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Natural Sciences

Academia Encouraged to Take Lead in the National STI Ecosystem



The First National Policy Forum for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) ended with calls for academia in Uganda to take lead in the STI ecosystem by identifying talent, knowledge management as well as creation of links with industry to support innovations. This is based on the effective models witnessed across the world as associated with the universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford in the United States of America, and University of Cape Town in South Africa. It was reiterated that a better STI ecosystem will help catalyze national development for Uganda.

Makerere University through its College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) organized, hosted, and virtually held the 1st National Policy Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovations (STIs) Advancement for Development on the August 26th and 27th, 2021 under the theme “Positioning STI to address emerging threats to national development”. Makerere University deemed it strategic to initiate a national multi-stakeholder dialogue with an aim of contributing to the discourse on the role of STI in socio-economic transformation of the country even in the face of global and national challenges such as Covid–19. Assoc. Prof. Arthur Tugume, Head – Department of  Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology chaired the organizing team.

In the opening remarks delivered by the Deputy Vice Chancellor/ Academic Affairs, Makerere University Prof. Kakumba Umar on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University; Prof. Nawangwe Barnabas, he said ‘ Makerere is well positioned with capacity to support STI for national development in Uganda’. He thanked H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the vision in establishing the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology that benefited various colleges of Makerere University and enabled staff as well students to initiate innovations like the KIRA E.V. at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology. ‘The Government of Uganda has further committed 30bn Uganda shillings towards the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) that has supported over 700 projects since 2019’, as an institution, Makerere University is very grateful for this support, the Vice Chancellor noted.

The forum was officially opened by Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero – Minister for Science and Technology, who was the Chief Guest of the conference. In her speech, she thanked the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University and CoNAS for taking lead in the direction of STI especially during the Covid19 pandemic which has affected nations greatly. The Minister advised that ‘publication of research papers is good however, written material is not enough. We need action from government institutions, academia, students and general population otherwise Uganda will not change’. She further noted that ‘research, science and innovation has become too elitist ignoring the simple man/woman in the village reiterating that there has to be a mindset change otherwise nothing will happen’. We must involve the simple man, mother down in the village who is the client for a better Uganda, and I am hopeful that a detailed report of the discussions from this forum will be shared to guide us going forward, the Minister advised.

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Natural Sciences

Masters Research Fellowships on Water ESSENCE Africa Project NORHED II



An afternoon shot of the Lincoln Flats, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Water ESSENCE Africa – Creating synergy to meet global challenges is a NORHED II project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The purpose of the NORHED Programme is to strengthen capacity in higher education institutions in developing countries to produce higher quality graduates, more and higher-quality research, and more inclusive higher education. The overall objective of the Water ESSENCE Africa project is to co-develop, improve and retain the skills, knowledge, tools and other resources needed for the education of higher quality graduates of water-related study programs, conducting more and higher quality water research, and increasing inclusiveness of the partner universities. Partner institutions on this project include: In Norway- University of Bergen (Agreement partner), Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Norwegian University of Science and Technology; In Africa-Makerere University (Uganda) University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Juba (South Sudan), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Ghana (Ghana), University of Development Studies (Ghana), Machakos University (Kenya) and University of Rwanda (Rwanda).

The Call

Water ESSENCE Africa is pleased to announce funding for a) ONE (1) 3-weeks study fellowship in Norway to attend credited courses {THT311 – Water Resources Management and Advanced water and wastewater treatment; THT312 Urban Water management in Cold climate}. 13 – 30 June 2022. The fellowship will cover costs of field research/tuition, a modest stipend and travel to Partner institutions as may be justified and approved.

Eligibility and requirements

The applicant should:

  1. Be a registered student at Makerere University.
  2. Possess the requisite travel documents during the specified fellowship period and for a period of six months after conclusion of the fellowship period;
  3. Females are highly encouraged to apply.
  4. Provide proof of completion of coursework in fields relevant to the above broad theme, a full Curriculum Vitae (CV) with primary and alternative contacts, copies of academic documents, statement of research interest and contact addresses (phone and email) of two referees.

