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"we need more big trees as well as the grass roots": Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

"we need more big trees as well as the grass roots" : Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries. / Langhaug, Lisa F.; Jack, Helen; Hanlon, Charlotte; Holzer, Stefan; Sorsdahl, Katherine; Mutedzi, Barbara; Mangezi, Walter; Merritt, Christopher; Alem, Atalay; Stewart, Robert; Bandawe, Chiwoza; Musesengwa, Rosemary; Abas, Melanie; Chibanda, Dixon; Lund, Crick.

In: International Journal of Mental Health Systems, Vol. 14, No. 1, 66, 14.08.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Langhaug, LF, Jack, H, Hanlon, C, Holzer, S, Sorsdahl, K, Mutedzi, B, Mangezi, W, Merritt, C, Alem, A, Stewart, R, Bandawe, C, Musesengwa, R, Abas, M, Chibanda, D & Lund, C 2020, '"we need more big trees as well as the grass roots": Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries', International Journal of Mental Health Systems, vol. 14, no. 1, 66. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1

APA

Langhaug, L. F., Jack, H., Hanlon, C., Holzer, S., Sorsdahl, K., Mutedzi, B., Mangezi, W., Merritt, C., Alem, A., Stewart, R., Bandawe, C., Musesengwa, R., Abas, M., Chibanda, D., & Lund, C. (2020). "we need more big trees as well as the grass roots": Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14(1), [66]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1

Vancouver

Langhaug LF, Jack H, Hanlon C, Holzer S, Sorsdahl K, Mutedzi B et al. "we need more big trees as well as the grass roots": Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2020 Aug 14;14(1). 66. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1

Author

Langhaug, Lisa F. ; Jack, Helen ; Hanlon, Charlotte ; Holzer, Stefan ; Sorsdahl, Katherine ; Mutedzi, Barbara ; Mangezi, Walter ; Merritt, Christopher ; Alem, Atalay ; Stewart, Robert ; Bandawe, Chiwoza ; Musesengwa, Rosemary ; Abas, Melanie ; Chibanda, Dixon ; Lund, Crick. / "we need more big trees as well as the grass roots" : Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries. In: International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2020 ; Vol. 14, No. 1.

Bibtex Download

@article{3ee2c410e85240018e30402626081507,
title = "{"}we need more big trees as well as the grass roots{"}: Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries",
abstract = "Background: There are substantial gaps in our knowledge regarding the aetiology of mental, neurological and substance use disorders in sub-Saharan Africa, and the cost-effectiveness and scalability of interventions to reduce the burden of these conditions on the continent. To address these gaps, international investment has focussed on building research capacity, including funding doctoral students in African countries, to support development of high quality, contextually relevant interventions. Absent, however, is an understanding of how capacity building feeds into research careers. Methods: Within a broader mental health research capacity-building initiative (African Mental Health Research Initiative), we conducted 52 qualitative interviews with early-career researchers, policymakers, academics, and service users from four African countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) and with international funders of mental health research. The interview guide focused on the research context, planning, and priorities and how respondents perceive research careers and funding. Thematic analysis was applied to the transcribed interviews. Results: Five components of a research career emerged: (i) research positions; (ii) research skills; (iii) funding; (iv) research commitment from African countries; and (v) advocacy. All stakeholders wanted more high-impact African researchers, but few saw a clear, replicable track for developing their careers within universities or their Ministries of Health in their African countries. This stemmed, in part, from the lack of support for infrastructure that enables high-quality research: Grants administration, mentorship, university leadership, research culture, and open communication between policymakers and researchers. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of developing research infrastructure alongside capacity-building efforts. International funders should invest in grant management at African universities which would place them at the centre of research initiatives. African universities should prioritise the creation of a research culture by developing and promoting well-defined research tracks for both clinicians and academics, investing in grant management, and raising the profile of research within their institutions.",
keywords = "Africa, Global mental health, Research capacity strengthening, Research funding, Research Policy",
author = "Langhaug, {Lisa F.} and Helen Jack and Charlotte Hanlon and Stefan Holzer and Katherine Sorsdahl and Barbara Mutedzi and Walter Mangezi and Christopher Merritt and Atalay Alem and Robert Stewart and Chiwoza Bandawe and Rosemary Musesengwa and Melanie Abas and Dixon Chibanda and Crick Lund",
year = "2020",
month = aug,
day = "14",
doi = "10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
journal = "International Journal Of Mental Health Systems",
issn = "1752-4458",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - "we need more big trees as well as the grass roots"

T2 - Going beyond research capacity building to develop sustainable careers in mental health research in African countries

AU - Langhaug, Lisa F.

