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A Friendly Research Mentorship Community in Africa

Sharing an exploratory study on designing and running a research mentorship programme in Africa we came across: CORE Africa Research Mentorship Scheme (CARMS)

In our efforts to improve our offerings as a research mentorship community, we are constantly on the lookout to understand what other people are doing in the same space. We recently came across this well-documented exploratory study on designing and running a research mentorship programme in Africa, which also includes a review of the outcomes and challenges experienced over a two year period.

This study, led by Lem Ngongalah, a public health researcher at Newcastle University, documents the development of a research mentorship programme involving 41 students and young researchers in Africa, which led to multiple beneficial outcomes:

  • Knowledge transfer: Mentees gained knowledge and skills in various research areas including proposal writing, research methods, data analysis, report writing and research publication.

  • Research study development: 9 mentees gained their first research publication; 3 successfully completed their first grant proposal

  • Career development: 5 mentees gained skills that helped them secure paid research jobs.

  • Passing it on: 11 mentees have ‘graduated’ from the programme, 7 of which are currently enrolled as trainee mentors.

  • Empowerment and enablement: Mentees appreciated the opportunity to improve on their research skills and felt that the programme gave them a ‘safe’ environment to freely express their concerns.

We deeply resonated with some of the challenges described, including difficulty finding suitable mentors (so if you’d like to volunteer as a mentor, email us now!) and lack of defined goals (which we have identified from our earlier university society days, and therefore have mitigated with the support of our Project Advisors who helped mentor-mentee pairs set SMART goals from the start). We are also overjoyed to see that the structure of our mentorship programme is very similar to other large-scale programmes out there, and we would like to express our support for these communities and committees for their efforts in closing the gap for students who really need it.

Are you interested in designing and iterating global research mentorship programmes?

Get in touch with us today!

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