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Training the Next Generation of Diabetes Researchers: Evaluation of the Diabetes Action Canada Training and Mentoring Program

      Abstract

      Background

      The Diabetes Action Canada Training and Mentoring (DAC-TM) Program launched in June 2017, with the goal of building capacity in the next generation of diabetes researchers in Canada in patient-oriented research (POR).

      Methods

      We conducted a program evaluation of the DAC-TM program using a sequential, mixed-methods research design.

      Results

      Our analysis of 82 surveys and 22 in-depth interviews from a wide range of DAC-TM Program stakeholders revealed consistent patterns in experience with the program. The training sessions were perceived to be well-organized, convenient educational opportunities to gain new knowledge about POR and become integrated into a community of practice of POR researchers who study diabetes and its complications in Canada. The content of the training was perceived to be useful and relevant to participants, although improvements could be made to help address the training needs of the broader DAC community. There is broad support for and appreciation of the mentorship awards, which were perceived to be appropriately targeted to early-career investigators. The mentor–mentee relationships were perceived to be positive, productive and career-advancing overall, but could benefit from a more strategic design and promote better connectivity to foster mentor–mentee relationships. In addition, feedback about opportunities to network and forge new connections was mixed and represents another opportunity for improvement to strengthen capacity building.

      Conclusions

      Findings from this formative evaluation study show key strengths and opportunities to improve the DAC-TM Program, which can be used to help enhance its function and promote its long-term sustainability.

      Résumé

      Introduction

      Le programme de formation et de mentorat d’Action diabète Canada (ADC) lancé en juin 2017 a pour objectif de renforcer les capacités de la prochaine génération de chercheurs en diabète du Canada dans la recherche axée sur le patient (RAP).

      Méthodes

      Nous avons effectué l’évaluation du programme de formation et de mentorat d’ADC à l’aide d’un devis séquentiel de recherche par méthodes mixtes.

      Résultats

      Notre analyse de 82 enquêtes et de 22 entretiens en profondeur d’un large éventail de parties prenantes du programme de formation et de mentorat d’ADC a révélé des schémas constants de l’expérience avec le programme. Les participants ont perçu que les séances de formation étaient bien organisées, qu’elles offraient de bonnes possibilités éducatives pour acquérir de nouvelles connaissances sur la RAP et s’intégrer dans une communauté de pratique composée de chercheurs en RAP qui étudient le diabète et ses complications au Canada. Selon les participants, le contenu de la formation a été perçu utile et pertinent, bien que des améliorations pourraient être apportées pour contribuer à répondre aux besoins de formation de l’ensemble de la communauté d’ADC. Les prix de mentorat, qui ont été perçus bien adaptés aux chercheurs en début de carrière, reçoivent un large appui et bénéficient d’une reconnaissance. Les participants ont perçu que les relations mentor-mentoré étaient positives et productives, qu’elles contribuaient dans l’ensemble à l’avancement de la carrière, mais qu’elles pourraient bénéficier d’un devis plus stratégique et promouvoir de meilleurs liens pour favoriser la relation mentor-mentoré. De plus, la rétroaction mitigée sur les possibilités de réseautage et de tissage de nouveaux liens représente une autre possibilité de renforcement des capacités.

      Conclusions

      Les conclusions de cette étude d’évaluation formative montrent les principaux points forts et les possibilités d’amélioration du programme de formation et de mentorat d’ADC à utiliser pour contribuer à améliorer son fonctionnement et promouvoir sa viabilité à long terme.

      Keywords

      Mots clés

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