Table 2

Doctoral students’ discussions on mentoring through doctoral training at Makerere University College of Health Sciences
Thematic questions Responses
What is going well? ● Peer support received from the increasing number of doctoral candidates in the various disciplines.
● Available guidelines for doctoral supervision and mentoring.
● Increasing numbers of supervisors and their commitment to mentor doctoral candidates.
● PhD forum where students have opportunities to present their research projects.
What is not going well?
Physical space ● Limited physical space for doctoral students in their respective departments.
● Limited physical space for the mentors in their respective departments.
Procurement ● Unexplained delays in the procurement processes which, in many cases, delay the students’ progress.
Registration processes ● Lengthy registration processes including delays in appointing doctoral supervisors.
Biomedical sciences ● Limited number of mentors with the skills to supervise and mentor doctoral students.
● Limited laboratory infrastructure for biomedical research so that most students have to ship samples abroad.
Proposed solutions
Infrastructure development ● Improvement of laboratory infrastructure to support doctoral students’ projects locally.
● Infrastructure development to create office space for doctoral students during their doctoral period.
● Create office space for post-doctoral and faculty involved in mentoring doctoral students and junior faculty.
Procurement processes ● Improve the procurement systems to meet the needs of doctoral students and other scientists in biomedical research at Makerere University.
Registration processes ● Induction courses for doctoral students and their mentors, including a mandatory course on PhD supervision.
● A catalogue of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for doctoral Students and mentors should be compiled and uploaded on the institutional website.
● Regular PhD forum meetings and seminars.
Communication ● Communication skills’ training for both mentors and mentees including skills in conflict resolution.
Others ● Facilitate more seminars between mentors and doctoral students for inspiration and encouragement through the doctoral training experience.

Nakanjako et al.

Nakanjako et al. BMC Medical Education 2014 14:9   doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-9

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