Joint Research Mentoring Through the Community of Young Research Peers: A Case for a Unifying Model for Research Mentorship at Higher Learning Institutions.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Mentorship is pivotal for sustainability of a successful research culture at higher learning institutions. Various models have been proposed for provision of research mentorship in health sciences but are challenged by utilizing predominantly hierarchical mentoring, as well as being centred on one discipline or one institution. This paper describes the approach and successes of an inclusive mentorship model employed in a resource-limited setting in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Through the NIH-funded Transforming Health Professions Education in Tanzania (THET) project, a consortium of three prominent health sciences higher learning institutions in Tanzania (MUHAS, CUHAS and KCMUCo) and two collaborating US institutions (UCSF and Duke University) was formed. Within THET, the Community of Young Research Peers (CYRP) was constituted, comprised two cohorts of undergraduate students and young faculty (fellows), and senior scientists. Besides mentorship and research training, fellows received funded research awards and in turn mentored undergraduate students. RESULTS: By the first quarter of project year four, the number of fellows and mentored undergraduate students had increased from 12 to 24 and from 41 to 67, respectively. Fellows in the second cohort (junior fellows) included medical doctors, nurses, dentist, biomedical scientist, sociologist and education psychologist. In fostering peer-to-peer mentoring, the cross-institutional pairs of fellows from the first cohort (senior fellows) were assigned to reciprocal pairs of junior fellow mentees and took a leading role in research training. Furthermore, the senior fellows had made significant strides, including eight enrolled in PhD programmes, eight publications from mentored research projects, and six small to medium-size research grants won. CONCLUSION: The unifying model of research mentorship employed by the CYRP has been demonstrated as an effective model for joint research mentorship of the diverse group of young investigators from collaborating higher learning institutions in Tanzania. This model is recommended for scale-up, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Balandya, E; Sunguya, B; Kidenya, B; Nyamhanga, T; Minja, IK; Mahande, M; Mmbaga, BT; Mshana, SE; Mteta, K; Bartlett, J; Lyamuya, E

Published Date

  • 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 /

Start / End Page

  • 355 - 367

PubMed ID

  • 35478975

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9038151

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1179-7258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2147/AMEP.S356678


  • eng

Conference Location

  • New Zealand