Mbarara University of Science and Technology - Succeed We Must


Faculty Research Projects

Vision: To be a leading consortium in research administration and management in Africa.
Mission: To ensure success and integrity in all aspects of the research enterprise from pre-award to post-award and to translation of research and innovations into benefits for the public by strengthening institutional research and innovation offices and developing a cadre of competent research administration professionals.
Aims: a) To strengthen a CIRIMO (Centralized Institutional Research Innovations and Management Office) at each Ugandan MESAU (Medical Education for Equitable Services to All Ugandans) institution with enhancement of infrastructure,policies and staff that will support faculty and students in applying for and managing research grants.
b) To develop a Ugandan network of CIRIMOs that facilitates collaboration between them and among Research Administrators.
c) To develop through training workshops and mentoring a cadre of competent professionals in research
administration that can address current and future NIH and other funding agencies’ research grants policies.
d) Assess progress of the CIRIMOs including prospects for sustainability and contribution to capacity building.

MEPI iRIM the supplement grant to MEPI-MESAU whose aim is capacity building for research administration was embraced whole heartedly by Mbarara University of Science and Technology and is being used for the setting up of a Centralized Institutional Research, Innovations and Management Office (CIRIMO) which will be looked at as a shopping mall for research support (Research Support Center). The MUST-CIRIMO strategic plan is in its late formative stages, once it reaches maturity, it will be disseminated to the MUST community for adoption, courtesy of the iRIM supplement grant to MEPI-MESAU. Watch out for the launch!
This does not go without mentioning the training/workshops facilitated by iRIM grant to MUST. Grant writing, submission and management training from 14th-16th January 2013 and Responsible Conduct of Research training 28th–30th January 2013 both attended by Faculty/Researchers and other staff from collaborative research projects left the participants excited about the training and the benefits MESAU has brought to the University!
Next on demand in the research arena at MUST is the ‘Manuscript Writing’ workshop scheduled for 4th-6th March 2013! With the limited slots available for effective training, one has to devise other means for accommodating the exploding numbers of potential participants who are registering pre-maturely so that they are not left out on the training! MUST will never be the same again, research capacity is being built and the sky is the limit!
As a research strategy, the iRIM supplement grant at MUST has been used to the birth another research support structure; the Office of Research Administration (ORA) in the Faculty of Medicine. This will be used as a springboard for similar offices in other Faculties and Institutes as a means to strengthen and expanding research in the University. There was a workshop from 4th- 6th February 2013 developing the strategic plan for the ORA, Faculty of Medicine. It is in the final stages before presenting it to the Faculty Board for approval. This strategic plan is to feed into the MUST-CIRIMO strategic plan (shopping mall). 

Background to the workshop:
•     Train Faculty/Researchers in Grant writing, Management & Submission
•    Target audience: Researchers and Faculty from the departments in the Faculty of Medicine
•    Number of participants: 30
•    Facilitators included: Ms. Larok Joan and Mr. Kyeyune Isaac
1. To provide the Faculty and Researchers with an overview of what happens in research administration and management (Introduce the Office of Research Administration to the Researchers and the roles there in).
2. Provide the participants with tips of writing a successful grants proposal; the introduction, the support logistics and the concept
3. Carryout a participatory training exercise to enable participants put into practice the learnt grants writing concepts- respond to an active funding opportunity
4. Introduce the participants to how and eRA commons work and  their importance
5. To demystify NIH to the Researchers so that they get encouraged to apply for NIH grants
Training activities:
• Grants Writing a Team Approach
• Coaching Researchers to Write Successful Grant Proposals
• National Institute of Health (NIH): Overview
• Funding Opportunity Announcements
• Expediting and Completing the Grants Application
• Understanding Grant Review Processes
• Proposal Budget Development
• Interpreting Funding Calls
• Group Exercise: Responding to live calls
• Understanding the NIH Application and Grant Submission Process
• Support Tools in Proposal Development
• Evaluation Feedback
• Wrap up and Closing Ceremony
There was a similar training for undergraduate students on 23rd March 2013, 45 students attended the training.

