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337 Receive PhD Masters and Postdoctoral Sida Scholarships

H.E. Ambassador Urban Andersson, DVCFA-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Director RGT-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, with Officials and Recipients at the Scholarships Award Ceremony, 10th February 2016, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Thanks to the new Swedish Government-Makerere University Agreement, 337 Ugandan university staff will receive PhD, Masters and Postdoctoral Scholarships through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Phase 2015-2020. 167 awardees who were selected for the first intake could not hide their excitement as H.E Urban Andersson, Swedish Ambassador to Uganda officially handed over the Awards on Wednesday 10th February 2016.

Funding to the tune of SEK 275 million has been approved to support capacity building for four other public universities i.e. Gulu, Busitema, Kyambogo and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) as well as research collaboration between Makerere University and Swedish partner universities. Present at the award ceremony were Prof. Celestino Obua-Vice Chancellor MUST, Mr. Johnson Oluga-Representing Prof. Eli Katunguka-Rwakishaya, Vice Chancellor Kyambogo University, and Dr. Samuel Baker Kucel-Representing Prof. Mary Okwakol, Vice Chancellor Busitema University among other Sida officials and Public Universities’ staff.

H.E. Amb. Urban Andersson (L) is received upon arrival at Makerere University by VC-Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu (R) and Director RGT-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza (C)In his opening remarks, the Director of Research and Graduate Training (RGT) and Overall Coordinator of the Sida Program, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza thanked H.E. Amb. Urban Andersson and the Royal Government of Sweden for support that has led to tremendous growth of the research and innovations function at Makerere University.

“The new agreement will entail academic graduate training of 125 PhD students, 147 MA students, and 65 Postdoctoral fellows, divided between the five public universities. Our deliberate strategy to invest in graduate training is based on the common knowledge that about half the research in the world is carried out by graduate students,” Prof. Buyinza said.

In his remarks the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu acknowledged that Sida support had greatly improved the research culture of Makerere University.

“A number of staff members are writing proposals and competing for funding from various sources. Proposals are now being funded especially in the areas of health, engineering, veterinary science, agriculture and social sciences,” said Prof. Nawangwe, further adding “Publications have greatly increased and as you may be aware, a recent study placed Makerere University in the 3rd position in Africa in terms of Research output. This achievement is partly due to the support from Sida.”

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) witnesses as H.E. Urban Andersson (2nd L) hands an Award to a recipient Dr. Kamoga Ronald-Assistant Lecturer, MUST, 10th February 2016, Makerere UniversityProf. Nawangwe further thanked the Swedish Government for supporting not only research but also library services, whose impact is felt beyond the physical walls, thanks to digitization of content and 24hour access to electronic materials. Sida support has also greatly improved access by both staff and students to internet services throughout the university

Ambassador Andersson could not hide his own excitement as he began his remarks at the award ceremony. He noted that whereas 325 academic staff had been trained since the Sida program’s inception at Makerere in the year 2000, the quest to train 337 staff within the next 5years was news worth celebrating.
“The US$ 65million that the Swedish State has supported Ugandan research collaboration with in the past 15 years have led to many exciting results. Your predecessors have worked hard… Now you will carry the torch forward,” encouraged His Excellency the Ambassador.  

Ambassador Andersson further took note of; training most of the PhD students at Makerere and the multidisciplinary approach as two major shifts in the new agreement period that will set the precedent for future collaboration. 105 out of the 125 PhD students will undertake their training at Makerere University with the remaining 20 students set to receive their training via the sandwich program between Makerere University and her Swedish counterparts. He commended Makerere University upon building sufficient capacity to train the majority of the PhDs locally, noting that this is a remarkable improvement from when the program started in the year 2000.

H.E. Ambassador Urban Andersson, DVCFA-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Director RGT-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, with Vice Chancellors, Principal Investigators and Sida Officials after the Scholarships Award Ceremony, 10th February 2016, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

A total of eleven projects and their respective principal investigators were awarded scholarships under multidisciplinary research teams. These include: Strengthening Social Science Research for National Development-Dr. Andrew Ellias State; Capacity Building in Mathematics and Its Applications-Dr. John Mango; Building Research Capacity in Innovative ICT for Development for Socio-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, Director Researh and Graduate Training (RGT) and Overall Coordinator of the Sida Programeconomic Growth in Uganda-Dr. Engineer Bainomugisha; Training for sustainable spatially enabled e-services delivery in Uganda-Dr. Gilbert Maiga; Partnership for Building Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods to Climate Change and Disaster-Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze; and Empowerment for Research Capacity in Knowledge and Information Production and Sharing for Socio- economic Development in Uganda-Dr. George William Kiyingi.

Others are: Innovating health systems and healthcare delivery in rural Uganda: towards building critical capacity to tackle the rising Type 2 Diabetes challenge-Dr. David Guwatudde; Innovations for accelerating reduction in maternal, newborn and child mortality in post conflict Uganda-Prof. James Tumwine; Towards better treatment of infectious diseases in children in rural Uganda. Better diagnostics and algorithms for increased quality of care, rational use of medicines and minimized antimicrobial resistance-Prof. Celestino Obua; Information Support for Quality Higher Education and Research in Uganda-Dr. Hellen Byamugisha and Building Research and Training capacities to develop innovations in sustainable intensification of maize–based cropping systems for improving productivity, food security and resilience to climate change in Uganda-Dr. Herbert Talwana.

Article by Public Relations Office

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