Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions or concerns please send us a message using the contact page.

Experts

YES. One of ICART’s goals is to help you to connect locally or internationally with others who are interested in finding solutions through research. These connections might include networking assistance to explore ideas with potential collaborators (researchers or clinicians). In certain circumstances, ICART may be able to assist in arranging operational supports such as meeting with local government (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, etc).

ICART will seldom offer approval for proposals to go forward if there is no local collaborator. Any project proposed by someone outside of the local Bukavu region and without a local collaborator must show exceptionally strong justification as to how the proposed study will result in local significance.

YES. A group of individuals has received training through ICART programs in the kinds of typical research activities that cross many projects. We can help to introduce you to these individuals who can then be budgeted into your project for activities such as running focus groups, designing data collection forms, designing databases, data collection, clinical data collection (requiring physician or nurse), data entry (quantitative), data entry (qualitative), and other similar research activities.
Contact ICART for any requests to access existing databases from Panzi Hospital patients. The databases are expanding quickly, and ICART staff can provide the most up-to-date information. The databases are a collaborative effort between Panzi Hospital physicians/investigators and ICART senior management staff.

Budgeting

YES. ICART staff is skilled at budget development and can alert you to budgetary items that may be unfamiliar. For instance, ICART can provide information on various taxes, costs for office supplies, usual salary rates for research staff, local transportation costs, etc. ICART staff can help you formulate a budget for research in this setting. Please give plenty of notice.
YES. All grants are expected to include either line item amounts or a percentage amount to offset ICART infrastructure expenditures. For instance, most projects require electronic communications between ICART and investigators, which also requires satellite internet costs, generator costs, and fuel for the generator when electricity goes down. Most grants also require the ICART business manager to handle finances/wire transfers/administering a local bank account. Other overhead examples include ICART office rent, computer hardware, and software. To successfully complete the research work, these overhead costs must be accounted for in grant budgets. That is the reason that ICART minimally expects 12% (or equivalent line item amounts) for overhead costs and generally expects at least 30% for most larger grants. Exceptions can be made occasionally, but please allow plenty of time for budget reviews and special approvals.

Ethics

YES. ICART works closely with the Université Catholique de Bukavu ethics board (institutional review board for human subjects). The UCB Ethics Board is Citi-Trained. It was granted Federal Wide Assurance on 26 February 2014 (OMB No. 0990-0278)

ICART staff can tell you what documents you need when applying to have your project reviewed by the Ethics Board and we can introduce you to the committee chair. Minimally, information needed will be project title, names of principle investigator and co-investigators, scientific background and objectives, scientific methods (study design, inclusion/exclusion criteria, confidentiality procedures, informed consent procedures, study protocol,) study team members names, positions, roles and responsibilities, and how the data will be used.

YES. If ICART supports you in the Ethics Review Board process the fees are:

-International Investigators $750: ($500 to UCB Ethics Review Board and $250 to ICART)

-Local Investigators $300: ($250 to UCB Ethics Review Board and $50 to ICART). Scholarships are sometimes available through ICART to support local investigators’ ethics review applications.

YES. Research involving human participants usually requires formal review by the Ethics Review Board. There may be occasional exceptions, in instance quality assurance evaluation or program evaluation research, or for accessing de-identified group data.

YES. Ethics approval is required by the initiating home institution’s ethics review board for Human subjects if that institution’s review board is different from the Ethics Review Board for Human Subjects located in Bukavu. The protocol and approva

YES. Ethically and pragmatically, acknowledging ICART’s role in your research is crucial to the research center’s long term success and credibility. We suggest an acknowledgement similar to the following, to be modified per the style of the particular journal or conference: “This work was approved and supported by the International Center for Advanced Research and Training (ICART), located in Bukavu, DR Congo. The content of this article (or abstract, presentation, other – please specify) is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the institutions where the work has been carried out (e.g. Evangelical University

Students

Requests for information to fulfill student classroom assignments will be prioritized according to ICART goals. Typically, the short period of time given for accommodating classroom assignments is difficult for us to oblige. We cannot prioritize these requests above our ongoing research and training commitments. Exceptions might be made for students of our partnering institutions, but please ask your instructor to contact us first so we can better understand your needs.
All researchers, interested in conducting research in partnership or collaboration with ICART, must first submit a LETTER OF INTENT. If the project is submitted by a student, a LETTER OF SUPPORT from the academic advisor must also be included. Otherwise, the letter of intent will not be reviewed. For international students, it would be a highly unusual circumstance to be approved by ICART or its partnering institutions (UEA or Panzi) to conduct research on-site without the academic advisor being fully involved. It is the responsibility of the academic advisor (not ICART) to oversee the research and funding needs. We try to be open to student thesis or dissertation work if there is adequate mentoring, financial support, and alignment with ICART’s goals.

Travel

YES. Depending on your nationality and travel plans, a visa may be required. If you are coming from a COMESA country, visas can be obtained on arrival for $50 USD. All other nationals must apply for the visa in their home country PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. See your home country’s DR Congo Embassy website for specific country requirements. We will supply a formal letter of invitation for the visa application if required. Please send us your passport number, date of birth and name exactly as it is written on the passport. All persons arriving in DR Congo are required to present a valid passport and health certificate verifying an up-to-date yellow fever inoculation.

If you travel through Rwanda or Burundi: Please visit your State Immigration websites for specific visa requirements for Rwanda. If a visa for Rwanda is required, you will need a double entry visa so that you can re-enter on your way back to your country of origin. If you travel through Burundi, please see the Burundi Embassy website for your country specific requirements.

Orchid or Horizon are suggested.
Bukavu is located in the mountains and has a moderate climate. The days are usually warm and sunny, the evenings can be cool. August is the dry season so it is usually quite dusty on the roads. You may want to bring a scarf to cover your face during transport.

For a more accurate weather reading closer to your departure date please visit: http://www.world-guides.com/africa/central-africa/democratic-republic-congo/democratic_congo_weather.html

DR Congo is a cash economy. Credit cards are not accepted anywhere. USD currency can be used but dollars must from 2010 or after. Bills must be in new condition without torn edges or winkles.