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Mak-MSU Launch Project to Boost Early Career Research Grant Writing Skills

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The Grant writing and publication project, a partnership project between Makerere University (Mak) in Uganda and Michigan State University (MSU) in the U.S, was officially launched on Tuesday 21, March 2023, at Makerere University Yusuf Lule (formerly Central Teaching Facility CTF2) Auditorium. The event was attended by representatives from both universities, including early career researchers (ECRs), research and grant managers, the media, and other stakeholders.

Speaking at the launch, Prof. Fredrick J. Muyodi, the team lead from the Makerere University’s Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, expressed his excitement about the project, saying that it would go a long way in strengthening the university’s research capacity. 

He congratulated the first cohort of ECRs selected to participate in this training exercise. He also thanked the United States Government through the US Mission in Uganda for funding the project. 

Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi, the team lead from the Makerere University’s Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences speaking at the launch.
Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi, the team lead from the Makerere University’s Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences speaking at the launch.

“The early career researchers are very important. For those of you that have forests, in order to have a forest you need to have seedlings. We are looking at them as a great asset to [Mak] regarding our ambition of being a research led university,” said Prof Muyodi.

Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi, the team lead from the Makerere University’s Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences signs the banner at the launch.
Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi, the team lead from the Makerere University’s Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences signs the banner at the launch.

Prof. Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator reiterated the importance of the project and the partnership with African university such as Mak. She noted that this falls within Michigan State University’s strategic plan for 2030 that aims at promoting excellence, enhancing equity, and increasing influence.

“Partnerships such as this with [Mak], where we can collaborate with stellar researchers and visionaries, where we can work together to build on the abundant strengths you have here, and where we can conduct research together that is important to a global audience, as well as a local one is key.”

Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator.
Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator.

According to Trixie, Writing is a multipurpose tool that applies to various areas of study and subject matters with the ability to surpass personal characteristics such as gender, agency, and citizenship. 

“Focusing on writing and the needs of writers, no matter their level or type of writing, can open up new opportunities for networking, for influencing readers and researchers, or making connections in the community and beyond,” said Trixie.

Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator.
Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator.

She contends that writing has not only the potential to provide a platform for new ideas but also solutions. “Whether we’re thinking about food security or the effects of climate change on our planet, whether we are thinking about the role of play and literacy learning for our children, or the role of education in keeping people healthy. I am excited to be a part of this launch and I have the opportunity to work with so many of you in the upcoming days and months, and hopefully for many years to come.”

Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator and Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi at the launch.
Professor Trixie G. Smith, the Director of the Writing Center and the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU and Project Co-Principal Investigator and Professor Fredrick J. Muyodi at the launch.

Professor Edward Bbaale, the representative of Mak Vice Chancellor at the launch event and Director of Research and Graduate Studies (DRGT), expressed his excitement about the newly launched grant writing and publication project. “The directorate is also charged with ensuring a conducive environment in which graduate training and research can thrive. This therefore means that having a research topic like this one is right within what is of great interest to the DRGT. And on behalf of colleagues from the directorate, I would like to congratulate Prof. Muyodi, Prof. Trixie and all members and colleagues involved in this study and we pledge our support in all stages of this project.” 

Professor Edward Bbaale, the representative of Mak Vice Chancellor at the launch event.
Professor Edward Bbaale, the representative of Mak Vice Chancellor at the launch event.

In his speech, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor hailed the revered partnership with MSU – the Writing Center and the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP). “We have had a long-standing partnership with MSU in a number of fields in Makerere University. These include Human and Veterinary medicine, agriculture and recently in the Humanities. We are very optimistic that this partnership will further strengthen it,” Prof. Nawangwe said.

He added that the collaborative outputs from this project should not only conclude with developing capacities of the ECRs, Research Managers, and establishment of a Writing Center in the coming year, but also be a springboard for strong postdoctoral collaborative research for both institutions and other US universities.

The Vice Chancellor also expressed full commitment by [Mak] towards the successful implementation and realization of the Writing Center initiative, citing that the project was “timely” and would help in strengthening research, grant writing and publication capacity with special focus on the ECRs and Research Managers from the different colleges and entities in Makerere University.

