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Mak Council Launches Grants Management System, Underscores Support Role

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The Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) was on Tuesday 12th March 2024 officially launched by the University Council at a ceremony presided over by the Chairperson, Finance, Planning, Administration and Investment Committee (FPAIC), Mr. Bruce Kabaasa. The hybrid ceremony held in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall was graced by Members of Management led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Leadership and Staff of the Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU) as well as Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) and project Principal Investigators.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor who credited Chairperson FPAIC with not only conceiving the idea but also following up on the development of MakGMS concluded that there was no one better placed to launch the same. Mr. Kabaasa in turn thanked former members of FPAIC such as Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta for going the extra mile in contributing to the formulation of the supporting regulation, the Makerere University Grants and Administration Management Policy. In the same breath, he thanked the Head GAMSU, Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza for working hard and swiftly to ensure that the MakGMS is developed and launched.

The Chairperson FPAIC, Mr. Bruce Kabaasa addresses the audience at the launch. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Chairperson FPAIC, Mr. Bruce Kabaasa addresses the audience at the launch.

Mr. Kabaasa reassured his audience that the essence of the policy and system is not to control, but rather provide an institutionalised support mechanism for those winning grants to execute them efficiently. Additionally, he said MakGMS is meant to “support those who don’t have the grants to understand where the grants are, and to perform mentoring that those of you who are successful are meant to perform with those who are emerging because academia is a mentoring field.”

Still on academia, the Chairperson FPAIC noted that “we live in a University where statements like inter, intra and multidisciplinary are the mantras of academic discourse.” He added that these mantras are not possible if people are not relating, hence underscoring another function of the MakGMS – to provide a dashboard where at a glance, it will be easy and possible to see the research being undertaken at institutional level and how researchers can augment each other’s work.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended in-house development of Information Systems such as MakGMS. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended in-house development of Information Systems such as MakGMS.

Earlier, Prof. Nawangwe in his remarks had noted that as Makerere University aims to shift from a research-intensive to a research-led paradigm, it was important to organize and automate the various systems so as to ensure that all staff and students contribute to the university’s strategic direction. Citing China’s continued rise in global influence as a result of a robust research and innovations output, the Vice Chancellor reiterated that unless systems such as MakGMS were put in place, it was going to be hard to monitor and evaluate how Makerere’s research contributes to national and continental growth aspirations.

“MakGMS is one way to streamline what we are doing so that we can do more research, attract more grants, get more people involved and know who is doing what and how it is useful for our country and continent” he stated.

Prof. Nawangwe therefore congratulated the Head GAMSU and her team for bringing the much-needed energy that has propelled the MakGMS to launch stage. He lauded the GAMSU Steering Committee headed by the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, acknowledging that with their combined strength, the system could not fail. In the same breath, he commended the Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS) headed by Mr. Samuel Mugabi for doing an excellent job in as far as the in-house development of systems is concerned.

Left to Right: Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Mr. Bruce Kabaasa and Prof. Henry Alinaitwe at the MakGMS launch event. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left to Right: Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Mr. Bruce Kabaasa and Prof. Henry Alinaitwe at the MakGMS launch event.

Acknowledging that GAMSU is a key unit of the university that cannot be taken for granted in terms of generating data for off-budget reporting, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe introduced members of the Steering Committee namely; the University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Dr. Sabrina Kitaka, Dr. Charles Masembe, Dr. Agnes Rwashana Semwanga, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala, Dr. Godfrey Akileng, Dr. Robert Wamala, Mr. Gyaviira Lubowa and current Head GAMSU-Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza. He equally acknowledged the contribution of former Heads of GAMSU, Prof. Grace Bantebya and Prof. William Bazeyo, whose efforts, he said, laid the foundation for developments such as MakGMS.

“Makerere is aspiring to be a research-led University and GAMSU is at the centre of that aspiration. This is where we consolidate all the data regarding grants, support research or grant writing, and report about grants in terms of topics, amounts of money received and their distributions per quarter or annum” Prof. Alinaitwe explained.

Left to Right: Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Prof. Frank Norbert Mwiine, Mr. Samuel Mugabi, Mr. Stephen Mpirirwe, Mr. Juma Katongole, Mr. Denis Wamala, Mr. Yunusu Musisi and Ms. Ritah Namisango. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left to Right: Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Prof. Frank Norbert Mwiine, Mr. Samuel Mugabi, Mr. Stephen Mpirirwe, Mr. Juma Katongole, Mr. Denis Wamala, Mr. Yunusu Musisi and Ms. Ritah Namisango.

In his capacity as the University Accounting Officer, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda used the launch as an opportunity to remind the audience that all grants received by the University are subject to the supreme law in the administration of public funds i.e. the Public Finance Management Act, as well as guidelines of the Treasury Instructions 2017. Nevertheless, he noted that Section 44 of the Act provides a waiver for public entities such as Makerere to maintain the funds in-house upon obtaining exemption from the Minister responsible for Finance. He concluded by observing that whereas it had hitherto been nearly impossible to obtain the aforementioned waiver, “with the launch of this system (MakGMS), I believe that problem is resolved.”

The woman of the moment Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza couldn’t help but thank the Vice Chancellor for entrusting her with the huge responsibility of heading GAMSU, noting that there was no better way to commemorate her first year in office than the launch of MakGMS. She equally acknowledged the support rendered by the University Secretary and the entire Management to GAMSU during the development of the system. MakGMS was developed in-house by DICTS, with Mr. Denis Wamala as lead developer seconded by the Director Mr. Samuel Mugabi.

