CARTA / Our goals

Our overarching goals are to:

  • Build vibrant, viable, sustainable multidisciplinary research hubs at Africa-based universities.
  • Create networks of locally-trained internationally recognized scholars
  • Enhance the capacity of African universities to lead globally competitive research and training programs.

The CARTA program has evolved over the last ten years of its implementation with each five-year cycle addressing pertinent issues for building research capacity at the partner institutions whilst taking into consideration the stage of maturity of the program and the lessons learned from the implementation. The first phase of the program (2011-2015) had two main components:

  • Strengthening doctoral training through the creation of a collaborative doctoral training program in public and population health and;
  • Strengthening research infrastructure and capacity at African universities.

The second phase (2016 – 2020) built on the successes of the preceding phase and had three interlinked components:

  • Sustaining the production of a critical mass of well-trained African academics at the doctoral level;
  • Institutionalization of CARTA interventions at the African partner universities: and
  • Securing the future of CARTA graduates through the provision of postdoctoral opportunities.

In the third phase (2021-2025) – dubbed CARTA2025 – the program builds on the successes of the first two phases and has four interlinked strategic thrusts.

          Maintenance of a Pipeline of High-Quality Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

CARTA 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.

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;
-Promote co-design of the research agenda so that researchers engage with end users of the research; and
-Support research hubs to develop large-scale competitive grant proposals, embedding PhD and postdoctoral training.

Mainstream CARTA Interventions at partner institutions

CARTA will support 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.

Engagement of the CARTA Community with Society

CARTA 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.