To be the catalyst for the emergence of a vibrant African academy able to lead world-class multidisciplinary research that makes a positive impact on population and public health.
To build high-level capacity for population and public health-related research in Africa.
CARTA was formed, in 2008, to support the development of a vibrant African academy able to lead world-class multidisciplinary research that impacts positively on public and population health. 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. Ultimately, CARTA strengthens university-wide systems to support research. CARTA offers a well thought out approach to rebuild and to strengthen the capacity of African universities to produce world-class researchers, research leaders, and scholars. CARTA is a collaboration jointly led by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya, and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa.
The CARTA program has evolved over the last ten years of its implementation with each five-year cycle building on the last period. Now that we have over 200 PhDs enrolled and more than half of them having graduated we are focused increasingly on securing their future and transforming their institutions.
CARTA is now in its third phase with four interlinked strategic thrusts:
1. Maintenance of a Pipeline of High-Quality Early Career Researchers (ECRs)
CARTA2025 will maintain a pipeline of ECRs by offering:
• doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships;
• Joint Advanced Seminars (JASes) to equip doctoral fellows with transferable research skills; and
• training to nudge ECRs into research leadership.
2. Creation of Research Hubs in partner institutions
CARTA will create multidisciplinary, cross-institutional research hubs in partner universities. We will:
• Select host institutions to lead research hubs based on merit;
• Ensure research teams incorporate early career researchers; and
• Promote co-design of the research agenda so that researchers engage with end-users of the research
Support research hubs to develop large-scale competitive grant proposals, embedding PhD and postdoctoral training.
3. Mainstream CARTA Interventions at partner institutions
CARTA supports the creation of research supportive environments in African partner institutions. We will:
• Enhance supervisors’ understanding of and commitment to the goals of doctoral supervision, exposing them to best practices in doctoral supervision and mentorship – through Supervisors Workshops;
• Enhance critical staff members’ understanding of their critical roles in supporting postgraduate students, while also keeping them abreast with best practices in their functionary areas – through the Faculty and Administrative Staff (FAS) seminars;
• Support partner institutions to independently run existing CARTA interventions – through institutionalization projects.
4. Engagement of the CARTA Community with Society
CARTA2025 will enhance the engagement of the CARTA community with society. We will:
• Facilitate partnerships between research hubs and policy actors through co-design of research;
• Strengthen CARTA early career researchers competencies in science communication, policy engagement and knowledge translation and;
• Support knowledge of research products from ECRs through publications, conferences, and different forms of media.