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Mak-Sida APM Ends: Senior Faculty Trained in Graduate Research Supervision and Mentorship

Front Row: The Director, DRGT-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd Right), Prof. Leif Abrahamsson-ISP Uppsala (2nd Left), Director QAD-Dr. Vincent Ssembatya (Right) and Therese Rantakokko-ISP (Left) with Senior Faculty that successfully completed training in Graduate Research Supervision and Mentorship, 15th April 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

On Friday, 12th April 2019, the weeklong Makerere University-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme Annual Research Planning Conference concluded with a certificate award ceremony to the first cohort of Senior Faculty trained in Graduate Supervision and Mentorship. The Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD), Makerere University together with Uppsala University Sweden conducted this first training.

I represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe at the closing ceremony where we took note of the milestones of our research cooperation which started in 2000 and will come to an end in 2020. The ceremony was held in the Quality Assurance Telepresence Centre, Makerere University.  

This being the last Planning Conference, we conducted a SWOT analysis and noted that the significant enhancement of academic sustainability at Mak has been a major achievement of the Swedish support. Over 250 staff have completed their PhD, Master and Postdoctoral training.

The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda (Centre), Swedish Ambassador to Uganda-H.E. Per Lindgärde (2nd R), Prof. Leif Abrahamsson (R), Dr. Gity Behravan (2nd L) and Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi at the Dinner hosted by the Ambassador at this residence on 8th April 2018, Kampala Uganda

We are optimistic that the sustainability/future of research at Mak will be secured through a multiple interventions including: Development of institutional systems and structures aimed at continued implementation of research capacity building activities; Creation of an enabling, harmonious and efficient environment for research and innovations; Maintenance of internal systems to improve research and publications culture; Revision of policies and guidelines to strengthen research management and coordination; Establishment of staff retention strategies; Supporting mechanisms to sustain the established collaborations; and Continued fundraising strategies and increased funding streams for research and innovations.

During the last four years of implementing the programme, we have noted that Makerere will only sustain the current momentum in the research arena if it mentors our early-career researchers during the five years following their PhD completion. We need to provide adequate research support leading to a well planned career progression from postdoctoral appointment to tenure, promotion and beyond. We need to attract, retain, develop, and promote our researchers.

In this regard, mentorship of early-career researchers by senior colleagues who have successfully navigated those transitions is critically important. To address this shortfall, we have taken a deliberate decision to develop our own research leaders from the existing stock of staff.

Article by Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Director DRGT

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