enable safe and responsible science in Iraq and improve biosafety and biosecurity best practices at the university level. This is a one-year award valued at $700,000.
The award consists of three activities. The first is for biological laboratory equipment maintenance training. Iraqi lab technicians often lack knowledge and resources to diagnose and service faulty lab equipment, which can result in inoperable and unstable equipment, incorrect results, and safety lapses. CRDF Global will manage the delivery of basic laboratory equipment maintenance and repair training to improve standards. A competition will identify up to eight Iraqi life science lab technicians and managers for the training that Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) will conduct. Expected outcomes include reduced instances of equipment malfunction, including reduced risk of accidental/intentional pathogen release.
The second component of this award is biorisk management train-the trainer (TTT) workshops to increase knowledge of biorisk management among Iraqi university life scientists. CRDF Global has previously facilitated the delivery of biorisk management courses for Iraqi university life scientists in collaboration withinternational subject matter experts. For this training, CRDF Global will design a course in partnership with the subject matter experts and the trainees that will provide them the necessary expertise to train others at universities in Iraq to promote biosecurity and biosafety best practices..
For the third activity, CRDF Global is partnering with Harvard University to facilitate the expansion and reach of Harvard’s online biosafety and biosecurity training programs for responsible science, entitled “Building University Capacity in Responsible Science”. The goal of the courses is to instill a holistic approach to responsible science, increase awareness of international standards, and decrease the scientific isolation of Iraqi scientists. The training will advance these concepts in Iraq through in-person and distance learning, modeled on the requirements of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). At the end of the activity the trained Iraqi life scientists will have a complete understanding of how to apply core biorisk management best practices and high ethical standards through a responsible science holistic approach.