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Makerere Orients Cohort VI Students Under MaRCCI Program



  • Academicians, breeders and administrators inspire students
  • Over 40 MaRCCI sponsored and private PhDs and MSc Students took part.

Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has started orientation of Cohort VI students under the Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) Program.
On Monday, 10th September 2018, over 40 MSc. Plant Breeding and Seed Systems and PhD Plant Breeding students admitted from across the continent converged at the Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute (MUARIK) for the three day orientation program.

MSc Students admitted under MaRCCI Program Cohort VI pose for a group photo with CAES and MaRCCI Staff
The function, slated to end on 13th September 2018 attracted prominent academicians from within and outside Uganda, plant breeders and technicians, administrative staff, security and Local Council officials among others
Cohort VI is composed of 40 students from different countries including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Most are sponsored under MaRCCI while others are privately sponsored.

Student orientation programs are designed to integrate the newly admitted first-year students into the academic, cultural, and social climate of the University.

A section of firs-year students listens to the proceedings during the orientation ceremony

The orientation provides students with attitudes, knowledge, skills and opportunities that will assist them in making a smooth transition to university or college community thereby allowing them to become engaged and productive community members.

The Director MaRCCI Dr. Richard Edema while addressing the new students stressed that the orientation is part of the culture of Makerere University where admitted students are started on the right footing for them to understand how things are done on top of introducing foreign ones to the country.

“When we do that right, we set students on the right path so that they can plan and organise their life well which increases their success rate, focus and completing on time,

Director MaRCCI-Dr. Richard Edema (L) flanked by Prof. Albert Kiteka (R) addresses the students

This new cohort with over 50% students being foreign from 13 countries across East, West, North and South, makes the program a pan-African project, “he said.   
He explained that out of 200 applicants from all over Africa, only forty (40) were considered competitively.

Edema defended the fact that students have started a bit late saying that international students always need time allowance for proper preparation.
“We gave them three weeks because they hold jobs that make it hard for whoever is admitted to report immediately, given the fact that they need to prepare for travels, “he said.

He gave an example of Rwanda where a student has to get approval from his or her immediate boss, Director of Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the President’s office, which necessitates more time.

Female PhD Students admitted under Cohort VI of the MaRCCI Program

“We need to factor this back into the Makerere system whereby the more we internationalize our programs, the more we need to give space and time to international students because they are special to us, “said Edema.
He expressed happiness about the big number of female applicants who successfully competed against their male counterparts, saying this reduced the need for affirmative action.

“These energized us because we treat our females very well; when they come with their babies we give them the appropriate accommodation, we pay for the air ticket for the babies to come in addition to the mother, insure everybody, in that even when they want to deliver they can do so in the best hospitals like IHK and Nakasero Hospital, “he added.

Male PhD Students admitted under Cohort VI of the MaRCCI Program

He applauded the students for turning up for the long awaited orientation. “We are happy to report to the Vice Chancellor, the College Principal, Dean and the heads of department who have been very supportive in selecting the students in a timely manner that we are ready to kick start the process of paying tuition, “he said.

Edema challenged the students to concentrate, saying they benefited from a premier program which is admired by many people not only in Uganda but across Africa and the world.

“Enjoy the study and become scientists of the future that will help feed this continent and the world, this program can make the dreams of Africa come true, “he said.

Female MSc. Students admitted under Cohort VI of the MaRCCI Program

The students, he said, will undertake key course units like molecular biology, statistics, genetics, social research methods, and population genetics among others, which demonstrate how resistant or nutritious plants can be produced.
Speaking on the need for plant breeders to rise to the challenge of feeding Africa and the world, MaRCCI Deputy Center Director Prof. Paul Gibson said most of the undernourished population resides in Africa hence the need for the continent to produce better cultivars.
Prof. Gibson noted that the World population is estimated to hit more than 9 billion by 2050 with increased meat consumption in emerging economies as the standard of living increases, and yet there is no appreciable change in available crop land, globally worsened by falling water tables and risks in crop production associated with climate change.

