Extension of 2021 TDR Global Mentorship Open Call - Africa



Mentorship is a cross-cutting issue at the heart of TDR Global activities (TDR Global refers to the community of passionate scientists and experts working with TDR to support global research on infectious diseases of poverty). Mentorship is a fundamental part of health research. But many research institutions around the world, especially in low and middle-income countries, lack specific tools to enhance mentorship. In addition, Covid-19 has radically changed the mentorship environment, changing the nature of research collaboration, networking, supervision, and mentorship. Thus, a TDR Global open call focused on research mentorship in Africa is further needed. Therefore, the purpose of 2021 TDR Global Mentorship Open Call will be to identify actionable tools, innovative resources, and support related to research mentorship during and after COVID-19.

There will be two stages in 2021 TDR Global Mentorship Open Call.

Stage 1. Regional Mentorship Open Call Contest. Three regional mentorship open call contests will be launched in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, led by the TDR Global nodes in the regions. TDR Global Africa node in Ghana, will carry out the crowdsourcing contest in Africa.

Stage 2. Global Mentorship Open Call Contest. Finalists (winners) from the three regions will make a global final pitch for selection to become the global finalists.

Guidelines for submissions are described below. TDR Global, TDR node in Africa and SESH are the main organizers of the open call, with an independent steering committee for the open call. 







All TDR Global members are eligible. For more information about TDR Global, see here.


Language for the entries

English is preferred.



Entries should focus on virtual strategies (actionable tools, resources, and support) related to research mentorship.



Submissions could be either of the following:

1. Texts (not more than 500 words);

2. Images (high-resolution, if possible, but less than 5 MB, with text to explain the image);

3. Video (less than 1 minute).


Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated on a 1-10 scale according to the following five criteria:

1. Clear Description

Does the submission clearly describe an approach to enhance research mentorship in Africa?


2. Mentorship Enhancement

Does the submission have a potential for enhancing research mentorship in Africa? Does the submission outline any activity that has the potential to enhance the quality and roll out of research mentorship in Africa?


3. Feasibility

Does the idea maximize its effects with consideration of accessibility, affordability, and ease of implementation? Is the solution likely to be acceptable and realistic to the people it intends to serve, particularly in Africa?


4. Innovation

Innovation can refer to a process, product, best practices, etc., and can refer to a novel combination of existing elements, and/or an introduction of new elements. Is the approach new, original, creative, and presents a significant improvement from the current ways in which mentorship is implemented in Africa?


5. Scalability

Does the idea have the potential to enhance impact and sustainability of mentorship, to foster policy and programme development in order to benefit the population of people affected by diseases of poverty on long-term basis?


After screening for eligibility, all the eligible entries will be pooled together for judging. Text submissions, images and videos will be evaluated compared to other submissions in their own category.




                           The deadline of all submissions is (30th July 2021)

​                           Notifications about final commendations and prizes will be made before the end of August 2021.



There will be a Finalist (winner) and two semi-finalists. The Finalist will receive a Certificate of Recognition, a Plaque and a laptop computer. Each of the two Semi-finalists will receive a Certificate of Recognition, a Plaque and a tablet computer.

                          In addition, the Finalist (winner) will make a pitch and contest for a global prize.


  Steering Committee of the contest

  Moses Aikins (Ghana), Nsisong Asanga (Nigeria), Phyllis Dako-Gyeke (Ghana), Franklin Glozah (Chair, Ghana), Choolwe Jacobs (Zambia), Grace Adira Murilla (Kenya), Innocent       

                        Takougang (Cameroon), Weiming Tang (China), Ablo Prudence Wachinou (Benin), Getnet Yimer (Ethiopia).



Partner Organizations







Submit your virtual mentorship idea HERE





1. How is this different from the 2019 TDR Global research mentorship open call?

The focus of the 2019 TDR Global open call on research mentorship was to engage people in LMICs to generate practical/general ideas to improve research mentorship (click here see the finalists of 2019 Mentorship open call). Submissions in the current open call should focus on virtual strategies in terms of actionable tools, resources, and support related to research mentorship.

2. If I submitted in the 2019 research mentorship contest, can I submit again in this open call?

Yes, you can submit again provided the current idea is NOT exactly the same as the previous one.

3.  How can I join TDR Global:

If you are a current or former TDR grantee, trainee, expert advisor, staff or committee member, and you would like to register, please email TDR tdrglobal@who.int.

4. Why use a challenge contest?

Open contests have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and other organizations to spur creativity. Our experiences have demonstrated that challenge contests are a useful tool for soliciting innovative ideas for solving different problems. More details about open contests for health are available here.

5. What are infectious diseases of poverty?

‘Infectious diseases of poverty’ is an umbrella term used to describe diseases which are known to be more prevalent among poorer populations, rather than a definitive group of diseases.

6. Is there a limit to the number of contributions?

There is no limit. One person can submit multiple submissions. This could include a text, video, or image. 


For questions regarding the open call, email tdrglobal.africa@ug.edu.gh