News & Updates

September 03 Issue 43


Happy new month! Welcome to another edition of the CARTA monthly updates. Read on to keep abreast with what is new.


Joint Advanced Seminar 4: Imparting Critical Research Skills in CARTA Fellows

The three-week in-country residential training for the JAS 4 began on August 23. This was the second phase of the training where the fellows are accommodated at a common facility in their home countries to maximize protected time.

Our partner, Makerere University has hosted JAS1 and JAS4 concurrently for the last couple of years until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic turned things around. This year, was the first time that the JAS4 was held separately and virtually. The organizing team and the facilitators, both local and international, worked tirelessly to adapt the curriculum to online learning, and to put together appropriate materials for this mode of delivery through the Google Classroom.

Read more here

Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS3) Refresher Training

The University of Ibadan (UI) has started preparations for the Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS 3) that is scheduled for October 2021. In July, the UI team held a town hall meeting with the fellows who are working to make it to JAS 3 this year, to share a general overview of the program. Two pre-JAS 3 refreshers in qualitative and quantitative data analysis also took place in August.


The JAS 4 Contribution to my Doctoral and Academic Journey

In this blog, Oluwafemi Popoola (Cohort Eight Fellow, University of Ibadan) writes about his JAS 4 experience; the opportunities, the gains, and the challenges. Follow the link to read more.

The JAS 4 experience has been invaluable to my doctoral and wider academic journey. The sessions on philosophy and structure of teaching, teaching techniques, use of software have been very useful. I believe the quality of my teaching and presentations will be significantly improved by this learning. JAS 4 like all other JAS sessions has also been quite useful from a motivational perspective.

Read more

Mobolaji Defends PhD Thesis

Jacob Mobolaji (Cohort Eight Fellow, Obafemi Awolowo University) defended his PhD thesis titled ‘Determinants and Health Implications of Unmet Needs for Informal Support for Older people in South-Western Nigeria, in August.’


We congratulate him and await his graduation!

Folake Appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

Folake Lawal (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of Ibadan) was recently appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of the top-ranking Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice.  As a member of the Editorial Board, her tasks include, assigning reviewers, reviewing papers submitted to the Journal, and making an input on strategic questions pertaining to the development of the Journal.


We congratulate her on this appointment!


Link to the journal's home page

Jean de Dieu Featured in Nestle Report for his Study on Positive Deviance and Growth

Jean de Dieu Habimana (Cohort Eight Fellow, University of Rwanda) won a grant from Nestle to carry out a study titled ‘positive deviance in linear growth of children aged 6-23 months in Rwanda.’ As child growth retardation persists as a public health concern globally, 35% of children in Rwanda below five years are stunted. In this study, which will be conducted in five districts of Rwanda, Jean seeks to identify practices within households with children aged 6-23 months who achieve growth outcomes that qualify them as positive deviants in Rwanda.

Read more

Kaitesi Batamuliza: My Quest to put Hearing Loss in Rwanda's Health Agenda

For the #CARTA100 series, (celebrating CARTA's over 100 PhD Graduates) Kaitesi Batamuliza (Cohort Four Graduate, University of Rwanda) shares about her journey of raising awareness about prevention, early identification, and management of hearing loss in Rwanda.

"While the problem of hearing loss is not nearly solved, I am gratified to know that it is now recognized and prioritized both in paper and in practice. I owe all this to CARTA, which helped me gather the needed data and empowered me to look beyond challenges to seek solutions." ~ Kaitesi.

Read more


Genetically Changed Mosquitoes Could Transform Africa's Long Fight Against Malaria- By Fredros Okumu in The Conversation

Malaria prevention in African countries heavily depends on using insecticide-treated bed nets and house spraying. Fredros Okumu (CARTA Focal Person and Director of Science at Ifakara Health Institute) writes about genetically changed mosquitoes and why malaria control must move away from relying too much on insecticides to more sustainable options. In the article, he talks about the new technologies that are being developed which could complement these strategies at lower cost and less effort, one being the release of genetically programmed mosquitoes, called “protector mosquitoes.”

Read more

Planning a Joint Advanced Seminar 4: What it Takes

John Bosco Isunju is a CARTA focal person at Makerere University and is central to the planning of the Joint Advanced Seminar 4. He spoke to us about what goes into it. Follow the link to read more.

"Like any other JAS, successful execution of JAS4 requires early planning, teamwork and support from the CARTA secretariat. It is key that training schedules are prepared on time and require consultations with the Fellows and Facilitators to ensure their availability and commitment, and this might require several adjustments in the training schedule. Logistics also need to be organised on time to make sure Fellows and Facilitators' needs are addressed as individual needs might vary."~John Bosco.

Read more

Future-Proofing Research Resilience- Featuring Evelyn Gitau in Nature Index

Evelyn Gitau, Director of Research Capacity Strengthening at APHRC, was featured in the article Future-proofing research resilience in Nature Index, where she discussed investment in human capital. She believes that although the pandemic has exposed an already serious people-power shortage in research, money should be invested in training graduate students.

