Global Surgical Training Challenge mentorship programme

The Global Surgical Training Challenge is an initiative which aims to stimulate the creation of low-cost training modules to help educate and train surgical practitioners in low and middle-income countries. The open-source modules created by teams participating in the Challenge will help surgical practitioners to learn and assess new skills to improve the health of their communities.

In 2021 Discovery Awards were granted to 10 low and middle-income countries led teams to support them in developing initial prototypes of their surgical modules and appropriate self-assessment frameworks. In 2022 four teams progressed to the finalist awards grant stage.

In January 2023, the Global Surgical Training Challenge announced that the $700,000 Grand Prize award goes to Team ALL-SAFE. Team Tibial Fracture Fixation (TFF), based in Nigeria, won the runner-up award, winning $300,000.

Based in Ethiopia with members in Cameroon, Kenya, and the United States, ALL-SAFE builds surgical self-training modules for laparoscopic skills. Team Tibial Fracture Fixation (TFF), based in Nigeria, builds modules using 3D printing to teach essential fracture management.

The teams were provided with access to a structured mentorship programme throughout the challenge, led by the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery in collaboration with the RCSI SIM Centre for Simulation Education and Research and supported by RCSI’s Department of Surgical Affairs, Department of Surgery and Health Professions Education Centre.


Through the mentorship programme, RCSI connected each team with a mentorship manager who worked closely with them to monitor progress, identify needs and adapt the mentorship programme as the projects evolved. The programme also provided access to a panel of subject matter experts as well as master classes and workshops in coordination with MIT Solve on topics ranging from technical aspects such as simulation and e-learning to soft skills coaching in project management and leadership.

The Challenge is funded by the Intuitive Foundation and also partners with Challenge Works (formerly known as Nesta Challenges), MIT Solve and Appropedia Foundation. Learn more about the mentorship programme on the Challenge website.

Global Surgical Training Challenge has ended and is succeeded by a new initiative SELF: The Surgical Education Learners Forum. More information to follow.

Watch a video featuring interviews with the mentorship managers, project leaders, runners-up and winners below:

Watch the video

The team

The mentorship team is comprised of six mentorship managers and 32 subject matter experts from across RCSI, as well as additional eight institutions.

RCSI project management is undertaken by:

Global Surgical Training Challenge