Male MSc. students admitted under Cohort VI of the MaRCCI Program
Gibson said global crop yields must double by 2050 to meet the projected demand for food while crop production in Africa needs to double between now (2018) and 2035
Prof. Gibson reported that the World outside Africa needs increased Food Production in Africa because of hunger and poverty that lead to political instability. He enumerated other factors such as Humanitarian concerns; Rising world population; Middle-income countries demanding more food, more meat, more dairy products; Land loss to non-agricultural uses and land degradation as reasons for Africa to boost its food production.
“Extremely high production levels of some major producers are unsustainable because of reduced availability, rising cost of inputs, environmental concerns and ecological factors or climate change”, stated the Deputy Director, adding that:

Deputy Director MaRCCI-Prof. Paul Gibson shared the Program's vision, mission and strategy
“MaRCCI’s vision is to see the African continent free from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty while our Mission is to contribute to a secure and sustainable future of Africa’s food supply and income generation by encouraging the development of improved varieties.”
He said the MaRCCI strategy entails the provision of effective training, research, and outreach that produce applied knowledge and plant breeders who use the most current approaches to rapidly develop and deploy improved crop varieties that meet stakeholders’ needs and preferences across the region.
He outlined the three pillars of the MaRCCI Program namely; Graduate training in MSc and PhD in Plant Breeding; Research on cowpea and sorghum breeding for drought prone areas, serving as models of modernizing and optimizing breeding pipelines.

Paul, a Ugandan admitted under the MaRCCI PhD Program (foreground) and other students (background) listen to proceedings
The third pillar he said focuses on; Trainings for Skill Enhancement  for  practicing Scientists and Technicians in Breeding program design, pipeline optimization, management,  Biotech/bioinformatics, Seed testing , Experimental design and analysis, Scientific Writing, Electronic data acquisition and management and, Soft skills like leadership/teamwork, communication, critical thinking.
He further explained that the program is expected to produce graduates who have the scientific and practical skills to manage an effective crop improvement program, developed critical thinking and creative problem solving skills sufficient to understand and apply continuing developments in crop breeding approaches.
The expectation from graduates according to the Deputy Director include having sufficient academic background to successfully undertake a PhD at a world class institution, developed broad and strong linkages with other plant breeders in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and beyond and  being strongly motivated to contribute to the agricultural development of their own country and SSA.

Some of the MaRCCI Administrative Staff who attended the orientation
Prof. Gibson gave an overview of MaRCCI’s history saying it begun in 2008 as Makerere University’s regional PhD and MSc. programme for plant breeders, initiated by RUFORUM to produce Fit-for-Service graduates to meet development needs of the region and Competency-based curriculum based on wide stakeholder input.
Since that time, Gibson noted that the program has been strengthened through expertise available in the region and beyond and was designated a World Bank African Center of Excellence in 2016.
“Virtually all graduates are employed in national crop improvement in their home countries or regional centers.

CAES Registrar-Mr. Edward Obura tipped the students on academic requirements
PhD graduates have become Deans, Heads of Departments. Heads of significant research programs while MSc. graduates have excelled in international-caliber PhD programs.
All graduates have been highly successful and strongly commended in their places of work,” Prof. Gibson explained
Gibson also said this year’s cohort has attracted students from across Africa totaling to 19 PhD’s (15 New, 4 from 2017) and 28 MScs (24 New, 4 from 2017)
He added that MaRCCI Objectives as stated in the ACE 2 Project is to train 70 graduate students from across Africa, Provide in-service training courses targeting a variety of clientele who contribute to crop production needs in the region, Improve curriculum and delivery of MSc and PhD courses and programs, including incorporating material cooperatively developed under the Plant Breeding e-Learning in Africa (PBEA) project and obtain international accreditation for the PhD and MSc programs.

Assistant Registrar School of Agricultural Sciences Ms. Hilda Makune (R) flanked by Dr. Richard Edema (L) addresses the students

The centre is also expected to: Conduct research relevant to improving varieties for the region; Develop Cowpea and Sorghum improvement programs to serve the needs of farmers and end-users while exemplifying “state-of the art” “best-practices” in plant breeding and involving students in these activities; Improve infrastructure that support MaRCCI (classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, seed storage, office and housing facilities) and Improve efficiency and management of MaRCCI programs by employing additional administrative and teaching personnel.

By 2022, the professor reported that MaRCCI is expected to have enrolled 35 PhD students (15 of these females) and 60 MSc students (25 of them females).
The centre is also expected to have an output of 90 publications in internationally recognized research publications in disciplines supported by the ACE program and regional co-authors and externally generated revenue of US$ 3 million.

