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My secondment experience was educative and enhanced my academic and research career and my wealth of experience. It also improved my participation in the ARISE project and gave me the opportunity to meet FGB where I performed my secondment.

I really appreciated the excellent guidance, encouragement and support given by the project coordinator Fedele (Duccio) Bonifazi, the project scientific coordinator Prof. Baba Inusa, my tutor Lucia Ruggieri and the entire FGB staff. I participated in work packages 2 and 7 which gave the opportunity to develop information, education and communication materials both in English and Hausa languages, for the dissemination, communication and implementation of the ARISE project activities. It also gave me the privilege to learn and know more about the ARISE secondment process and implementation.

As part of my experience, I have learnt some important elements that will contribute to secondees to have a successful process and effective implementation of ARISE secondment namely: Secondment plan, Travel plan, Accommodation arrangement, Finance arrangement and Implementation.

PREMISE: Reading, studying and understanding the secondee checklist you will receive from the ARISE coordination team as soon as your secondment is approved. It includes all the rules to be followed to correctly organize your secondment. You can find the secondee checklist here.

Secondment plan:

  • Understanding the ARISE structure and the organizations involved
  • Studying the work packages and objectives of the program, more details can be found on the ARISE website (ariseinitiative.org)
  • Selecting the work package(s) to work, and hosting institution
  • Developing a secondment proposal based on the selected work package(s)
  • Agreeing proposal among hosting, sending institutions and the secondee
  • Getting the approval of the proposal by the scientific coordination team
  • Compiling the ethical research documents

Travel plan:

  • Agreeing on the period of secondment among the sending, hosting institutions and the secondee
  • Obtaining VISA (you need an international passport valid for the duration of the secondment, the invitation letter from the hosting institution, VISA appointment, the introduction letter from sending institution, health insurance, bank guarantee, travel itinerary, confirmation of accommodation booking – ensure a free cancellation policy is in place in case plans change – other documents according to the country requirements)
  • After obtaining VISA, identifying a suitable travel itinerary and buying tickets (the ARISE coordination team can buy the tickets on your behalf)

Accommodation arrangement:

  • Booking a suitable apartment (good location, cost, public transports, living facilities such as markets/stores, ATM points, etc.). The ARISE coordination team can book the accommodation on your behalf.

Financial arrangement:

  • Getting IBAN Bank account to allow ARISE to transfer the allocated top-up allowance from the European Commission for your secondment
  • Obtaining a credit card that can be used in the hosting country (check with your bank!)
  • Taking some cash with you (e.g., 100 GBP for London or 100 EUR for any other European country)
  • Estimating the total cost of your secondment by checking with the ARISE coordination team for full details of the expenses, considering that the allowance allocated by the European Commission is 2.100,00€/month and the minimum eligible stay for funding shall have a duration of 30 days.

PS: don’t forget to collect and send all receipts/boarding passes/other useful proof of expenses related to secondment using the dedicated IT tools (the ARISE coordination team will send you a communication once your secondment starts).


  • Meeting with principal officers and tutors of the hosting institution to plan secondment activities and process, arrangements on workplace and facilities (e.g., computer, internet etc.), induction training, tutoring and mentoring based on the agreed work plan, periodic (monthly) work plans checks and adaptation, periodic evaluation of activities. All the above-mentioned activities will be agreed/communicated by the hosting institution
  • Completing online the “Evaluation questionnaire for MSCA fellows” at the end of your secondment period (https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Evaluation_for_MSC_fellows)

The secondment has empowered my research skills and built my capacity in developing information, education and communication materials, on health information, prevention, and management. Publication, and also involved in local, national and international research.

Aliyu T. Mande.