Table 3

Mentors’ discussions of the current status and proposed solutions to improve mentoring through doctoral training at Makerere University College of Health Sciences
Thematic questions Responses
What is going well?
There are more numbers of doctoral students, which has increased the opportunities for peer support.
Supervisors of the doctoral students are more tuned to supervise and mentor students better than before.
Funding opportunities for doctoral research have increased.
More students complete doctoral training within 3–5 years because of the available opportunities to fund their research projects.
Supervision of doctoral students is one of the recognised parameters for promotion.
What is not going well?
Delays in the procurement systems cause unnecessary delays in students’ research progress.
There are limited systems for international procurement of laboratory-based research supplies which causes huge delays for basic science research projects.
Unexplained delays by the national drug authority (NDA) for research projects including investigational drugs.
Limited human resource for health care when clinicians are pursuing doctoral training activities.
Limited communication between doctoral students and their mentors.
Proposed solutions
Procurement delays ● Conduct workshops between the scientists [doctoral students and mentors] and the institutional procurement team.
● Propose and design institutional procurement systems with provisions for international procurement of laboratory-specific equipment and consumables.
Limited communication between mentors and mentees ● Strategic approach to implement the institutional doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines among doctoral students and mentors.
● Communication skills’ training including skills in conflict resolution.
● Induction courses for doctoral students and mentors.
● Utilisation of the College of Health Sciences’ research support centre.
Others ● Clinical departments need to relieve doctoral students of some clinical duties to allow some protected time for academic research training although the students might still participate in selected teaching activities due to limited teaching staff.
● Facilitate more seminars to increase networking between doctoral students and mentors.

Nakanjako et al.

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

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