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Strengthening the Mentorship and Leadership Capacity of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Researchers in South Africa

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  • 1 Global Health Leadership Initiative, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut;
  • | 2 Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut;
  • | 3 School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • | 4 School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia;
  • | 5 The Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • | 6 Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut

ABSTRACT.

Programs to increase emerging and established HIV and tuberculosis (TB) researchers’ capacity to be more effective leaders and mentors are urgently needed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although conceptual frameworks of mentoring and mentoring toolkits have been developed by and for researchers in LMIC settings, few mentor training programs have been implemented and evaluated in these settings. We created, implemented, and evaluated a 9-month, certificate-level mentorship training program to strengthen the pipeline of HIV and TB researchers in South Africa. Differentiating features of the program included careful contextualization of mentorship tools and approaches, inclusion of a leadership curriculum to improve participant ability to work effectively in teams and organizations, and attention to processes that promote interinstitutional collaboration in mentorship. Twelve mid-career researchers graduated from the first cohort of the program. Among participants, we observed significant longitudinal improvement in mentorship competencies, increased numbers of network connections in multiple domains of collaboration, and high levels of satisfaction. We anticipate that the program description and results will be useful to researchers, research institutions, and funders seeking to build research mentorship and leadership capacity in LMIC settings.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Mayur M. Desai, Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St., New Haven, CT 06510. E-mail: mayur.desai@yale.edu

Financial support: This program and the associated evaluation was funded by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health through an administrative supplement to D43 grant TW010540.

Authors’ addresses: Mayur M. Desai, Global Health Leadership Initiative, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, and Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, E-mail: mayur.desai@yale.edu. Nükte Göç, Global Health Leadership Initiative, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, E-mail: nukte.goc@yale.edu. Tobias Chirwa, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, E-mail: tobias.chirwa@wits.ac.za. Lenore Manderson, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, E-mail: lenore.manderson@wits.ac.za. Salome Charalambous, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and The Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa, E-mail: scharalambous@auruminstitute.org. Leslie A. Curry and Erika Linnander, Global Health Leadership Initiative, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, E-mail: leslie.curry@yale.edu and erika.linnander@yale.edu.

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