College Finance Team Leader Mrs. Vianney Baguma speaking to students
The Professor told students that plant breeding is all about the art and science of developing genotypes of plants that better serve the needs of man. He underscored the role of motivation for any successful plant breeder for improved livelihoods citing the bible in Isaiah 58:10-11.
“To really have an impact, you must be highly motivated.
Desire for money and success is not enough to make you a successful scientist that has a real contribution to reducing hunger and poverty.
We must be motivated by something greater and much bigger than ourselves,” The Professor advised.
Prof. Albert Kiteka, a visiting scientist from Zimbabwe who is at Makerere to serve as an instructor emphasised passion as the key to becoming a successful plant breeder. He shared that plant breeding does not happen in one day but takes either one or more than two years which calls for personal commitment to see the product.

MaRCCI plant breeding Instructor-Prof. Albert Kiteka stressed the need for students to be passionate
He expressed optimism that the students have the talent and energy to take the world where it should be and everyone was looking up to them to succed.
“In a population of one million people we need 100 scientists. In Africa the number of scientists is far below that average expectation.
The world is driven by technology and this is the foundation of development and plant breeders need this”, Kiteka said.
He expressed happiness over working with MaRCCI saying, he looks forward to giving the best of his knowledge and experience to meet the students expectations.

MUARIK LC1 Chairperson and Librarian Ssalongo Frank welcomed students to the Kabanyolo community
Speaker after speaker including; the College Registrar Mr. Edward Obura, the College Accountant Mrs. Vianney Baguma, Assistant Registrar School of Agricultural Sciences Ms. Hilda Makune, and the LC 1 Chairperson Ssalongo Frank oriented the students into university system.
Students were addressed on number aspects including university policies, general conduct, academics, discipline, security, finance management, health and social aspects among others.

Students were informed about the university processes, requirements and rules for registration as key essentials for recognition of students in the university, fees payment, library access, pass marks and penalties for non compliance with the academic conduct which include suspension and dismissal from the university.

The new students were also cautioned against anti-social behaviour including drunkenness, fighting, involvement in strikes, disrespect of fellow students and staff and to be mindful of their personal and property security.

Story compiled by;
Jane Anyango  and Agnes Nankebe Nantambi;
CAES Communication Office

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Makerere University Hospital iTECH Project Positions: Data Manager, Data Officer & Study Nurse



One of the buildings at the Makerere University Hospital that houses the Temporal Bone Laboratory. Kampala Uganda. East Africa.

Makerere University Hospital seeks to recruit suitable candidates for the following positions; Data Manager, Data Officer and a Study nurse. Makerere University Hospital received funding from Wellcome Leap, In Utero Program to support implementation of the “Stillbirth in High Burden Settings: Ample Room for Improvement Using Biomarkers and Ultrasound Technologies” (iTECH) project. The iTECH project aims to develop novel clinical tools for use to diagnose and manage high-risk pregnant women and reduce the burden of stillbirths in Uganda, sub-Saharan Africa, and globally.

Available Position: Data Manager (01)

Duty Station: Kampala
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Project Manager

Job Summary:

