There is a need to foster the next generation of clinical researchers in South Africa who will follow through and build upon the critical scientific work being done.

At the PHRU, our succession plan is to invest in promising new scientific investigators by identifying, training, mentoring and exposing them to valuable career opportunities. This is so that we can retain and sustain high quality researchers who will serve the health research needs of South Africa and the world.

Our Publications Coaching Programme, launched on 11/11/11, is an innovative scientific writing programme founded by Dr Fatima Laher (medical researcher), Dr Janan Dietrich (sociobehavioural scientist) and Prof Kennedy Otwombe (biostatistical researcher). The Programme provides promising new investigators with scientific writing theory and coaching. The aims are to build capacity, pass on skills pertinent to a research environment, increase publication output, inspire scientific curiosity and develop a succession line of new scientists.

The programme has in the past received part-funding from SPARC and the Canadian African Prevention Trials Network. Read more about the programme in Dietrich J, Otwombe K, Heritage T, Coetzee J, Lazarus E, Meyer Z, Laher F. Nurturing a new generation of scientific writers in Soweto, South Africa. Open Medicine 2013;7(3 Suppl):s63.

Entering the ninth year of the Publications Coaching Programme, we celebrate some of our accomplished alumni who have published important science:

Dr Limakatso Lebina, Class of 2012

26 Pubmed-listed publications so far; her first ever publication was written with the Publications Coaching Programme: Lebina L, Laher F, Mukudu H, Essien T, Otwombe K, Gray G, Martinson N. Does routine prophylactic oral flucloxacillin reduce the incidence of post-circumcision infections? Am J Infect Control. 2013 Oct;41(10):897-900. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.12.015. Epub 2013 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 23489735.

Dr Haseena Cassim, Class of 2014

5 Pubmed-listed publications so far; her first first-author publication was written with the Publications Coaching Programme: Cassim H, Otwombe K, Lazarus E, Liberty A, Gray GE, Greeff OBW, Violari A. A retrospective case-cohort study comparing treatment outcomes in abacavir versus stavudine containing first line antiretroviral treatment regimens in children <3yrs old, at a paediatric programme based in Soweto, South Africa. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 7;12(7):e0180645. doi: 0.1371/journal.pone.0180645. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28686654; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5501584.

Stefanie Hornschuh, Class of 2014

5 Pubmed-listed publications so far; her publication written with the Publications Coaching Programme was: Hornschuh S, Laher F, Makongoza M, Tshabalala C, Kuijper LDJ, Dietrich J. Experiences of HIV-positive adolescents and young adults in care in Soweto, South Africa. (2014) Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 13:4, 420-435, DOI: 10.1080/15381501.2013.804472

Kate Hopkins (nee Cerwensky), Class of 2013

5 Pubmed-listed publications so far; her first first-author publication was written with the Publications Coaching Programme: Hopkins KL, Laher F, Otwombe K, Churchyard G, Bekker LG, DeRosa S, Nchabeleng M, Mlisana K, Kublin J, Gray G. Predictors of HVTN 503 MRK-AD5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef vaccine induced immune responses. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 4;9(8):e103446. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103446. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25090110; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4121165.

Dr Hilary Mukudu, Class of 2014

2 Pubmed-listed publications so far; his first first-author publication was written with the Publications Coaching Programme: Mukudu H, Otwombe K, Laher F, Lazarus E, Manentsa M, Lebina L, Mapulanga V Bowa K, Martinson N. A Cross Sectional Study of the Prevalence of Preputial and Penile Scrotal Abnormalities among Clients Undergoing Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Soweto, South Africa. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 2;11(6):e0156265. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156265. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27253372; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4890756.

Dr Jesne Kistan, Class of 2015

2 Pubmed-listed publications so far; her publication with the Publications Coaching Programme was Kistan J, Laher F, Otwombe K, Panchia R, Mawaka N, Lebina L, Diacon A, Kana B, Martinson N. Pulmonary TB: varying radiological presentations in individuals with HIV in Soweto, South Africa. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Mar 1;111(3):132-136. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trx028. PubMed PMID: 28633335.

Sakhile Mhlongo, Class of 2012

2 Pubmed-listed publications so far; his publication written with the Publications Coaching Programme was Mhlongo S, Dietrich J, Otwombe KN, Robertson G, Coates TJ, Gray G. Factors associated with not testing for HIV and consistent condom use among men in Soweto, South Africa. PLoS One. 2013 May 16;8(5):e62637. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062637. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23696786; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3656000.