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Recently, Cohort 9 fellows completed CARTA’s series of Joint Advanced Seminars (JASes 1-4), marked by a residential phase of JAS 4 that took place between July 18-29, 2022 at the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Lab, in the Makerere School of Public Health, Uganda. During the two weeks, 22 CARTA fellows were capacitated on professional development including skills necessary to manage and teach large class sizes; raise and manage research funds; grant writing and research leadership; and communicating to policymakers. The face-to-face seminar was preceded by 4 weeks of virtual sessions.

JASes are designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of CARTA fellows, to guide and propel them through the research process; and provide a foundation for building networks of researchers, peers, and mentors. The JAS requirement promises to produce strong common quality expertise that can help the long-term disciplinary cohesion of scholars, who come from different universities and with varied quality in previous education.

JAS courses are offered sequentially for four years to each Cohort, and build skills and conceptual depth from year to year as follows:

  • JAS 1 builds critical thinking, technical skills, and other core research competencies, and introduces students to the essential research and methodologies.
  • JAS 2 focuses on data management and analysis. Fellows learn to use software packages for qualitative and quantitative data management and analyses. Practice sessions use real research data and current software packages for hands-on training.
  • JAS 3 focuses on data presentation, the doctoral dissertation, and scientific writing and communication skills to facilitate results dissemination and policy engagement.
  • JAS 4 addresses professional development including skills necessary to raise and manage research funds, grant writing, development of courses, management of large class sizes, and supervision of graduate students. This seminar is also an opportunity for senior fellows to mentor junior fellows through discussion and laboratory sessions, software training, and general information sharing.

With many of the cohort 9 fellows at the tail end of their PhD work, CARTA sought to gather how the JAS experience has influenced their PhD and professional journeys. Watch highlights from some of the fellows:

Detailed reflections can be read here: https://sites.google.com/cartafrica.org/cohort9reflections/home

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