Supervision and Mentorship of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’ Postgraduate Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa
High quality postgraduate training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related disciplines in sub-Saharan Africa is an important element for effective science systems that can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, barriers that hinder women’s participation in STEM-related careers impede the potential for scientific progress. Effective supervision and mentorship have been identified as having a direct impact on postgraduate success in STEM-related programs, especially for underrepresented groups such as women. However, identifying gaps in supervision and mentorship of women is not possible given limited data on the number of women studying and working in postgraduate studies.
This project will examine the gender gaps in supervision and mentorship in STEM postgraduate programs of universities in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan) that are members of the East African Community’s Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA). It will also assess the effectiveness of existing policies, models, and practices for supervision and mentorship in IUCEA member universities. The results of the project will contribute to new or improved guidelines, policies and practices that can more effectively address gender-specific barriers to women’s participation in post-graduate STEM programs.
This project will be implemented over 60 months by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in collaboration with the Inter-University Council for East Africa. It was selected for funding as part of the IDRC call for proposals on “Breaking Systemic Barriers to Women’s Participation in Science”.