Read more


The Prevalence and Associated Factors of Hypertension among HIV Patients

The dual burden of cardiovascular diseases and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in sub-Saharan Africa is of public health concern. In this study published in the International Journal of Hypertension, Grace Wambura and Karani Magutah,(Cohort Four Graduates, Moi University), determined the prevalence and the associated factors of hypertension among HIV patients receiving regular care at Thika Level 5 Hospital Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC), within metropolitan Nairobi, Kenya.

Read more

Occupational Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life among Nigerian Vocational-Skilled Workers

Occupational physical activity (OPA) is prevalent in the general population. However, its influence on the health status of manual workers is unclear. In this study published in JOHE, Taofeek Awotidebe (Cohort One Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University), examined the impact of OPA on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of vocational-skilled workers (VSWs) in Nigeria. The OPA level of Nigerian VSWs was high with significant impact on the HRQoL. Interventions focusing on promoting OPA to improve HRQoL are recommended.

Read more

Eyes of Africa: The Genetics of Blindness: Study Design and Methodology

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is more common in African ancestry populations and has an earlier onset and a more rapid progression. these factors result in a tremendous personal and societal burden of glaucomatous vision loss and blindness in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this study published in BMC Ophthalmology, Olusola Olawoye (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of Ibadan), sought to better understand the underlying genetic factors that lead to the higher prevalence and greater severity of glaucoma in Africans compared to other populations.

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A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Uptake of Novel Differentiated ART Delivery Models in a National Sample of Health Facilities in Uganda.

Since 2017, Uganda has been implementing five differentiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery models to improve the quality of HIV care and to achieve health-system efficiencies. In this study published in PLoS ONE, Henry Zakumumpa (Cohort Four Graduate, Makerere University) set out to assess the extent of uptake of these ART delivery models and to describe barriers to uptake of either facility-based or community-based models.

Read more

Mealtime Challenges and Feeding Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Africa

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a number of associated feeding difficulties and problematic mealtime behaviors. This study by Skye Adams (Cohort Nine Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand), published in the South African Journal Clinical Nutrition, sought to determine types of feeding difficulties prevalent in children with ASD, food items that children in South Africa prefer, and the relationship between age and ASD severity on food preferences.

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African and Asian Medicinal Plants as a Repository for Prospective Antiviral Metabolites Against HIV-1 and SARS CoV-2: A Mini Review

The worldwide burden of viral infections has triggered a resurgence in the search for new and more efficient antiviral drugs. Godwin Anywar (Cohort Six Fellow, Makerere University) carried out a review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, to analyse the existing literature to explore the actual or potential natural antiviral compounds from African and Asian medicinal plants as lead compounds in the drug discovery process.

Read more


Call for Applications: The Woodrow Wilson International Center Residential Fellowship 2021

The Wilson Center’s nine-month flagship international Fellowship Program is open to applications from scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals from all over the world.


Deadline: October 05, 2021


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MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships will be open to excellent researchers of any nationality. Fellowships will be provided to excellent researchers, undertaking international mobility either to or between EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries, as well as to non-associated Third Countries. Applications will be made jointly by the researcher and a beneficiary in the academic or non-academic sector.

Deadline: October 12, 2021.

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Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF): PhD Scholarships- Fourth Call for applications is open

RSIF offers a unique and historic opportunity for African countries to train new doctoral students in high quality PhD programmes in applied sciences, engineering and technology, at an affordable cost in competitively selected African universities partnered with international universities. 

Deadline: September 30, 2021.

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Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth. The program funds the following areas of research: health, natural sciences and/or engineering, and social sciences and/or humanities. 


Deadline: September 2021

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Company of Biologists: Traveling Fellowships

The Company of Biologists’ journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology and Disease Models & Mechanisms – offer Travelling Fellowships of up to £2,500 to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers wishing to make collaborative visits to other laboratories.

Deadline: October 18, 2021 (for travel after 29 November 2021)

More Details

Find more opportunities on our website here.

Disclaimer: The opportunities we share are mostly from external funders. Linking to an external site does not constitute an endorsement by CARTA.

Our Reads this Month

Five ways Uganda’s health teams provided HIV care in lockdown

In this article published in The Conversation, Henry Zakumumpa (Cohort Four Graduate, Makerere University) writes about the five strategies for distributing ARVs in Uganda during the lockdown. This was informed by a study conducted after the first lockdown in Uganda last year.

Read it here

Older adults hesitate to talk about their sexual health – here’s why it’s a big deal

In this article published in The Conversation, Ojo Melvin (Cohort Three Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University) writes about older people’s voices and experiences which tend to be left out of discussions on sexual health and well-being.

Read it here

Jude Igumbor (CARTA Focal Person at Wits) featured in Curis.ty

Jude Igumbor is amongst the featured researchers in the Wits University Magazine, Curios.ty (issue 12), which aims to make research at Wits accessible to multiple publics.

Read it here


Open Dissertation Database by EBSCO

EBSCO Open Dissertations is a free database with records for more than 1.4 million electronic theses and dissertations from more than 320 universities around the world. This is an ideal resource for graduate students who want to see the prevailing research in their fields of study. 

Find out more.


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