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Graduate Forum Concludes with Calls to Embrace Feedback, Publication & Protect IP

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The two-day Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy dialogue concluded on Friday 26th April 2024 with the Directorate for Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) calling on PhD candidates to embrace the feedback received from peers and mentors as well as seek avenues of identifying and protecting any Intellectual Property (IP) arising out of their work. The Director DRGT, Prof. Edward Bbaale particularly reminded candidates that whereas their papers had been subject to single-blind peer review and passed, additional feedback should always be expected in an academic environment. The Deputy Director DRGT, Prof. Robert Wamala on the other hand called upon candidates to visit the Intellectual Property Management Office (IPMO) to receive insights on aspects of their research, innovations and services that are unique and ought to be protected.

Day two of the forum was officially opened by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Umar Kakumba, who was represented by the Academic Registrar, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi. The DVCAA in his remarks reminded PhD fellows that their research will be of ultimate benefit to society when it transcends the initial objective of generating new knowledge, to translation into effective technologies, innovations and strategies that can be appropriately delivered to beneficiaries.

“It is therefore gratifying that this convention has helped to establish a supportive community of doctoral students and promote social and intellectual interactions among students and researchers from academia, industry and government” he appreciated.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi officially opens Day 2 of the Forum. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi officially opens Day 2 of the Forum.

Prof. Buyinza further highlighted that the current drive by Ugandan Universities to transition into centres of excellence in graduate training will be facilitated by training of high-calibre staff and enabling the development of new PhD curricula. Makerere University in particular, he noted, is currently developing Taught PhD curricula in most disciplines as a way of tapping into crosscutting knowledge that empowers graduates to tackle today’s multifaceted challenges.

He nevertheless urged PhD fellows on the current curricula to embrace the philosophy of interconnectivity by attending research dissemination outside their disciplines and incorporating those insights that help their research address the bigger picture.

Prior to this, the Chairperson of the Annual Forum’s Organising Committee and Deputy Director DRGT, Prof. Julius Kikooma had painted a picture of what had transpired on day one. He started off by thanking Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo for presiding over the opening ceremony, where he launched the Research Information Management System (RIMS) as well as the Vice Chancellor for delivering an impromptu keynote address, which demonstrated his passion for research and the power that it’s commercialisation holds for driving industrialisation that can propel Uganda’s and Africa’s development aspirations.

Prof. Julius Kikooma presents highlights of Day 1. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Julius Kikooma presents highlights of Day 1.

Prof. Kikooma further highlighted that papers presented on day one each highlighted the importance of research as an awareness raising tool that can foster implementation of innovations that impact various spheres of societal well-being. Researchers on Day one nevertheless admitted that a lot of their findings never make it to the implementation stage, hence the need for research uptake strategies.

“Noteworthy were calls for multidisciplinary research teams, which were reechoed as a catalyst for championing a broader understanding of the different issues that may impact development, and foster reception and implementation by policymakers at both local and international levels” continued Prof. Kikooma.

The papers he highlighted equally took note of; increasing minority groups and marginalised persons albeit no interventions in sight, the need to close the knowledge gap in different interventions across numerous development sectors, financing for capacity building and interventions so as to create meaningful and lasting impact of interventions, and the need for more bankable data to foster decision making and policy formulation in areas such as health, environment and energy.

Highlights by Prof. Kikooma further took note of; the resourcefulness of community engagement and collaboration in research undertakings as an essential step to foster uptake and use of research findings, as well as socio-cultural biases, attitudes and stereotypes and constraints in the form of resources and technologies that affect scaling up of research efforts.

The Deputy Principal CoCIS, Dr. Peter Nabende (Right) and participants listen keenly to one of the presentations of the breakaway sessions. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Deputy Principal CoCIS, Dr. Peter Nabende (Right) and participants listen keenly to one of the presentations of the breakaway sessions.

Prof. Kikooma equally took lead in the reflections on mental health and well-being for graduate students. He addressed the prevalence of mental health problems among graduate students and environmental factors that could actually be the source of these mental health challenges.

“It is crucial that we start more open conversations about mental health and well-being on campuses, to breakdown the stigma, to support students to build up their emotional resilience, and to enable more people to seek support from counseling and mental health services when things get tough” Prof. Kikooma proposed.