How to apply

Applications should be hand delivered in a sealed envelope marked “Water ESSENCE Africa Funding Application” to reach the undersigned by 5:00 PM, 24th January 2022.

The Coordinator Water Essence Africa, Flat B7 Lincoln Flats Makerere University, P O Box 7062, Kampala. Phone: +256701601797, +256772561965 Email:

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Natural Sciences

Call for Applications: PAIRWISE Msc Research Scholarships



A. Background

Dispersal of Antibiotic Resistance and antibiotics in Water ecosystems and Influence on livestock and aquatic wildlife (PAIRWISE) project focuses on dispersal and dynamics of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB), antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) and antibiotics (ATB) in aquatic environments affected by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), with a ‘One Health’ perspective ( in the catchments of both River Rwizi and Aswa.

The overall goals are to evaluate: i) dispersal of ARB, ARG and ATB in surface waters downstream of WWTPs; ii) carriage of ARB and ARG in livestock linked to surface waters influenced by WWTPs; and iii) role of aquatic birds in dispersal of ARB and ARG. 

B. The Scholarships

As previously mentioned, and as part of the PAIRWISE capacity building component, we are inviting applications for a One (1) Year research scholarship tenable at Makerere University:

MSc Scholarships and respective research areas

MSc.1 – Assessment of the level and dispersal of ATB in river water upstream and downstream of wastewater treatment plants and hospital effluent. 
MSc.2 – The dispersal of antimicrobial resistance bacteria and genes through aquatic birds under different climatic and geographical conditions.
MSc.3 – Characterisation of clinically important antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes in river waters upstream and downstream of WWTPs and hospital effluent.

​​​​​​ C. Scholarship Benefits 

The scholarship will support tuition, research costs, and a modest stipend. The applicants must therefore be full-time students. The support is available to applicants who are nearing successful completion of year one, and preparing to start research projects in the 2021/2022 Academic Year.

D. Eligibility

  1. The scholarships are open to eligible MSc. students who are duly registered for programmes in the disciplines of Biology, Zoology, Biochemistry or Wildlife. 
  2. Applications from suitably qualified females are particularly encouraged.
  3. Laboratory skills in microbiology and molecular genetics will be of added advantage.
  4. Willingness and ability to work in remote areas of western and northern Uganda.

 E. Application process 

The application package should include: 

  1. One-page motivation letter on the research topic of interest.
  2. Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages).
  3. Copies of academic documents.
  4. Evidence of registration on an MSc. programme at Makerere University.
  5. Recommendation letters from two academic referees.

F. Application Deadline

Applications should be compiled into a single PDF file and submitted electronically to the 
Principal Investigator, Assoc. Prof. Charles Masembe (charles.masembe[at], and a copy to Dr. Robinson Odong (robinson.odong[at], by 14th January 2022.

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Natural Sciences

Call for Applications: Masters & PhD Scholarships at Mak, KYU, JOOUST in Collaboration with BOKU



Undergraduate students attend a field petroleum geology class in the Albertine Graben, Great Rift Valley, Western Uganda. Photo credit: Makerere University AAPG/SEG Student Chapters.

Call for Applications for Masters and PhD Scholarships Tenable at Makerere University (MAK), Kyambogo University (KYU) and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in collaboration with University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) under The APPEAR Academic Partnership Project ‘Environmental Chemistry for Sustainable Development (ECSDevelop)’

Project background

East Africa faces serious environmental challenges in relation to atmospheric, soil and water pollution. The Lake Victoria basin and the Albertine Graben have not been spared either. The Lake basin, which is being shared by Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya has been undergoing rapid urbanization in the last three decades; the high population density, rapid industrial growth and waste-water treatment plants in vicinity of Lake Victoria basin have been reported as sources of environmental contaminants such as plastic debris and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It is expected that both Lake Victoria and Nile River act as sinks for pollutants e.g., microplastics (MPs); however, the extent of these interactions and MPs entrapment rates will be governed by many physical, biological and chemical factors. In addition, the project explores L. Victoria point source pollution identification and remediation. Since most of the pollutants on the Kenyan side of lake have been identified, stratified sampling of known pollutants will be done and mechanisms of removing the pollutants at its source determined. A policy brief will be prepared and made available to concerned authorities for action.