The Head GAMSU, Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza makes a presentation on the MakGMS. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Head GAMSU, Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza makes a presentation on the MakGMS.

Speaking broadly about the research infrastructure at Makerere, Mr. Mugabi described ICT as “a critical enabler of the research ecosystem”, and that it is important that the University establishes state-of-the-art digital research infrastructure. He added that the approach taken by Makerere in this regard is to gradually shift from procuring expensive proprietary systems to building in-house capacity to develop systems that can solve institutional and national problems.

“We are now an integrated process-driven University but we need to become a data-driven institution and that is where the big data analytics comes in. And we need to adopt emerging technologies, which we are starting to do” Mr. Mugabi shared.

Speaking more about the system, Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza noted that MakGMS will require authentication using the Makerere University email credentials and all who are going to access the system will be required to sign oaths of confidentiality so as to build trust among system users. MakGMS will also support archiving of supporting documents and research data, and will be able to automatically issue certificates to users for grants received. The system will also integrate automatic communication between GAMSU and Principal Investigators so as to notify researchers on the progress of grant applications. SMS notifications to users will be incorporated in the future.

Mr. Bruce Kabaasa and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) pose for a group photo with members of Management, Leadership of GAMSU and Principal Investigators. Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) Launch, 12th March 2024, School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering (SFTNB) Conference Hall, CAES, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Bruce Kabaasa and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) pose for a group photo with members of Management, Leadership of GAMSU and Principal Investigators.

Supplementing Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza’s submission, the Lead Developer, Mr. Denis Wamala shared that MakGMS has been built on robust, scalable infrastructure that is primarily open source. The merits of this is that the system will be easy to integrate with other existing Information Systems, which will greatly enhance data sharing.

Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza concluded by reassuring all Principal Investigators that the MakGMS is here to support their work, and that GAMSU remains committed to providing training on grant writing in partnership with the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) as well as providing all supporting documents required during application processes. She added that MakGMS will greatly enhance monitoring and evaluation of grants performance so as to offer insights on how to improve or mitigate any risks that could arise.

Proceedings of the launch were moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango and committed to God Almighty through a prayer led by the GAMSU Accountant, Ms. Christine Ninsiima.

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Advert: Mature Age Entry Scheme – Private Sponsorship 2024/2025

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Students sit for an exam in the pre-COVID era, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for the Undergraduate
Programmes under the Mature Age Entry Scheme only for Private Sponsorship for
2024/2025 Academic Year.
Non-Refundable Application fee of Shs. 50,000/= for Ugandans OR $75 Equivalent for
Internationals, plus bank charge should be paid in any of the banks used by Uganda
Revenye Authority after generating a Payment Reference Number (PRN).

  • Apply using the Institution’s Applications Portal URL:https: //apply.mak.ac.ug
  • Application is for candidates who passed the Mature Age Entry Examinations of December 17, 2022 and February 24, 2024 only.
  • Any candidate who passed the examinations in mentioned above and was not admitted on Government/ Private sponsorship for December 17, 2022 sitting, and for Government sponsorship for February 24, 2024 sitting, is eligible to apply for admission on Private Sponsorship for 2024 /2025 Academic Year.

The closing date for applying will be Friday 26th July, 2024.

Further details can be accessed by following this link.

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25

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Main Library, Makerere University. Photo taken on 29th February 2016.

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released lists of Diploma/Degree Holder applicants admitted under Private/Self Sponsorship for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that admission is subject to verification of academic documents by the awarding institutions.

The admission list is displayed here below:

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African Futures Research Leadership Program: Cohort 5 – Call for Scholars

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Participants at the initial AAP convening participate in design-thinking exercises to help imagine the future of partnerships between MSU and Africa. Photo: AAP

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is seeking applicants for the fifth cohort of the AAP African Futures Research Leadership Program. This competitive visiting scholar program supports early career researchers from the AAP consortium to work for one year under the mentorship of faculty members from MSU and their home institution, focusing on building skills in research for impact, writing scholarly and/or policy publications, disseminating of research results, and developing grant proposals for external support. Scholars will also participate in a structured professional development program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU contacts and across their cohort. 

The main objective of the African Futures program is to strengthen the capacity of a cadre of African researchers to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, establish long-term partnerships with MSU faculty, co-create innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of researchers. This program aims to address the gender gap in Africa, where only 30% of researchers are women, so scholars selected for the program will be women, or men who can demonstrate they are committed to support efforts towards gender equity in higher education institutions in Africa. The research areas that the scholars will engage in during the program should be aligned to AAP’s research priority areas

The AAP Management Team requests applications from early career researchers to participate in the next cohort, with work to begin virtually in February 2025. Scholars will spend September – December 2025 at MSU for the in-person portion of the program, followed by another period of virtual collaboration, ending in early 2026. The scholar and mentor team will receive a small grant for research and professional development activities including conference attendance and publication. Scholars will also receive a stipend during their time at MSU, visa application support, and round-trip travel from their home institution.

Eligibility

  • Citizen of an African country 
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years 
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria 
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for the in-person period 
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor
  • Research must be in one of the AAP priority areas
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal to AAP in this round of funding. Prior scholars are not eligible to apply. 

To learn more about the program, including how to apply, click below

Learn more

Applications to be an African Futures scholar are due August 18, 2024

Additional program dates:

  • Program start date (virtual): February 2025
  • In-person program: Sept – Dec 2025
  • Program end date: February 2026

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at jacks184@msu.edu or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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