Theme Quote Summary
Theme 1 “….. You know NCD magnitude is increasing, [it is] becoming a big problem and the Ministry has plans to establish an NCD program from November 2019. This will increase visibility and probably ensure that we have a clear and separate budget to implement our plans...” Establishing a formal plan will support visibility and clarity.
Theme 1 “…in research, it’s difficult to predict which area will be implemented and also monitored; because [this] depends on funding …. Sometimes nothing is done in some areas sometimes so much is done but in a non-coordinated manner……” Funding determines research areas.
Theme 1 “… we do not know who is doing what and where, you go into an international conference and you hear people present results of cancer studies in Tanzania, you are [surprised] like ooh…. There is a lack of communication regarding ongoing research.
Theme 1 “In collaboration … you cannot work in insolation. So, if ORCI works together with MUHAS, NIMR, TMDA, MNH, and the national referral laboratory, I'm sure we can implement many studies… even a clinical trial.” Given that research institutions in Tanzania have different capabilities and resources and there is a need for sharing of resource across institutions.
Theme 1 “My recommendation is: maybe we need to look again on the current practice and reorganize in such a way that we can efficiently utilize time better, and also maybe if our promotion can depend on research like the number of publications or number of grants and hence this can be translated or applied and is included as part of your work performance.” There is a critical need for national and institutional leaders to explore strategies and define metrics for invoking changes in clinical and academic culture to ensure and enforce protected time for research and to emphasize and reward research productivity.
Theme 2 “…. the workshops that we usually conduct for a week or two don’t seem to be working. The [international] researchers train and go, and usually nothing materializes …. We need to have a follow-through and continuous support for junior staff and those who are not really well experienced in research.” Sustainability should be emphasized in development of training efforts.
Theme 3 “…the institution has a shortage of staff; I think more than 40% deficit in skilled staff. So… protected time for mentoring and conducting research is not practical in the current situation.” Staff shortages contribute to lack of available mentors.
Theme 3 “You cannot be a good researcher without mentorship. Mentors help to build your skills by providing the opportunity to do the actual work and also linkage to collaborators and donors….” The importance of mentorship is highlighted.
Theme 3 “We don’t have critical mass of mentors, so we have few identified people who are willing and have done work in research. But they are not many in number, so it is difficult to say we have a robust mentorship program…” There are few independent researchers who are capable of providing mentorship.
Theme 3 “Everybody needs to be mentored at some point. Nobody can work well without mentorship… The importance of mentorship is highlighted.
Theme 3 “I tell them to see me twice a week, and they should not expect me to follow them. They should come… The mentoring relationship relies on the initiative of the mentee.
Theme 3 “….. in some courses the coordinator may appoint just anyone to mentor students, in others it will be the task of a student to look for a mentor that they feel is appropriate for them, and I support that kind of a model more than being a prescription…I usually don't prefer students being prescribed to me, I have never had good experiences with those kinds of students. But those students who come to me [organic pairing], we set time of reference from the very first day…” In the mentor and mentee relationship it is important to establish a bi-directional relationship.
Theme 3 “…. by making it mandatory for them to engage in research and publications, [research] can actually guarantee their promotion at work. Thus, there is no promotion without publications, we need to actually give equal weight for teaching as well as research.” Institutional culture and promotion policies may increase motivation for research.
Theme 4 “…we don’t have a centralized space which has all available resources people can use. So, in terms of infrastructure it is not yet well established for research.” There is a lack of adequate resources and infrastructure for research.
Theme 4 “The researchers sending these applications are scientists, experts in that area but when it comes to legal aspects, financial aspects, checking the budget to see if it will sustain the next five years, making sure that everything that is required during the implementation of the project… it is very easy to overlook something.” Researchers need training in project management.
Theme 4 “In terms of the infrastructure, I can say; looking at ORCI it lacks some of the highly specialized equipment but the National laboratory has a lot of facilities and this is equipped for conducting research. The main issue is using/sharing of resources” Need for inter-institution collaboration to foster quality of research done