This series of events can become a vicious cycle in which labs that don’t get much funding to do preliminary work don’t feel confident about submitting the results for international publication, which can inhibit the lab’s ability to get more funding. As Korbel puts it: “Both my mentees complained about the fact that they and their labs find it difficult to attract sufficient or any funding for their research, mainly because they are not viewed as internationally competitive.”
Despite these frustrations, Korbel says he has found his participation rewarding. “I have a strong desire to support more junior researchers and the research-into-policy process in low- and middle-income countries, and I realized that the AuthorAID scheme would be a good way for me to contribute.”
Although quantifying the value of the program can be challenging, speaking with volunteers and members made it clear that this type of international outreach is worth it for the participants.
Sarah Crespi (email@example.com) is a multimedia communications specialist at ASBMB.