“The participants are a critical mass to sustainably contribute to the Research-led agenda. I have also learnt that a number of senior colleagues have been invited as Senior Mentors to provide the much-needed mentorship to the Early Career Researchers during the project cycle and beyond. I am hopeful that this approach will produce strong collaborative teams,” Prof. Nawangwe said.

He urged the ECRs and the Research Managers to build their capacities and share experiences with their peers with the intention to grow further noting that they “pillars for reaping dividends of being research-led”.

Makerere University through its ten (10) Colleges aspires to be Research-led in the current strategic period (2020-2030) with the intention of contributing solutions to the challenges of climate change, population growth, food security, governance, poverty youth unemployment, among others.

Amy Peterson, Cultural Affairs Officer the US Embassy Kampala while representing Ambassador Natalie E. Brown – U.S. Embassy spoke about President Joe Biden’s Africa strategy, stressing the areas of focus including pandemic recovery, economic opportunities, and conservation launched in September 2022. She explained that academic leadership is critical in tackling these challenges, and that the need for partnership was inevitable, hence the US Department of State recognition and investment in the University Partnership Initiative.

Amy Peterson, Cultural Affairs Officer the US Embassy Kampala represented the Ambassador Natalie E. Brown.
Amy Peterson, Cultural Affairs Officer the US Embassy Kampala represented the Ambassador Natalie E. Brown.

“This project supporting Makerere University and Michigan State University Collaboration is part of a broader network of university partnerships that are supported by the Department of State, linking African universities with US universities.

Ms. Amy announced that the US mission in Uganda is proud to have partnered with Makerere University for over 100 years, which has helped the university become a leading academic institution in East Africa. She also mentioned that in 2022, the US mission participated in the university’s centenary celebrations, acknowledging the strong partnerships that have been established over the years.

She further noted that the US mission is currently working with ten Colleges and departments of Makerere University in Uganda, and has partnerships with each of them. 

“We are proud to partner with the School of Public Health, the development of the Infection Disease Institute, the deep relationship and Agriculture over the years. 

Our support in the performance arts department with many different types of collaborations over the years to work with the Law School, the development of the Human Rights Law Center. These are all areas where the US mission has partnered with academics here as well as with the institution as a whole to ensure that Makerere University remains at the forefront higher education in East Africa,” Ms. Amy Peterson said. 

Amy Peterson, Cultural Affairs Officer the US Embassy Kampala who represented the Ambassador Natalie E. Brown shares with Ms. Stella Kakeeto from MakSPH. Ms. Kakeeto is a co-PI on the project.
Amy Peterson, Cultural Affairs Officer the US Embassy Kampala who represented the Ambassador Natalie E. Brown shares with Ms. Stella Kakeeto from MakSPH. Ms. Kakeeto is a co-PI on the project.

Adding that; “But as we look forward no institution can do it alone. So, we come back to the value of these partnerships and we are so excited particularly for this project which is towards research led university because it focuses on the essential skill of writing. writing is what every student and every academic needs to build their connections, to build their networks, secure the academic acknowledgement as well as funding opportunities to do the work that they need to do.”

Professor Ronald Bisaso, CEES, a Co-PI of the Grant Writing Project signs the banner at the launch of the project.
Professor Ronald Bisaso, CEES, a Co-PI of the Grant Writing Project signs the banner at the launch of the project.

The Research team at Makerere University is led by Prof. Fredrick J. Muyodi, PI, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Prof. Ronald Bisaso, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), and Ms. Stella Kakeeto from the School of Public Health at the College of Health Sciences (MakCHS). The team at Michigan State University is led by Prof. Trixie G. Smith, PI, Director, The Writing Center (WC); Dr. Grace Pregent, Associate Director (WC); Ms. Ann Allegra, Proposal and Capacity Strengthening Administrator, Alliance for African Partnership (AAP); Dr. José Jackson-Malete, Co-Director (AAP). 