The Data Manager will oversee the development and implementation of strong data management. He/she will implement efficient ways to collate, organize, store and analyze data with attention to security and confidentiality.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in the creation and enforcement of policies and guidelines for effective data management.
  • Alongside the QA and QC manager, facilitate site level data quality assessment, auditing and verification for improvement.
  • Participate in the collection, cleaning, validation and maintenance of high-quality research data.
  • Use a variety of advanced statistical software, methods, and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret research data to derive useful information for research data;
  • Advise and assists in the development of inferences and conclusions, as appropriate.
  • Write and execute statistical methods and analysis sections of protocols, reports and peer-reviewed publications
  • Design templates and develop specifications for status reports, analysis tables, graphs, and data listings for use in research publications and ad hoc reporting.
  • Participate in the process of data sharing with project team and external stakeholders.
  • Assist with reports and data extraction when needed from the integrated database in order to track recruitment and retention of study participants.
  • Monitor and analyze information and data systems and evaluate their performance to discover ways of enhancing them (new technologies, upgrades etc.)
  • Troubleshoot data-related problems and authorize maintenance or modifications.
  • Participate in the review of the data management plan, maintain the data management plan throughout lifecycle of projects and ensure data management plan is followed according to iTECH project data requirements/needs.
  • Maintenance of study database with regular feedback on occurrences and how these were rectified.
  • Assist in defining and/or create data listings, summary table validation, data specifications and/or process data transfers in preparation for statistical review and/or data management audit.
  • Coordinate the archiving of databases and related documents. Verify data in accordance with the study data management standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Respond to requests for standard reports as required in a timely manner.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • MUST have a Master’s degree in Biostatistics or Statistics or Clinical Epidemiology or Statistical Epidemiology or related field, with significant experience in Medical Sciences or public health research and data analysis.
  • MUST have a strong understanding of databases and data analysis
  • Good analytical thinking and ability to interpret epidemiological data
  • At least one year of progressive experience in data management including designing databases, data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Knowledge of common Statistical analysis and database management packages including STATA, R, SPSS, Redcap, Open Data Kit (ODK)
  • Up-to-date training in Good Clinical Practice and Human Subjects protection Research.
  • Should be dynamic and flexible to deliver on strict program deadlines
  • Possess excellent troubleshooting skills.
  • Able to work under pressure

Available Positions: Data Officer (02)

Duty Station: Hoima and Kampala
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Site Manager/ Data Manager.

Job Summary:

The data officer will provide ongoing technical assistance to the project and facility team in recording and management of project-related data in line with the study guidelines.

She/he will also assist the Data Manager in the entry, cleaning and analysis of data captured by the study database.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure weekly back up of study data including ultrasound, maternal hemodynamics, laboratory, placenta histology and routine clinical data.
  • Support with study data entry.
  • Help the site teams to project participant recruitment and follow-up numbers together with the data manager.
  • Handle labelling of study participant forms including study informed consent forms and lab request forms by assigning study IDs
  • Perform labelling of ultrasound and maternal hemodynamic profiles, and any other data as guided by the line supervisor
  • Perform data export from the study equipment at the sites.
  • Help with participant tracking for follow up study visits and deliveries
  • Support the site study team in the timely compilation of daily, weekly and monthly study reports
  • Any other duties as may reasonably be assigned by the data manager and project manager

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • The applicant must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology/ Computer science.
  • Experience in medical data management is an added advantage.
  • Should be dynamic and flexible to deliver on strict program timelines
  • Understands client confidentiality and exhibits a high level of ethical conduct
  • Has basic computer literacy including word processing, excel, internet and PowerPoint.
  • Highly organised and pays attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team
  • Should have analytical abilities
  • Good communication skills

Available Position: Study nurse (01)

Duty Station: Hoima
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Site Manager and Project Manager

Job summary:

The Study nurse will be responsible for recruitment of study participants and administering of required study related procedures to these participants.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in protocol, standard operating procedures (SOPs) or any other study trainings
  • Participate in study site entry visits and engage with management of study participants. These include but not limited to patient enrolment, as guided by the protocol.
  • Obtain written informed consent for those eligible and are willing to participate in the study
  • Administer all study procedures like sample collection, data collection and entry, patient follow-up and treatment to patients recruited into the study as guided by the protocol and in accordance to set standards of Good Clinical Practice
  • Perform patient safety monitoring for any adverse events, offer care and referral as needed
  • Provide counselling and pyscho-social support to study participants where needed
  • Conduct assessment of maternal hemodynamics and maternal hemodynamics data collection under guidance of coordinator.
  • Perform first-level quality assurance and quality control (QA / QC) to ensure all fields in the consent forms and case report forms (CRFs) are complete and accurate
  • Offer support to the community health workers and research assistants for the follow- up of study participants.
  • Assist in generating study progress reports as needed
  • Perform any other duties assigned by the Operations Research officer, Project Manager and principal Investigator, as deemed necessary for study activities

Required Qualifications, experience, skills and attributes:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor in Nursing from a recognized institution.
  • Currently registered with the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council and an up-to-date Practicing License.
  • Up-to-date training in Good Clinical Practice and Human Subjects Protection Research.
  • Previous experience with working in a research environment will be an added advantage
  • Ability to speak the indigenous languages spoken in the western region will be an added advantage

How to apply:

All applications must be submitted to the email: before Friday 4th March 2024 at 5:00PM

Additional Information

  1. The subject line of your email should be: “Application- (indicate the position) – iTECH Project
  2. Submit your application (1-page cover letter, 3 pages resume including two referees, and relevant supporting documents) as ONE PDF
  3. PDF’s exceeding 5MBs will be considered ineligible.
  4. Submission of incomplete or inaccurate documents will render the applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening.
  5. Applications cannot be amended following submission.
  6. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.
  7. The interviews will be held on 11th March 2024.

