Our manuscript publishing class for junior researchers in Kenya is off to a great start as classes began in March 2021. The project was made possible by the University of Washington’s (UW) Global Innovation Fund (GIF), with collaborative efforts between the UW, the University of Nairobi (UoN), and Moi University (MU). Ten students were enrolled in the virtual training program, led by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Washington and the University of Nairobi, including the UW Health Sciences and Suzzallo Libraries (Lynly Beard and Elizabeth Bedford), Global Health and School of Dentistry (Joe Zunt and Ana Lucia Seminario), MU School of Dentistry (Caroline Kilbosia), UoN School of Dentistry (Arthur Kemoli), and our class coordinator from California State University Northridge, Mink Lee.
The cohort has an equal representation of newly graduated junior investigators from the University of Nairobi and Moi University in Kenya, including one trainee from Uganda. These trainees come from diverse areas of the country, and seven out of ten are female. Utilizing virtual ‘breakout’ rooms has fostered active participation despite the challenges of an online environment. Their diverse professional backgrounds in oral healthcare allow them to share different perspectives and receive feedback from their peers. The students are learning and enjoying camaraderie through sharing ideas, and support has come naturally for many, having graduated from the same universities. We hope that the program will provide the training and resources to increase the students’ manuscript submissions as we work towards expanding global oral health research capacity in Kenya.