Furthermore, Uganda has established an ambitious agenda for its future with its 2040 Vision acting as a blueprint and framework envisaging a middle-income economy, and its hopes for infrastructural and social development are hinged on revenues expected from oil production in the Albertine Graben. In 2013, Uganda’s oil reserves were estimated to be 3.5 billion barrels, and were expected to yield at least USD $2 billion per year for 30 years once oil production commences. The Albertine Graben, covering an exploration area of about 25,000 km2 contains substantial oil seepages that lead to environmental degradation and thus impose threats to people’s health through food chains. Many bioremediation and chemical oxidation studies have been carried out but with limited remediation efficiency. In this project, candidates will explore multifaceted application of nanotechnology in the field of bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Understanding the interaction between the contaminant, the microorganism, and the nanomaterials is of crucial importance since positive and negative effects may be produced.

Project Objectives/Outcomes:

It is expected that through this project, we shall;

  • Exploit regional capacities to jointly streamline existing curricula on environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology.
  • Develop a novel cost-effective state-of-the-art technology to track and clean up contaminants in waste water.
  • Develop efficient remediation technologies for crude oil contaminated soils and water of the Albertine graben, Uganda.
  • Investigate seasonal fluxes, sources and trophic transfer of microplastics within the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Victoria and River Nile.

Scholarship design:

The project offers financial support to academically skilled master’s and PhD students with main focus on aforementioned priority areas. 4 PhD scholarships (2 tenable at MAK -Uganda, 1 tenable at KYU-Uganda, and 1 tenable at JOOUST-Kenya), and up to 5 Master scholarships (3 tenable at MAK, 1 tenable at KYU, and 1 tenable at JOOUST) will be considered for funding by ECSDevelop project. 50% of the scholarships will be awarded to females.

The scholarship covers:

  • Full tuition fees: Payable directly to the University according to an official invoice;
  • Stipend: EUR 2,400 and EUR 3,600 for MSc and PhD students, respectively, per year to support living expenses during project duration;
  • Field visits, study materials and laboratory consumables: One-off allowance;
  • Workshops on renewable resources/analytical skills and webinar series on biorefinery;
  • Research fellowships in BOKU, Austria: Students will be provided with money to cover their costs for accommodation, insurance and upkeep while in Austria at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).

Interested applicants should submit the following sets of documents:

  1. An application letter for a Master’s or PhD scholarships;
  2. A current CV (at most 2 pages), including a detailed description of the previous education at the University level (all courses and grades) and a description of current research interests in line with the stated ECSDevelop project areas of focus;
  3. Citizenship Proof – Copy of national identity card or passport;
  4. Three recent passport size photos;
  5. A certified copy of the bachelor’s degree & certificate for Master’s applicants; Master’s degree & certificate for PhD applicants;
  6. A copy of admission letter to the MSc. Program at MAK or KYU or JOOUST for Master’s applicants;
  7. A research Concept Note maximum 5 pages with a detailed description of the applicant’s research interest.
  8. A motivation letter showing why they are interested in pursuing Masters or PhD studies and expected outputs from their master’s or PhD studies.
  9. At least two recommendation letters from your academic referees. The reference letters should be sent together with the application.

Application procedure:

  1. All application documents must be zipped up in one file folder;
  2. Electronic submission of application for scholarship with supporting documents should be sent to the Overall Project Coordinator of ECSDevelop, Dr. Christine Betty Nagawa on e-mail christine.nagawa[at] with a copy to ECSDevelop Project Coordinator at JOOUST, Dr. Solomon Omwoma Lugasi on e-mail slugasi[at]; and to the ECSDevelop project Coordinator KYU, Dr. Christine Kyarimpa on email ckyarimpa[at]
  3. No hard copies of application documents will be required given the prevailing covid-19 situation;
  4. Deadline for submission of applications is 30th January, 2022 17:00 hours, EAT. Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

Selection Process:

These are competitive Masters & PhD scholarships. The applications shall be vetted by a selection panel consisting of professionals from MAK, KYU, JOOUST and BOKU. Previous working experiences with research projects will be an added advantage.

Please see Download below for detailed Call for Applications.

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