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Makerere unveils Shs30bn government research and innovations fund

Makerere Research and Innovations Fund
The Acting Principal of College of Humanaities and Social SciencesDr Josephine Ahikire interacting with the committee. Image credit: mak website

Makerere University has announced its work plan of rolling out and management of the Government Research and Innovations Fund for the financial year 2019/2020.

This was at the Sensitization meeting held on 23rd August 2019 in the University Main Hall.

The meeting was attended by Management, Heads of Academic and Administrative Units as well as researchers and Ph.D. students.

Makerere University received special funding worth Sh30 billion (equivalent to US$ 8,100,000) from the Government of Uganda under the Research and Innovations Fund (RIF); to support high impact Research and Innovations.

This unique initiative was a climax of strategic meetings and continuous engagements involving Makerere University Management and the Government of Uganda.

The Chairperson of the Grants Management Committee (GMC) who is also the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. William Bazeyo re-affirmed to the Makerere University community that the Government had committed Shs30 billion of which Shs15bn has been disbursed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and is already on the Makerere University Account.

According to Prof. Bazeyo, the money will be directed towards increasing the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda.

The Research and Innovations Fund is aimed at complementing available research funding to address unfunded priorities critical to accelerating development across different sectors of the economy in Uganda.

“To ensure continuity, the Government has committed to providing this funding for at least three Financial Years. Available funds are obligated to be spent within the current Financial Year, with actionable results that speak to national priorities,” he said.

He congratulated Makerere University Council, Management, staff, and students upon this big achievement. He urged researchers and innovators to fully utilize the grant to develop research and innovation initiatives with the aim of transforming societies.

Prof. Bazeyo recognized the support from the government of Uganda and the Ministry of Education and Sports towards improving the Makerere University research.

He thanked the University Council and Management for ensuring that the Grant is secured.

A multi-sectoral Grants Management Committee (GMC) to guide the implementation of all the Research and Innovations Fund activities was appointed by Makerere University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in consultation with all the Colleges.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) will be chaired by Prof William Bazeyo, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance & Administration and the other members include;

INDIVIDUAL POSITION
Dr. Umar Kakumba Member
Mr. Yusuf Kiranda Member
Dr. Betty Ezati Member
Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala Member
Dr. John Mutenyo Member
Dr. Josephine Nabukenya Member
Prof. Moses Joloba Member
Prof. David Serwadda Member
Dr. Frank Mwiine Member
Dr. Isa Kabenge Member
Dr. Sabrina Kitakka Member
Dr. Charles Masembe Member
Dr. Robinah Kulabako Member
Dr. Robert Wamala Member
Dr. Roy Mayega Member

The Grants Management Committee, therefore, plans to source, vet, select and issue grants to teams that demonstrate a clear link to Government and its implementing partners’ key development research gaps.

The grant implementation will be in a phased approach.

For the present round (Round 1), applications were opened on Monday 26th August 2019. Submission of applications is being done via an online platform: https://rif.mak.ac.ug.

The Grants Committee will not consider applications submitted by any other means. Applicants are therefore advised to prepare their submissions on-time. If an applicant experiences any challenges in the submission process, they should send an email to [email protected].

Who is eligible for the grant?

According to the Assistant Secretary to the Committee and Grants Coordinator Dr. Roy William Mayega, the Research and Innovations Grant targets researchers and innovators from Makerere University.

This includes Makerere University appointed academic staff (Assistant Lecturers, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors) and research staff who hold a valid and current appointment (research fellows and senior research fellows).

“Academic staff from all academic colleges of Makerere University are eligible to apply as well as senior staff from the administrative units such as Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training,” he said.

In a presentation, Dr Mayega highlighted that individual researchers or research teams will be required to have a letter of support from the Head of the Department under which the lead researcher is tenured.

He also mentioned that researchers from other institutions of higher learning are not eligible to apply as principal investigators. However, they can be included as co-investigators or resource persons.

In such cases, their role on the team in terms of the expertise they add ought to be clearly articulated.

“Government Research Grants target staff and not students. Students’ research proposals will therefore not be funded under these grants. However, students may be part of a research team. Collaboration with research personnel with a minimum of a master’s degree from civil society organizations, independent research institutions, business and industry is encouraged,” he emphasized.

To be eligible for funding therefore, a research team should meet the following criteria:

– The Principal Investigator (PI) should be an academic or research staff of Makerere University on a permanent or full-time contract or a senior staff member from one of the administrative units linked to research (Library, Gender Mainstreaming, Quality Assurance, and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT))

– The PI should be active in service (not on study leave or sabbatical leave)

– The PI should obtain a letter of support from his/her department/school or College (any one of the three)

– The PI should attach a copy of his/her appointment letter or most-recent letter of promotion issued by the Directorate of Human Resource of Makerere University

– A researcher cannot be a PI on more than one application but it is allowable for a person to be on multiple applying teams

– Researchers from Makerere University are encouraged to collaborate with resource persons from civil society organizations, government sectors, other universities within Uganda, independent research institutions, business and industry as part of their teams; in such cases, the external team members will provide a letter of support from their institution to be included as an attachment

Follow the link provided below to access the Research and Innovations Fund website;

http://rif.mak.ac.ug/application

Article by Mak Public Relations Office

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