AU - Jack, Helen

AU - Hanlon, Charlotte

AU - Holzer, Stefan

AU - Sorsdahl, Katherine

AU - Mutedzi, Barbara

AU - Mangezi, Walter

AU - Merritt, Christopher

AU - Alem, Atalay

AU - Stewart, Robert

AU - Bandawe, Chiwoza

AU - Musesengwa, Rosemary

AU - Abas, Melanie

AU - Chibanda, Dixon

AU - Lund, Crick

PY - 2020/8/14

Y1 - 2020/8/14

N2 - Background: There are substantial gaps in our knowledge regarding the aetiology of mental, neurological and substance use disorders in sub-Saharan Africa, and the cost-effectiveness and scalability of interventions to reduce the burden of these conditions on the continent. To address these gaps, international investment has focussed on building research capacity, including funding doctoral students in African countries, to support development of high quality, contextually relevant interventions. Absent, however, is an understanding of how capacity building feeds into research careers. Methods: Within a broader mental health research capacity-building initiative (African Mental Health Research Initiative), we conducted 52 qualitative interviews with early-career researchers, policymakers, academics, and service users from four African countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) and with international funders of mental health research. The interview guide focused on the research context, planning, and priorities and how respondents perceive research careers and funding. Thematic analysis was applied to the transcribed interviews. Results: Five components of a research career emerged: (i) research positions; (ii) research skills; (iii) funding; (iv) research commitment from African countries; and (v) advocacy. All stakeholders wanted more high-impact African researchers, but few saw a clear, replicable track for developing their careers within universities or their Ministries of Health in their African countries. This stemmed, in part, from the lack of support for infrastructure that enables high-quality research: Grants administration, mentorship, university leadership, research culture, and open communication between policymakers and researchers. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of developing research infrastructure alongside capacity-building efforts. International funders should invest in grant management at African universities which would place them at the centre of research initiatives. African universities should prioritise the creation of a research culture by developing and promoting well-defined research tracks for both clinicians and academics, investing in grant management, and raising the profile of research within their institutions.

AB - Background: There are substantial gaps in our knowledge regarding the aetiology of mental, neurological and substance use disorders in sub-Saharan Africa, and the cost-effectiveness and scalability of interventions to reduce the burden of these conditions on the continent. To address these gaps, international investment has focussed on building research capacity, including funding doctoral students in African countries, to support development of high quality, contextually relevant interventions. Absent, however, is an understanding of how capacity building feeds into research careers. Methods: Within a broader mental health research capacity-building initiative (African Mental Health Research Initiative), we conducted 52 qualitative interviews with early-career researchers, policymakers, academics, and service users from four African countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) and with international funders of mental health research. The interview guide focused on the research context, planning, and priorities and how respondents perceive research careers and funding. Thematic analysis was applied to the transcribed interviews. Results: Five components of a research career emerged: (i) research positions; (ii) research skills; (iii) funding; (iv) research commitment from African countries; and (v) advocacy. All stakeholders wanted more high-impact African researchers, but few saw a clear, replicable track for developing their careers within universities or their Ministries of Health in their African countries. This stemmed, in part, from the lack of support for infrastructure that enables high-quality research: Grants administration, mentorship, university leadership, research culture, and open communication between policymakers and researchers. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of developing research infrastructure alongside capacity-building efforts. International funders should invest in grant management at African universities which would place them at the centre of research initiatives. African universities should prioritise the creation of a research culture by developing and promoting well-defined research tracks for both clinicians and academics, investing in grant management, and raising the profile of research within their institutions.

KW - Africa

KW - Global mental health

KW - Research capacity strengthening

KW - Research funding

KW - Research Policy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85089939284&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1

DO - 10.1186/s13033-020-00388-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85089939284

VL - 14

JO - International Journal Of Mental Health Systems

JF - International Journal Of Mental Health Systems

SN - 1752-4458

IS - 1

M1 - 66

ER -

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