The recipient of the Danida Alumni Prize for 2019 is Associate Professor Phan Thi Van, PhD. Dr Phan Thi Van earned her PhD in Epidemiology and Food Safety in Aquaculture from the University of Copenhagen in 2010 as a Danida fellow.
The motivation for awarding Phan Thi Van the Danida Alumni Prize is her ambition, drive and tireless promotion of scientific research in the sustainable development of aquaculture, not only nationally, but also internationally.
Since 2013, Dr Phan Thi Van has been the first female director of the more than 55-year old Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam and has about 200 staff situated in eight different localities in Vietnam. Dr Phan Thi Van has played a significant role in making Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1 one of Vietnam’s foremost providers of research, technology and expertise in a sector that not only provides millions of rural families with a livelihood but also adds substantial value to the country’s emerging economy by generating revenue from exports.
The driving force of Dr Phan Thi Van career is the motto “Knowledge is not knowledge unless we share it”. She has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the international community by sharing knowledge with other countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and South America through training, technology transfer and support in the field of aquaculture development. This has resulted in Vietnam being increasingly recognized as a leader in aquaculture development, particularly in the Global South. The research institute’s linkages with developing countries such as Liberia, Namibia, Cuba and Venezuela, have helped them in their aquaculture development, bringing livelihoods to many communities.
Dr Phan Thi Van is highly respected for her role as National Project Director of the Danida-funded multi-sector project Fish-borne Zoonotic Parasite II. Under the project, the project team published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers; 27 oral presentations and posters were presented at international conferences; and 7 PhD and 23 MSc degrees were awarded.