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Embedding research mentorship in LMIC institutes: An open call
Do you have practical ideas for enhancing research mentorship in low and middle income countries (LMICs)?
The purpose of this open call is to engage researchers and educators in LMICs to generate practical ideas to improve research mentorship at the organizational level. We are interested in strategies to strengthen existing initiatives, establish new mentorship programs, and sustain strong cultures of research mentorship. Exceptional ideas will be recognized by the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and implemented at selected sites. In addition, selected finalists will join a working group to develop a TDR research mentorship practical guide.
Building on the foundation of our previous TDR Global Research Mentorship open calls (Bao et al., 2020; Oppong et al., 2021), we are delighted to announce this new open call. Our previous open calls have demonstrated that mentorship requires support and encouragement from organizations, including universities, research institutes, and funders. Enhancing research mentorship is a priority for TDR Global, a community of passionate scientists and experts working with TDR to support global research on infectious diseases of poverty. This open call will identify practices to improve research mentorship at LMIC institutes. For example, from an institutional perspective, what policies, strategies and approaches can ensure high-quality mentorship over time? How can we build an ecosystem that nurtures research mentorship in LMICs? What endogenous programs, movements, and ideas can contribute to the development of research mentorship programs?
The final deadline for contributions is January 15, 2021. The TDR Global Ethiopian node at AHRI (Armauer Hansen Research Institute), the TDR Global node at UNC Chapel Hill, and SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) Global are the main organizers of the open call. Guidelines for contributions are described below.

Guideline for contributions
Eligibility: All people who work or live in LMICs are eligible to submit to this open call. Ideas must be focused on building research mentorship at the organizational level. We are particularly interested in ideas from women and people serving as mentees and mentors.
Language for the entries: Submissions in all six languages of the WHO will be accepted (Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian)
Contribution Format Options
1. All contributions should focus on practical ideas that can be used to improve research mentorship in LMIC research organizations.
2. Text one A4 page (prefer Times New Roman 12, singe spaced).
3. Images can be included in the text.

Judging Criteria
Submissions will be judged on a 1-10 scale according to the following five criteria:
1. Clear description
2. Potential for enhancing research mentorship in LMICs
3. Innovation
4. Potential for transferability in diverse LMIC settings
5. Promote equity and fairness
After screening for eligibility, all the eligible entries will be assessed by independent judges. Each submission will be reviewed by at least three independent individuals and final decisions will be made by the steering committee.
Deadline: February 15, 2022 12pm GVA
Judging: February
Finalist Notifications: March 2022.

The open call has global prizes. We will give a total of $10,000 USD in prizes. Selected finalists will be invited to join a working group to develop a practical guide on research mentorship in LMICs. In addition, selected finalists will be supported to attend a consensus meeting in 2022 to finalize the practical guide. All individuals with a mean score of 7/10 will receive a commendation from the program.

Steering Committee
Alemseged Abdissa, Abraham Aseffa, Huanyu Bao, Zewdie Birhanu, Dawn Comeau, Phyllis Dako-Gyeke, Franklin Glozah, Larry Han, Margissa Kaba, Eneyi Kpokiri, Pascal Launois (Observer), Qinyi Liu, Alice Matimba, Kamryn McDonald, Maria Isabel Echavarria Mejia, Judith Omumbo, Barbara Sina, Weiming Tang, Joseph Tucker, Shufang Wei, Delenasaw Yewhalaw, Daniel Yilma

1. What is TDR Global?
TDR Global is a community of passionate scientists and experts who have been working with TDR to support global research effort on infectious diseases of poverty. TDR Global is a community of TDR grantees, TDR experts and researchers, TDR sponsors and partners 

2. Can I apply as an individual or a group?
You can submit an idea as an individual or on behalf of a group.
3. How can I join TDR Global?
If you are a current or former TDR grantee, trainee, expert advisor, staff or committee member, and you would like to register, please email TDR
4. Why use a challenge contest?
Open contests have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and other organizations to improve mentorship initiatives and programs. Our experiences have demonstrated that challenge contests are a useful tool for soliciting innovative ideas for solving different problems. More details about open contests for health are available here.
5. What are infectious diseases of poverty?
Infectious diseases of poverty is an umbrella term used to describe diseases which are known to be more prevalent among poorer 1.89 billion populations, rather than a definitive group of diseases.
6. Is there a limit to the number of contributions?
No, there is no limit.

Contact our contest coordinator, Qinyi Liu, at
Resources and Reference:
1.Mentoring and mentorship training news, resources and funding for global health researchers from the Fogarty International Center:
2. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Special Issue:
3.Influential Mentors: A Guidebook for Building Mentoring Skills and Capacity:
4.Summaries of previous TDR Global mentorship open calls:
Partner Organizations
This contest is organized by AHRI, TDR Global, and SESH Global.

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