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Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA)

Research project

Short description

The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) is a collaboration led by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya, and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. CARTA's goal is to support the development of research environments and postgraduate education in Africa, with the aim of improving human health and living conditions. The consortium consists of universities and research institutes in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as partners in Europe, Chile, Canada and the United States. The Sahlgrenska Academy is one of the partners and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine hosts the coordinating function of the Non-African Partners in CARTA.

Organization

The consortium consists of eight universities and four research institutes in Sub-Saharan Africa, and eight academic partners in Europe, Canada, Chile and the US. It is currently funded primarily by Wellcome Trust, Carnegie Corporation, Sida.

Objective

CARTA was formed to support the development of a vibrant African academy able to lead world-class multidisciplinary research that impacts positively on public and population health. It was launched in 2008. The consortium enhances the capacity of African universities to create sustainable multidisciplinary research hubs by supporting junior faculty members to undertake their doctoral training locally and to become internationally recognized research leaders. CARTA strengthens university-wide systems to support research.

African universities and research centres

This is mainly being achieved by the recruitment of fellows from faculties at the African universities and research centres which are involved in the CARTA initiative. Each fellow is registered for a PhD and joins a cohort of approximately 25 colleagues who will all progress through their training together. Fellows attend CARTA’s Joint Advanced Seminars (JAS), a four-part interdisciplinary curriculum that brings together all PhD fellows in the programme. During the inter-JAS period, fellows join an on-line community of practice and engage with peers and mentors. They also get the opportunity to carry out internships at research-active centres, attend highly specialised training courses, and to participate in academic conferences to present and network.

Role of the partners

The partners outside Africa participate in many ways in the consortium, for example by facilitating in the JASs, mentoring graduates, supervisors and faculty, facilitating fellows’ access to specialized training and international opportunities, and offering complementary and comparative experiences on determinants of health.

Sahlgrenska Academy in CARTA

Sahlgrenska Academy has been involved in the consortium from the start and is an active partner in its development. The Sahlgrenska Academy sends facilitators to teach and mentor in the CARTA training, and cooperates on joint research proposals and training on proposal development. The School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy hosts the coordinating function of the Non-African Partners in CARTA.