Research Capacity Building


Building research capacity across all health care professions involved in maternal health within Sierra Leone is an essential step in addressing the current high levels of maternal morbidity and mortality.

Opportunities for postgraduate studies have been limited and the number of experienced researchers focused on maternal health is small. This also means that educational and health institutions have been limited in their ability to form independent research groups who can lead large scale research into the issues which surround and directly affect them. As a result national and governmental organisations lack the evidence they need to drive decision making and improve maternal outcomes.


The aim is to develop research capacity across a range of disciplines at individual, institutional and national levels.

In this way we hope to:

  • Produce research evidence useful for reducing the burden of maternal morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone
  • Have an impact on practice and policy
  • Support research leadership
  • Develop research mentors
  • Build international networks of researchers for reciprocal learning
Dr Amadu Sesay (PCMH), Ms Mangenda Kamara (2YL) and Sister Nana Kamara (National School of Midwifery) undertaking online qualitative research course in April 2022.
Prof Samai opens the first study day for the Designing Clinical Research programme in March 2022
Group works discussing participants research ideas at second study day for Designing Clinical research in June 2022

Activities include:

  • Support for three PhD students from Sierra Leone and one PhD student from the UK
  • Support for four Sierra Leonean students to undertake the online MSc Public Health at King’s College London
  • Opportunities for learning through online courses, webinars and conferences
  • Designing Clinical Research programme – this aims to provide practical training and experience for those wishing to undertake maternal health research. This involves study days, practical exercises with individual feedback and a competitive opportunity to develop and undertake a research project, with seed funding and joint supervisory support by experienced researchers from Sierra Leone and King’s College London.
  • On-the-job learning for data collectors, research midwives and research assistants participating in CRIBS research projects
Participants at the second study for Designing Clinical Research


  • Prof Adetunji Adeniji (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PCMH)
  • Prof Andrew Shennan (King’s College London)
  • Prof Andrew Leather (King’s College London)
  • Prof Jane Sandall (King’s College London)
  • Dr Haja Wurie (COMAHS, University of Sierra Leone)
  • Dr Alex Ridout (King’s College London)
  • Dr Joan Shepherd (National School of Midwifery)
  • Ms Cristina Fernandez-Turienzo (King’s College London)
  • Ms Suzanne Thomas (Welbodi Partnership)
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