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Sixth Call for Proposals of the RUFORUM Graduate Research Grants

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Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) announces the Sixth Call for Proposals of the RUFORUM Graduate Research Grants (GRG). Twenty six (26) projects will be selected for funding. The purpose of the Call is to support capacity building at graduate level and to link universities more closely with rural communities and with research, extension and development agencies. For further information please refer to the Competitive Grants Manual(http://repository.ruforum.org/documents/ruforum-competitive-grants-system-manual). The CGS Manual provides guidelines and other details on how to respond to Calls for proposals.
This is an open call for GRG participatory action research project proposals that are in line with the broad thematic area “Innovation for sustainable crop systems and/or livestock systems within value chains that improve smallholder incomes”. The proposals must show that they meet identified demand and research gaps within a selected value chain. Research that addresses key constraints within a commodity value chain will also be considered so long as the proposal clearly shows link to increasing agricultural productivity, nutrition, bio-fortification, postharvest handling and health of smallholder farming households. The lead applicant must be from a fully-paid up, eligible RUFORUM Member University. The funding for this Call excludes some of our members1. Universities not eligible for the award of grants are encouraged to participate by twinning with eligible member institutions.

TIME FRAME for Call ID RU/CGS/GRG/21/07/14

1. Deadline for Proposal submission to RUFORUM Secretariat by 12 February 2015
2. Compliance Review finalized and External Review returned by 15 April 2015
4. Secretariat to compile proposals for review by Technical Committee by 30th April, 2015
5. Technical Committee meeting to be held 4 – 5th May 2015
6. Results from the selection will be communicated to applicants by end of June 2015.

The following RUFORUM member universities are not eligible, because of funder restrictions to respond to this call: Africa University, Catholic University of Mozambique, Ndejje University, Universite’ Catholique de Bukavu, University of Gezira, Kordofan University, Uganda Christian University and Uganda Martyrs University.

THE RUFORUM GRADUATE RESEARCH GRANT (GRG) AWARD PROCESS SUMMARY OF GENERAL INFORMATION
For the preparation of submissions, all applicants should refer to the Competitive Grants System Manual (www.ruforum.org) and the Graduate Environmental and Agricultural Research guide (GEAR) http://repository.ruforum.org/documents/graduate-environmental-and-agricultural-research-gear-guide-effective-and-relevant

Calls for Proposals

Calls for proposals are posted on the RUFORUM website (www.ruforum.org) but are also sent via email to all the member universities. For the preparation of submissions all Applicants should refer to the Competitive Grants Manual and to GEAR
NON COMPLIANCE WITH THE GUIDELINES IN THE COMPETITIVE GRANTS MANUAL WILL LEAD TO DISQUALIFICATION.
Proposal submission
1. The grants are for up to a maximum of US$65,000 over 2 years with full funding for at least 2 M.Sc students in each project (and should include 4 undergraduate interns acting as their research assistants during one vacation). Pre-proposal (preparatory) grants are not funded.
2. The grants are to support mainly participatory action research and training of MSc students.
3. Each grant will have one Principal Investigator working in collaboration with other department/faculty/university members, partner institutions and the two graduate students who will form the core focus of the research.
4. The RUFORUM Technical Committee is responsible for selecting proposals and approving the grants after an external review process. Members of the Technical Committee are not eligible to apply as Principal Investigators but may participate as co-researchers/ supervisors. Technical Committee members will not participate in deliberations while proposals from their own institutions are being tabled.
5. Under the GRG, up to a maximum institutional administrative support fee of 5% is allowed.

Eligibility and Compliance:

  • The Principal Investigators (PI) must be Ph.D holders (or in exceptional cases, a full Professor without PhD) on full time employment in any one of the eligible RUFORUM member universities (see list attached to this Call).
  • Applicants may not participate if they have pending accounting of RUFORUM funds or projects. Applicants who do not currently hold a RUFORUM Grant may be considered on priority basis.
  • Proposals must be received by 12 February 2015 to be considered for the eligible/compliance check.
  •  All applications must be channelled through their respective University offices (usually the Deans or Principals). The Dean/ Principal is required to provide a signed covering letter (scanned copy) indicating that the proposals have undergone internal review and received approval within their respective institutions.
  • The research should as much as possible be participatory and demonstrate its relevance and/or response to demand. It must have a monitoring and evaluation component and a dissemination strategy for the results of the research. These must all be specific to the particular issues being researched by the MSc students. The research activities for each of the students must be separately and clearly specified.
  • There must be partnerships with at least one other institution (-including faculties and/or departments in your university, local, regional or international research institutes).
  • Partners may include private universities, government departments, local and international research centres, NGOs, community or farmer organisations, private sector, and development agencies or other relevant institutions. Letters from each partner, indicating their role, must be submitted.
  • Only proposals that comply with the budget limit and duration of the project and are achievable within the time limit will be considered.
  • The proposal should be no more than 10 pages (A4, 12-point Times New Roman, single spaced with 1 inch (2.54cm) margins on either side) and follow the proposal writing guidelines contained within the CGS Manual.

