222577 Building sustainable research capacity in Ghana by focusing on junior researchers: The first steps of the Ghana-Michigan CHARTER

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cheryl Moyer, MPH , Global REACH, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
Cyril M. Engmann, MD FAAP , Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC
Megan Narasimhan, MPH , Center for Global Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Nadia Tagoe, MS , (KNUST), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Susan Kouassi, PhD , Center for Global Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Richard Adanu, MBChB, MPH , Department of OB/GYN, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Tsiri Agbenyega, MBChB, PhD , Medical School, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Thomas Robins , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: In Ghana, few junior-level researchers have formal training in initiating, writing, and executing research studies. Objectives: As part of a broader initiative, we conducted a proposal development workshop among junior-level researchers in Ghana to: 1) Highlight key issues in conceptualizing and conducting research; 2) Foster local mentorship to ensure competitive research proposals; 3) Assist in revising a current proposal; and 4) Enhance relationships across institutions within Ghana and beyond. Methods: Participants were chosen by the 3 main health-sciences colleges in Ghana, the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health. The workshop included 2.5 days of didactic sessions and 2.5 days of small-group mentoring. An 11-item survey was conducted to evaluate workshop effectiveness (scale = 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Results: 31 Ghanaian researchers (24 men; 7 women) participated, with 15 senior mentors/presenters, 12 of whom were Ghanaian. Four participants were doctors (PhDs/ MBChBs), while others held masters' or bachelor's degrees. 27 evaluation forms were completed. All items had means >4.3; Participants rated their intellectual development and ability to use what they had learned from the workshop highest (mean = 4.85, SD=0.36, and mean = 5.0, SD = 0), respectively. Suggested improvements included lengthening the workshop and increasing time available for one-on-one mentoring. Conclusions: A one-week research workshop is a viable mechanism for reaching junior researchers in Ghana. Metrics to track subsequent research proposals, their success rates, and the continued guidance of local mentorship are needed to evaluate the ultimate success of this program.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the challenges to developing a strong cadre of junior researchers in developing countries. Describe at least one strategy for increasing mentorship among junior researchers in developing countries.

Keywords: Research, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Managing Director of the University of Michigan Medical School's international program, Global REACH, and I am a faculty member in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Michigan Medical School. I am also a co-investigator on the grant that funded this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.