Under the American College of Surgeons’ Operation Giving Back, several US institutions collaborated with a teaching and regional referral hospital in Ethiopia to develop a surgical research curriculum.
A virtual, interactive, introductory research course which utilized a web-based classroom platform and live educational sessions via an online teleconferencing application was implemented. Surgical and public health faculty from the US and Ethiopia taught webinars and led breakout coaching sessions to facilitate participants’ project development. Both a pre-course needs assessment survey and a post-course participation survey were used to examine the impact of the course.
Twenty participants were invited to participate in the course. Despite the majority of participants having connection issues (88%), 11 participants completed the course with an 83% average attendance rate. Ten participants successfully developed structured research proposals based on their local clinical needs.
This novel multi-institutional and multi-national research course design was successfully implemented and could serve as a template for greater development of research capacity building in the low- and middle-income country (LMIC) setting.