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3. Our Operations

CARTA's program of activities comprises two primary components designed to achieve our objectives: strengthening doctoral training through the creation of a collaborative doctoral training program in population and public health; and strengthening research infrastructure and capacity at African universities. These components are interrelated and mutually-reinforcing.

Strengthening Doctoral Training
Strong doctoral programs are generally characterized by: experienced faculty actively engaged in funded research; adequately motivated students; and a stimulating institutional environment. A key element of the CARTA model is the selection of cohorts of candidates from a number of disciplines relevant to population and public health. Each cohort will be fully-funded through CARTA. To concurrently build capacity within affiliated African universities, CARTA will initially recruit, on a competitive basis, fellows who are junior faculty at these institutions. Fellows will be expected to be relieved from regular teaching and administrative responsibilities for the duration of their candidature. This will ensure that fellows progress through the program and thus complete their training in good time.

Central to their training program will be a series of residential Joint Advanced Seminars (JAS), designed to enhance their skills and knowledge, propel them through the research process, and provide a foundation for building networks of researchers, peers, and mentors. Residential training offers an advantage for the program in that students are able to focus on specific program tasks, learn collaboratively, interact with local and international facilitators, and develop and consolidate professional networks.

Strengthening research infrastructure and capacity at participating African institutions
CARTA will strengthen human resources and university-wide systems critical to the success and sustainability of its program. Strategies to promote faculty capacity to train, supervise, and mentor graduate students, win research grants, conduct high-quality research, and manage collaborative research projects will include:

  1. Training courses for administrators, librarians, bursars on
    1. Post-graduate training administration
    2. Research management including grant reporting
    3. E-resources, retention strategies, etc.
  2. Training courses for faculty on
    1. Project management
    2. Mentoring of PhD supervisorsa
  3. Development of university-wide systems
    1. Coherent research agendas
    2. Research policy including ethical reviews, etc.
  4. Investments to support research infrastructure
    1. Internet connectivity
    2. Graduate seminar rooms
    3. Computer labs, etc
  5. Other support
    1. Access to JAS materials
    2. Relief teaching support, etc