The University of Zimbabwe is the premier medical education institution in Zimbabwe and is the centre for medical research. There is inadequate research capacity to implement a robust research agenda to provide the evidence base to address the most pressing health needs of the country. The goal of the PERFECT program (Promote Excellence in Research and Faculty Enhanced Career Training) is to train a critical mass of junior faculty to become the next generation of researchers at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) capitalizing on the foundation of research capacity developed under the MEPI program. The objectives of the program are to; (1) select promising trainees using transparent criteria (2) implement an advanced individualized and group-wide mentored research training program (3) broaden training to include ancillary areas such as leadership and management (4) leverage information communication technology and library resources (5) conduct formative and summative program evaluation including tracking of the progress of trainees who have completed the program. The PERFECT program will be implemented by UZCHS faculty assisted by in-country UZCHS affiliated research centers and collaborators from MEPI partner institutions (University of Colorado Denver, Stanford University, University of Cape Town, University College London and King's College London). The research training will be conducted in the following scientific areas: (a) HIV/AIDS (b) Cardiovascular Diseases (c) Mental Health (d) Women's Health. These target scientific areas have been selected because of their national and institutional importance/ interest and the opportunity to address cross cutting issues among them and to be able to use past and current research strengths at UZCHS to implement a viable training program. The program will consist of mentorship/multiple mentorship, coursework, mentored research projects, placement in research projects and training in grant and scientific writing and presentation skills. The program is designed to last 2 years training a total of 15 trainees in the 5 years of the program. The number of trainees in each scientific area is; 6 trainees in HIV/AIDS, 4 in Cardiovascular Diseases, 3 in Mental Health and 2 in Women's Health.
The PERFECT program (Promote Excellence in Research and Faculty Enhanced Career Training) is an advanced research capacity training program at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences; designed to train junior faculty to become independent and collaborative researchers. Training a critical mass of researchers in the area of HIV/AIDS, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mental Health and Women's Health will enable the generation of evidence to address the most pressing health needs of Zimbabwe.
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