Strengthening Institutional Research Administration in Uganda: A Case Study on Developing Collaborations among Academic and Research Institutions
Kakande, Nelson, Namirembe, Regina, Kaye, Dan K., Mugyenyi, Peter N., Journal of Research Administration
Despite the presence of several funded research projects at academic and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, the quality of the pre/post grant award process in these institutions is inadequate. There is a need to strengthen research administration through infrastructural, organizational, and human resource development to match the dynamic research environment and funding requirements. In Uganda, many grant recipient institutions, investigators, and research administrators have limited experience in grantsmanship. The aim of this International Extramural Associates Research Development Award is to develop cadres of research administrators to address current and future National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding agencies' policies and procedures, and to strengthen research administrative infrastructure at the Joint Clinical Research Centre, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, Mukono and Ndejje University. This is accomplished through establishing partnerships, strengthening the institutional central research coordination office, and short-term training. The training includes grant writing, submission and award management; public engagement in research; mentorship; research ethics; responsible conduct of research, and applying routine facility data toward quality improvement. This article presents a case study of lessons learned from establishing collaborations for strengthening research administration, such as experiences, challenges, sustainability plans, and recommendations for strengthening research administration.
Keywords: Grantsmanship, research administration, research infrastructural development, capacity development, developing countries, Uganda
Over the last 1 5 years, there has been an increase in funding for research and training in Africa. Despite a research environment characterized by the presence of several funded projects at academic and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, the pre/post grant award process is deficient in most of these institutions. For instance, a 2010 survey by Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda, on the available information on current and past grants, identified that funding details were available for only one-third of the 58 active grants, with weak systems, policies and infrastructure to manage grants (Nankinga et al., 201 1). While all funding agencies have stringent pre/post award guidelines and reporting regulations that require researchers to have up-to-date information at all times, conformity among awarded institutions is ever-growing, and possible irregularities must be handled in a timely manner (Gardner et al., 2006; Adams & Pimple, 2005; Deyhle et al., 1992). However, grants recipient institutions, investigators, and research administrators in Uganda have limited experience in pre-and post-award management, fiscal accountability and scientific reporting requirements for NIH and other international funding agencies. Indeed, an evaluation survey of collaborative strategies to strengthen research administration at Makerere University (collaboration with Swedish International Development Assistance [SIDA] -Sarec) found that key budget information was lacking in most projects, and that the majority of Principal Investigators (PIs) were weak with respect to foreign and grant management processes due to a lack of a central grants management system (Freeman et al, 2009). Hence, financial and material resources from grants to academic institutions are critical for supporting faculty members' research efforts. (Mullen et al., 2008, Garvin et al., 2008, Gumport & Sporn, 1999)
The global complexity and competitiveness in the research field, the prevalence of interdisciplinary research, the local and international interest in research combined with diverse stakeholders of various research interests, as well as the dynamic research …
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Publication information: Article title: Strengthening Institutional Research Administration in Uganda: A Case Study on Developing Collaborations among Academic and Research Institutions. Contributors: Kakande, Nelson - Author, Namirembe, Regina - Author, Kaye, Dan K. - Author, Mugyenyi, Peter N. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Research Administration. Volume: 43. Issue: 1 Publication date: Spring 2012. Page number: 39+. © 2008 Society of Research Administrators, Inc. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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