Panel Discussion: Research, grant writing and publishing, mentorship. L-R: Mordecai Tayebwa, Research Manager, MakCHS, Dr. Alice Nabatanzi, Dr. Allen Kabagenyi, ECRs and Dr. Samuel Siminyu, Managing Editor -University Press.
Panel Discussion: Research, grant writing and publishing, mentorship. L-R: Mordecai Tayebwa, Research Manager, MakCHS, Dr. Alice Nabatanzi, Dr. Allen Kabagenyi, ECRs and Dr. Samuel Siminyu, Managing Editor -University Press.

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Call For Abstracts: 18th Joint Annual Scientific Health Conference (JASHC) 2024

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Call For Abstracts: 18th Joint Annual Scientific Health Conference (JASHC), the 30th UNACOH Conference, the 22nd Mathew Lukwiya Lecture scheduled to take place from 16th - 18th October 2024, at Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.

The Makerere University College of Health Sciences  (MakCHS) in conjunction with the Uganda National Association for Community and Occupational Health (UNACOH) announces the 18th Joint Annual Scientific Health Conference (JASHC)the 30th UNACOH Conference, the 22nd Mathew Lukwiya Lecture scheduled to take place from 16th  – 18th October 2024, at Hotel Africana, Kampala – Uganda.

Conference Theme: Global Health Security: Partnerships for Epidemic Response and Control in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Researchers, health workers, policymakers, students, and public/civil society members are invited to submit abstracts.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: August 15th 2024

See the Downloads for more information

For more information contact Conference Secretariat:
Makerere University College of Health Sciences, 
1st Floor, Pathology Building, 
School of Biomedical Sciences, Dean’s Office, 
P.O. Box 7072 Kampala, Uganda. 
Email: jashc2024@gmail.com 
Website: https://chs.mak.ac.ug/jash2024 
Tel: +256784574544/+256759287297

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METS Newsletter May 2024

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The newly appointed CDC Uganda Country Director, Dr. Adetinuke Mary Boyd (7th from left) met with country implementing partner Executive Directors to get insights on ongoing projects, discussed leveraging of partnerships as well as strategizing for how best to strengthen health systems. Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)-McKinnell Knowledge Centre, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS) Program is a 5-year CDC-supported collaboration of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Health Information Systems Program (HISP Uganda).

Highlights of the METS May 2024 Newsletter

  • Enhancing Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
    • Responding to and preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC) are critical components of Uganda’s national HIV prevention program. METS developed a new app designed to improve support for SGBV survivors. This followed an assessment in December 2022, that revealed gaps in service access and coordination in Fort Portal and Kampala Regions.
    • The METS team, in collaboration with regional implementing partners, is scaling up the app’s use in pilot districts such as Masaka, Kiryandongo, Fort Portal, and Mubende. The team visited facilities and police stations to install the app and train selected focal persons on its use.
  • Assessing Readiness for Integrated HIV and NCD Care Services
    • METS supported the Ministry of Health to conduct a site readiness assessment for integrated delivery of HIV and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) services from 22nd to 26th April 2024, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and various implementing partners. The activity was conducted in selected health facilities in Acholi, Mubende, Kayunga, and Rwenzori regions to determine their feasibility for participating in a comprehensive NCD evaluation.
    • The 48 facilities visited have already integrated NCD services (mental Health, diabetes, and hypertension). Of these, 78% have integrated mental health services in their PMTCT clinics. 40% of the facilities have a dedicated NCD services physicians /doctor in the ART Clinic, 29% have doc have dedicated physicians in the PMTCT clinics. 90%. Most of the facilities have clinical and nurses in the ART than PMTCT facilities but more nurses offering NCD services in PMTCT sites.
  • Digitalizing the health sector through strategic partnerships
    • In collaboration with CDC and METS, the MoH organized a national Electronic Medical Records (EMR) stakeholders meeting to orient stakeholders on the national EMR agenda and transition towards a comprehensive digital health facility package. Key actions discussed included expanding the rollout of the EMR and Community Health Information System (eCHIS) and urging development partners to support prioritized health information and digital health investments.
    • The introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) in health facilities aims to improve the quality of health service delivery by providing real-time accountability transparency, and traceability of medical supplies, monitoring health worker absenteeism, enhancing patient satisfaction through efficient care provision, reducing unnecessary or duplicate diagnostic tests, and offering easy access to management reports for decision-making. Additionally, EMRs will lay the foundation for the implementation of national health insurance.
  • UgandaEMR+ Implementation Showcased at Kisenyi HCIV
    • METS and Reach Out Mbuya (ROM) showcased the implementation of UgandaEMR+ to representatives from the USG and the Ministry of Health (MoH) at Kisenyi HCIV. The visit was aimed at providing a clear understanding of the system’s functionality at the health facility, which serves over 1,200 outpatients daily and supports over 1600 clients on ART.
    • Dr. Peter Akonyera, the ART Clinic In Charge shared positive end-user experiences, noting simplified data use and analysis, efficient data retrieval, and the system’s popularity among users despite existing challenges. He appreciated METS’ support in maintaining system synchronization. The data visualization tools have been particularly useful for clinicians to manage patient schedules and workload distribution effectively, ensuring timely and efficient healthcare delivery.
  • METS Showcases Research at INTEREST 2024 Conference in Benin
    • The International Conference on HIV Treatment, Pathogenesis, and Prevention Research (INTEREST) brought together global scientists to share cutting-edge knowledge in HIV diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The conference also aimed to build a community of African physicians and scientists to develop local solutions for managing HIV and preventing its transmission.
    • METS submitted an abstract titled “Enhancing HIV Case Identification through a National HIV Testing Services (HTS) Continuous Quality Improvement” based on support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in designing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to increase the identification of HIV-positive clients, crucial for achieving the global target of 95% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their status.
  • Gallery
    • New CDC Director meets Country implementing partner Executive Directors
    • UgandaEMR+ support supervision at Kisenyi HCIV visit
    • EMR Stakeholders meeting
    • CBS guidelines meeting
    • INTEREST 2024 conference – Benin
    • Key Populations assessment – Ishaka district

