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Research Mentorship in Low and Middle-Income Countries: An Open Call
Do you have practical ideas for enhancing research mentorship in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs)?
Purpose
The purpose of this open call is to engage researchers and educators in LMICs to generate practical ideas to improve research mentorship. We are interested in strategies for mentees, mentors, and institutions 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 finalize a research mentorship practical guide.
Background
Building on the foundation of our previous TDR Global Research Mentorship open calls, we are delighted to announce this new open call. We often think about research mentorship as a multi-year lifelong process and forget that good mentorship starts with a series of smaller but persistent actions. 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 in LMIC settings. For example, from a mentee’s perspective, how do you prepare for meetings with your research mentor? From a mentor’s perspective, how do you guide a mentee in writing her/his first journal paper? From an institutional perspective, what internal policies, strategies and approaches can ensure high-quality mentorship over time?
 
The final deadline for contributions is December 15, 2021. The Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), TDR Global and Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health (SESH) Global are the main organizers of this contest, with strong support from partners. 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. We are particularly interested in ideas from women and people serving as mentees and mentors.
 
Language for the entries: English
 
Contribution Format Options
1. The contribution should focus on practical ideas that can be used to improve research mentorship, especially research on infectious diseases of poverty, but not necessarily limited to academic training. We will have categories for things/activities/habits that: mentees can do, mentors can do, and research institutions can do to facilitate mentorship.
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 four criteria:
1. Clear description
2. Potential for enhancing research mentorship in LMICs
3. Innovation
4. Potential for transferability
 
After screening for eligibility, all the eligible entries will be pooled together for judging, and additional judges will be needed from different regions.
 
Timeline
Deadline: December 15, 2021 12pm GVA
Judging: Early January
Finalist Notifications: February 2022.

 
Prizes
The open call has global prizes. We will give a total of $5000 USD in prizes. These will involve support for professional development (attending conferences, training workshops, technology) for mentees or mentors. All contributions determined to be exceptional by our judging panel will receive a commendation from the TDR Global Open Call Steering Committee, in addition to being shared with TDR Global networks. Selected finalist ideas will be given seed grants to implement their ideas.  In addition, selected finalists will be invited to join a working group to finalize the practical guide on research mentorship in LMICs.

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

FAQs
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. How will 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 first:tdrglobal@who.int.
 
3. 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.
 
4. 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.
 
5. Is there a limit to the number of contributions?
No, there is no limit.

 
Questions
Contact our contest coordinator, Qinyi Liu, at tdrcontest@seshglobal.org

 
Resources:
1.Mentoring and mentorship training news, resources and funding for global health researchers: https://www.fic.nih.gov/ResearchTopics/Pages/mentoring-mentorship-training.aspx
2.The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: http://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/14761645/100/1_Suppl
3.Influential Mentors: A Guidebook for Building Mentoring Skills and Capacity.
See here
4.Past TDR mentorship open link in the 2019 https://www.seshglobal.org/TDRmentorshipcontest

Partner Organizations
This contest is organized by AHRI, TDR Global, and SESH Global.

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