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Team of 12 Students from Tottori at Makerere on a 3-Week Exchange Programme



Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Centre in necktie) with Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Left), staff from the International Office and some of the twelve exchange students from Tottori University during the meeting on 19th February 2024. Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Makerere University International Office has this morning, 19th February 2024 hosted a team of 12 students from Tottori University, Japan, who are on a 3-week exchange programme at Makerere University and specifically, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB).

While receiving the team, the Manager International Office, Mr. Ochwo Gerald, welcomed the students and thanked Dr. Emi Kaburagi, from the Center for International Affairs for her continued support in the coordination and planning of the exchange programme. Additionally, he took a moment to share the unique journey of Makerere over its first 100 years and specifically highlighted the University’s breakthrough in medical research that has seen the discovery of nevirapine, a drug used to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child during birth.

Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Left) receives an assortment of souvenirs from Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Right). Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Left) receives an assortment of souvenirs from Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Right).

“As one of the leading institutions in research and global medicine, Makerere University’s major breakthroughs over the years have been the discovery of Nevirapine, and the electric car code-named Kiira EV. Today, the Government of Uganda in collaboration with Makerere University, has established a car manufacturing plant in Jinja, and the commuter buses produced now ply the streets of Kampala our Capital City” said Mr. Ochwo.

Dr. Emi Kaburagi in her remarks thanked Makerere University for accepting to host Tottori students and shared that the number of those seeking admission into this exchange programme has drastically increased over the years.

Students from Makerere join the group photo with peers from Tottori University. Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Students from Makerere join the group photo with peers from Tottori University.

As hosts, Makerere University is committed to ensuring that the exchange students’ visit is not only productive but also comfortable and culturally enriching. Furthermore we are highly optimistic that the students will have a pleasant stay, confident that this exchange will foster mutual understanding and deeper collaboration between our two institutions.

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Advert: Position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor



The Main Building, Makerere University against an almost clear blue sky. Date taken 15th March 2013, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University is governed by the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001 (as amended). The University is seeking applications from suitably qualified applicants for the position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor.




The Second Deputy Vice Chancellor will report to the Vice Chancellor and shall:

  1. Assist the Vice Chancellor in performance of his or her functions and in that regard shall oversee the finances and administration of the University;
  2. Be responsible for the Planning and Development of the University and;
  3. Perform such other functions that may be delegated to him or her by the Vice Chancellor or assigned by the University Council.


Interested applicants are invited to submit their application letters together with the following:

  1. Curriculum Vitae with contact details signed and dated by the candidate;
  2. A motivation letter not exceeding 1,000 words about the candidate’s vision for a competitive university in the 21st century.
  3. Certified copies of academic transcripts and certificates.
  4. A copy of National Identity Card.
  5. Names and addresses of three (3) referees with their contacts.
  6. The referees should be advised to send confidential reference letters, addressed to the Chairperson Search Committee for the Position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor and delivered directly to the address below by 5:00 pm on 11th March 2024.
  7. The references should cover the following areas: the applicant’s academic credential, experience, leadership, managerial and administrative skills and personal integrity.

Both hard copy and electronic mail (Email) applications shall be accepted.

  1. Hard copy applications: Both confidential letters and sealed applications marked “CONFIDENTIAL: POSITION OF SECOND DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR” should be addressed to:


  1. Electronic media (E-mail) applications should have all the above documents scanned and emailed to by 5:00 pm East African Standard Time on 11th March 2024.

Please note that:

  1. Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing time will not be considered.
  2. Only shortlisted applicants shall be contacted.

For more information and inquiries: Visit our website OR email us on OR Call Telephone number: +256-414-532634 during working hours (between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday).


Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (PhD)

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