INASPs AuthorAID project aims to build the confidence, knowledge and skills needed by Southern researchers and organizations so that their research can be published and communicated. The AuthorAID project was initiated by INASP in 2007.
One of the main challenges that early-career researchers face is the shortage of mentors: senior researchers and more experienced peers who can provide them with advice on getting their research written and published.
AuthorAID supports early-career researchers in low- and middle-income countries to find mentors who can help them progress in their careers.
- The mentoring system helps pair experienced mentors with researchers who need support at any stage of their writing project.
- Mentoring relationships can be short or long-term.
- Mentees can request help with a wide range of tasks, from specific activities such as planning the structure of an article, language editing and interpreting data, to longer-term help such as developing a grant proposal, and career planning.
The mentoring system is particularly valued by women researchers who often struggle to get the support needed in their institution.
"Personally and professionally, AuthorAID has helped [me] to grow in my scientific career. I’m now giving back to the AuthorAID community.”
Joshua Okonya, former AuthorAID mentee and now mentor, Crop Entomologist, International Potato Center, Uganda
“Aside from potentially building connections for future research, I think the work I’ve done with AuthorAID has absolutely made me a better writer. It’s really made me think more systematically about how I communicate my own research design and results.”
Rachel Strohm, AuthorAID mentor, Political Science Researcher University of California, Berkeley, US and COO of the Mawazo Institute, Kenya
Researcher collaboration forum
For academics around the world, finding and tapping into overseas research partners can be a difficult process. It is often tough to find local partners with the right level of knowledge and capacity to work on a particular research challenge.
Academics in the Global South particularly struggle to find suitable collaborators to help catalyse their research projects. Access to networks and conferences is often limited because of a lack of institutional funding, and local academics may not be included on large overseas funded research projects taking place in their own fields and sectors.
“Creating platforms for mentoring and collaboration between Northern and Southern researchers holds the endless potential of rightly guiding the ‘underdogs’ of research, increase the quality and visibility of their work and ultimately achieve the aim of increasing diversity in scholarly publishing.” Dr. Zainab Yunusa-Kaltungo, Clinical Governance Lead for Surgery at Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Nigeria
The AuthorAID ‘Research Collaboration Space’ offers an opportunity for researchers to post details of their research projects and put out a call for collaborators.
The forum was created in response to a survey of members we carried out in 2017, which identified that the majority of AuthorAID members (95%) need a lot of help and support in finding collaborators.
The Research Collaboration space can be accessed via the AuthorAID website. The forums also include a re-launched version of the AuthorAID discussion forums, a ‘Funding, scholarships and opportunities’ sub-forum and a discussion space for women researchers.