COVID-19 Genomics (COG) Train

Find out more about COG-Train

About COG-Train

COG-Train is an international educational initiative providing open-access learning in SARS-CoV-2 genomics. It aims to facilitate an increase in global genome sequencing and analysis capacity, reduce sequencing inequality and enhance pathogen surveillance.

The programme’s training courses and development are built around our core concept of partnering with international researchers, public health experts and surveillance networks and providing open-access FREE training for all. COG-Train is funded by Wellcome Trust and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and led jointly by COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium and Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS).

Whole Viral Genome sequencing is an essential tool to identify and track the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Sequence data informs public health interventions and the further development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. There is inequity of access to pathogen sequencing worldwide, and COG-Train is committed to contributing towards efforts that close this gap.

By building global partnerships with sequencing networks and scientists around the world, we hope to build a truly inclusive training programme that shares the many challenges faced in sequencing efforts, as well as highlighting the numerous success stories, and facilitating knowledge sharing.

Since March 2020, COG-UK has delivered large-scale rapid genome sequencing for SARS-CoV-2 in the UK and represents one of the largest aggregations of expertise and experience in SARS-CoV-2 sequencing. COG-UK will share best practices that underpin the establishment of a national sequencing network, including sampling, data sharing and linkage, operations, information governance and integration with public health agencies. The WCS courses and conferences team develop and deliver training that spans basic research, cutting-edge biomedicine and the application of genomics in healthcare. We aim to use this expertise and experience to further reinforce our training content and knowledge sharing elements.

Outputs include a series of massive online, open-access courses on all aspects of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing based on WCS’s successful use of the FutureLearn platform, as well as week-long intensive virtual training courses, short expert workshops and concurrent distributed Classrooms, the latter of which utilises blended training. The distributed classroom model will be used to increase reach and impact of the learning materials, with training being delivered simultaneously in multiple classrooms across many countries. The training programme includes train-the-trainer components to help further build capacity in-country, rather than rely on a one-hit train and leave model.

The COG-Train educational programme builds on the COG-UK values of data sharing, open collaboration, value for money, inclusivity and the prioritisation of public health impact.

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