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Mentoring the Mentors: Implementation and Evaluation of Four Fogarty-Sponsored Mentoring Training Workshops in Low-and Middle-Income Countries


A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of competent mentoring in academic research. We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of four regional 2-day intensive workshops to train mid- and senior-level investigators conducting public health, clinical, and basic science research across multiple academic institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) on tools and techniques of effective mentoring. Sponsored by the Fogarty International Center, workshops included didactic presentations, interactive discussions, and small-group problem-based learning and were conducted in Lima, Peru; Mombasa, Kenya; Bangalore, India; and Johannesburg, South Africa, from 2013 to 2016. Mid- or senior-level faculty from multiple academic institutions within each region applied and were selected. Thirty faculty from 12 South America-based institutions, 29 faculty from eight East Africa-based institutions, 37 faculty from 14 South Asia-based institutions, and 36 faculty from 13 Africa-based institutions participated, with diverse representation across disciplines, gender, and academic rank. Discussions and evaluations revealed important comparisons and contrasts in the practice of mentoring, and specific barriers and facilitators to mentoring within each cultural and regional context. Specific regional issues related to hierarchy, the post-colonial legacy, and diversity arose as challenges to mentoring in different parts of the world. Common barriers included a lack of a culture of mentoring, time constraints, lack of formal training, and a lack of recognition for mentoring. These workshops provided valuable training, were among the first of their kind, were well-attended, rated highly, and provided concepts and a structure for the development and strengthening of formal mentoring programs across LMIC institutions.

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