Graduate students as architects of knowledge production, pioneers of innovation, and catalysts of progress are an integral part of Makerere’s quest to become a research-led university. This position was reiterated by Prof. Edward Bbale’s remarks, wherein he further emphasized, “we count on you in terms of your dedication, your thirst for discovery, that must shape the future of our university and contribute to the socio-economic transformation of Uganda”.

Prof. Edward Bbaale and other officials pose for a group photo with PhD fellows. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Edward Bbaale and other officials pose for a group photo with PhD fellows.

He called upon PhD candidates to interest themselves keenly in the policies that govern their environment such as the; Intellectual Property Management Policy, Research and Innovations Policy as well as the Intellectual Property Management Office as structures that have been put in place to ensure that their research is well-facilitated.

Makerere University is very resolute to explore and walk the entire journey along the value chain from research and innovation to commercialisation. In line with this, the Makerere University Innovation Pod was established to package and market research outputs and innovations for impactful adoption within communities” explained Prof. Bbaale.

In addition to emphasis that the Innovation Pod is multidisciplinary and therefore open to innovations from all disciplines, he equally reemphasied the need for staff and students to use the Makerere University Press (Mak Press) to publish their work. Mak Press, Prof. Bbaale noted, is well recognised across the globe and works published therein will receive wide consumption and appreciation.

Dr. William Tayeebwa outlines the benefits that publishing with Mak Press accords to PhD Fellows. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. William Tayeebwa outlines the benefits that publishing with Mak Press accords to PhD Fellows.

Addressing the audience, the Managing Editor Mak Press, Dr. William Tayeebwa clarified that all scholars at Makerere University have the privilege of having their works published free of charge by his unit, and better still, are eligible to receive 20% of the proceeds from the sales of their publications. To practically illustrate the opportunity at hand, Dr. Tayeebwa admitted that paper presentations from the two-day forum were good candidates for compilation into a book that can be published by Mak Press.

He revealed that talks with College Principals had addressed the need to support Graduate Students to publish their work in college-based journals. “The commitment we want to make as Makerere University Press under the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training is to continue this conversation with College Principals, especially to have special issues dedicated to PhD student work.”

The President PhD Fellows at Makerere University (Pf@Mak), Ms. Clare Cheromoi not only thanked Mak Press, DRGT and the University Management for putting in place a supportive environment for the students to thrive but like the proverbial Oliver Twist, also asked for more. She called upon PhD candidates to not only consider university-wide events such as the Annual Forum as a marketplace for their powerful ideas but also an avenue to build lasting relationships.

“I thank you and welcome you all to our training on policy briefs that will be held on Wednesday 1st May 2024,” added the President to the PhD community.

Ms. Clare Cheromoi speaks during the closing ceremony. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Clare Cheromoi speaks during the closing ceremony.

Prof. Bbaale concluded the day’s remarks by inviting the President and Executive Committee of Pf@Mak to consider making the Annual Forum a Bi-annual event so as to grant even more PhD candidates the opportunity to present their work.

“As the Directorate, we are committed to enhancing such meetings and interactions and we are very grateful that the University Central Management and Vice Chancellor is very passionate, and we received their utmost support financially and otherwise” he added.

Prof. Bbaale paid tribute to his predecessor and Principal Investigator RIMS, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi for ensuring that his idea saw the light of day. He reassured PhD candidates that they would receive priority in the implementation of RIMS, so as to make their journey even smoother.

Prof. Julius Kikooma (Right) with part of his organising committee Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Ms. Clare Cheromoi and Mr. Joseph Elasu. Annual Forum for Graduate Research and Policy Dialogue, 26th April 2024, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Julius Kikooma (Right) with part of his organising committee, Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Ms. Clare Cheromoi and Mr. Joseph Elasu.

He thanked the Annual Forum and Policy Dialogue’s Organising Committee led by Prof. Julius Kikooma for a job well done in organising the inaugural event, and tasked them to aim higher so as to make future events bigger. He singled out the contribution of the Forum’s moderator, the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango for seamlessly steering the event, and the Media and ICT Teams for ensuring that the research findings shared at the Forum made their way to virtual audiences both in real-time and subsequent news broadcasts.

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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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