Proposal review process

Prior to submission, the Dean at respective Member University will be expected to ensure that proposals go through an internal university review. It is mandatory for the Dean to endorse submissions and upon receipt all applications will be subjected to a compliance review, and only proposals that pass the compliance check will be forwarded for external review, and Technical Committee selection.

The Internal Review

To help to ensure high quality of the proposals put forward for funding, each proposal must be internally reviewed by the submitting Department or Faculty, normally through faculty peer review teams. The university will be held to account for the quality of proposals being submitted including issues of IPR (see RUFORUM IPR policy at www.ruforum.org).

Compliance

Submitted proposals will be screened by the RUFORUM Secretariat to ensure that they adhere to the compliance criteria provided above and the guidelines in the CGS Manual. Non-compliant proposals will be rejected. Compliant proposals will be sent out by the Secretariat for external review.

The External Review Process

All proposals will be reviewed by at least two, and usually three external reviewers.
Criteria for external reviewers evaluating proposals:
1. Overall project design and quality, including write-up
2. Appropriateness/relevance and contribution to RUFORUM objectives
3. Participatory action research for development and/or link to enhancing agricultural productivity, health and nutrition
4. Graduate students research activities clearly defined
5. Feasibility: can the M.Sc students achieve this in the time available and is it of the expected standard for the level
6. Good conceptual framework and clearly defined hypotheses
7. Clear identification of achievable research issues, objectives and research methods
8. Evidence of a good understanding of the literature, rationale for the particular project and the theoretical basis for the research
9. Evidence of good understanding of the applicable research approach and methodology
10. Contribution to scientific knowledge and methods
11. Clear, simple, monitoring and evaluation incorporated in the project
12. Clearly outlined and achievable dissemination activities articulated
RUFORUM relies on the professional expertise, experience and judgment of the reviewers. The emphasis for the reviewers is on the technical soundness of the proposal and its contribution to RUFORUM’s goal of producing relevant, high quality graduate students.
Reviewers should be objectively critical while at the same time offering suggestions for improving the proposals, even for those being recommended for major revision or rejection. An important component of the process is the learning and feedback received by all who participate.
The reviewers will classify the proposals into:
A. Accept as presented
B. Accept with minor revisions
C. Accept with major revision
D. Reject
Criteria for selection and ranking by Technical Committee
1. Good external reviews
2. Clear articulation of problem/hypotheses and evidence of quality approach to research
3. Realistic timeline and budgets and achievable objectives (not over-ambitious)
4. Clearly defined role of the graduate students and relationship with client groups, supervisors and partners
5. Participatory, action oriented research for rural development will be prioritised and any pure science enquiry will require strong justification
6. Alignment with RUFORUM goals and core values

  • Proposals that are gender sensitive in their approach with recognition and steps to promote women or marginalised groups will receive some preference
  • Proposals that are inter-discliplinary will receive some preference as will relevance, potential for subsequent internships, promoting sustainability and/or scaling up, and bringing new dimensions (value addition).
  •  Response to demand by farmers/rural communities/governments/civil society
  • Partnership and the effective integration of partners in the process

7. Evidence of systems for internal monitoring and evaluation of the ongoing research
8. Clear Results Framework and accountability to RUFORUM on expenditures and results
9. Clearly outlined and achievable dissemination plan.

Grants awarded

Grant letters are prepared for each approved proposal and sent to the relevant Vice Chancellor, with a copy to the Dean and the Principal Investigator. The grant award letter specifies the amount of the grant, purpose and responsibility of the university in monitoring the use of the grant funds and reporting requirements. Funds are only disbursed after full commitment through signature by the respective University Senior Official. Grants awarded are published in the RUFORUM News and are posted in the RUFORUM website (www.ruforum.org).

Student mentorship

The RUFORUM Graduate Research Grants (GRG) are a capacity building effort designed to respond to the RUFORUM Theory of Change and Mission “to strengthen the capacities of universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder farmers through training of quality researchers, impact-oriented research and maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers, national agricultural research institutions and governments”. The application should demonstrate capacity and commitment of the named co-investigators to mentor and supervise graduate students.

Proposal Submission

This Call will be sent to the Deans and Principals of respective Schools/Colleges at eligible Member Universities (and also to non-eligible universities for them to link with eligible universities). The Deans and Principals are requested to circulate to all lecturers in their Schools and Colleges. The Call will also be circulated through the RUFORUM website, other RUFORUM Partner websites such as AWARD & PAEPARD and through emails. All submissions will be made through an online application system. Details on the process of submission will be relayed to the respective Deans of Faculty at RUFORUM Member Universities by 12th January 2015 (that is one month prior to the deadline which is 12th February 2015)

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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