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SIMCS-Trial Vacancy Announcement: Twenty-Five (25) Research Assistants

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An elevated shot of the School of Health Sciences and School of Medicine Building, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University. Mulago Campus, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Medicine in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine received funding from US National Institutes of Health – Fogarty International Center to carry out a study on “Development and evaluation of an information management and communication system for population-wide point of-care infant sickle cell disease screening (SIMCS-Trial)”. The program seeks to recruit 25 research assistants at its study sites. 

Roles and responsibilities  

  • Identify and screen participants for possible enrolment into the study according to the Study Protocol.
  • Obtain informed consent from caregivers of eligible participants as per protocol accordance with GCP and HSP principles.
  • Counsel and explain study procedures to the caregivers of study participants using the mobile app.
  • Enrol eligible participants into the study to meet the study accrual targets.
  • Complete study CRFs, correctly and accurately in compliance with trial procedures/ SOPs and GCP standards.
  • Ensure study participants’ safety and privacy, data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Participate in collection of appropriate study samples/specimens from the participants as per protocol and SOPs as well as performing the test.
  • Carry out any other duties as assigned by superiors in line with your work.

Required Qualification and experience 

  • A degree in any health-related discipline, and registered with the relevant national bodies.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access as well as basic internet applications 
  • Skills in using common relevant computer packages and mobile technology for data collection
  • Previous work in a research environment is added advantage.
  • Basic knowledge of clinical research regulatory procedures. 
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training and Research Ethics training skills and knowledge
  • Excellent command of English (written and oral) as well as the local languages (Luganda or Lusoga)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop relationships with participants.
  • Experience of living and or working both in urban and rural environment.
  • Team-working skills to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team 
  • Time management skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented and self-motivated/driven. 
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. 
  • Ability to professionally communicate in writing, verbally or other means deemed appropriate. 

Reports to: The SIMCS Co-Investigator/SIMCS Trial Coordinator 

Expected start date: July 2024

How to apply: 1-page type written application letter addressed to the Principal Investigator SIMCS Trial MakCHS SOM together with current CV, copies of academic certificates, and recommendation letters from two past employers should be e-mailed as ONE PDF DOCUMENT to makimpact22@gmail.com

Deadline for receiving applications: Friday 20th June 2024 at 5:00 pm

Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to the interview. 

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