The online meeting started with a brief welcome by the Secretariat of the Alliance and an enthusiastic video message by Prof. Veronika von Messling, Director General of the Life Science Division at the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which funds the German Alliance for Global Health Research. The Secretariat then provided an overview of the next steps of the Alliance and gave a preview of the funding opportunities the Alliance will provide. Members made the best possible use of the opportunities to network, initiating discussions around first joint activities, and concluded the meeting hoping that a first face-to-face meeting would be possible soon to get to know each other better.
A key topic on the agenda was the anouncement of the results of the Steering Committee elections, which had been carried out online in the weeks prior to the kick-off meeting. Over the next two years, the Alliance will be governed by a Steering Committee that is diverse in many aspects: Its 19 members represent 13 research institutions from across Germany and the research areas biomedicine, public health, social sciences and humanities, as well as other sciences. Half of the members are female, five are under 40 years of age and three were born outside Europe, bringing in perspectives from Asia, Africa, and the Americas.