Background to the workshop:
1. Train Faculty/Researchers in Ethical Conduct of Research
2. Target audience: Faculty/ Lecturers and Researchers (specialists doctors, general practitioners,       nurses, research Administrators)
3. Number of participants: 23
4. Facilitators included: Dr. Joseph Ochieng, Mr. Hannington Muyenje and Mr. Paul Kutyabami Bioethics team from MaKCHS
• To equip Faculty/Researchers with knowledge to become responsible investigators
• To have the capacity to identify, manage and  prevent research misconduct
• To equip learners with knowledge to enable them  promote Responsible Conduct of Research
• Customize Responsible Conduct of Research to Ugandan contexts
Training activities:
• Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research
• Introduction to professionalism and ethics
• Human subjects protection and regulatory framework in Uganda
• Collaboration in Research
• Responsible conduct of Research Society and Environment
• Case scenarios
• Community involvement in Research
• Responsible Laboratory Practice
• Responsible handling of Animals in Research
• Conflict of Interest
• Peer Review
• Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
• Responsible communication, authorship and publication
• Mentoring relationships
• Responsible Financial management in Research
• Research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
There was also training for undergrauate students on 20th April 2013 in RCR. Topics covered include:
• Community involvement in Research
• Introduction to professionalism and ethics
• Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research
More of these trainings will continue taking place until all the topics have been covered.



Background to the workshop:
• Develop grants research strategy for the Faculty of Medicine
• Target audience: Faculty of Medicine Heads of Department, Faculty Administrator, and Research Administrators
• Number of participants: 26 participants
• Develop 5 year strategic plan for the Office of Research Administration in the Faculty of Medicine
• Define, program and communicate the strategy
• Align strategy with Faculty of Medicine vision, mission, goal, objectives
This strategy saw the creating of an Office of Research Administration (ORA) in the Faculty of Medicine.
“To Be A Vibrant One Stop Centre Providing Excellent Health Sciences Research Support In Africa”
ORA FoM Mission
“To provide a platform to support Health Sciences Research by developing an all-round Cadre of Health Researchers and generate funds to carry out research which informs education and practice of Health Care Providers”
Core Values
The Core values of the ORA FoM reflect what is truly important to the office. These values are the non negotiable basic principles that guide how business is conducted. The core values are:
• Accountability
• Professionalism (up-to date with information)
• Respect (integrity, consistency, honesty)
• Impartial/Equity
• Timeliness (communication & feedback)
• Team work
As strategy in the ORA to be able to advance research in the Faculty of Medicine, a capacity building workshop in departmental strategic planning was organized on the 3rd-5th May 2013 for the Heads of Departments. 17 HODs out of the desired 22 heads attended the training. By the end of the training which took on a TOT format, each head of department in attendance had a draft strategic plan which is to be completed at departmental level facilitaed by the HODs who were trained.




Background to the workshop:
1.  Train Faculty/Researchers in scientific manuscript writing
2.  Target audience: Faculty/ Lecturers and Researchers (specialists doctors, general practitioners, nurses, research Administrators)
3.  Number of participants: 29
4.  Facilitators included: Prof. Fred Kironde and Dr. Achilles Katamba
• To demystify the process of writing
• To teach the basics of scientific writing
• Instruction on the writing process and publishing scientific manuscripts 
• To learn how to write clearly, concisely, and effectively.
• To learn how to use scientific writing tools including Microsoft WORD, ENDNote, Microsoft Excel, etc.  


MUST would like to position herself as a centre of excellence for research and innovations.  That means being at the forefront of not only knowledge creation, but most importantly, transforming new knowledge into practical solutions that solve community problems.  To achieve this strategic stance, the University will invest in growing her research capacity (both in terms of skills and infrastructure) and will work with several collaborators to ensure that her research profile and innovations profile grows.
CIRIMO envisions transforming MUST into a leading center for transformational research and innovations.
CIRIMO seeks to promote efficient and effective conduct and management of research and innovations at MUST.
Strategic Objectives
CIRIMO will pursue the following five strategic objectives (SOs) in order to transform MUST into a leading center for transformational research and innovations.
SO 1:   Enhance research skills and infrastructure
SO 2:   Strengthen mobilization and management of resources for research and innovations
SO 3:   Nurture an enabling environment for research and innovations
SO 4:   Promote knowledge translation and innovation
SO 5:   Promote mutually beneficial local and international collaborations with stakeholders
            for research and innovations
CIRIMO will pursue the following values in her bid to promote research and innovations at MUST:
Teamwork: this is a process of working collaboratively with others in order to achieve a goal. Teamwork is often a crucial part of an organisation as it is often necessary for colleagues to work well together, trying their best in any circumstance. Teamwork means that people will try to cooperate, using their individual skills and providing constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between individuals. Consequently, CIRIMO will promote team work during the initiation, conduct, management and publishing of research.  This will also apply to the process of initiating and rolling out innovations.
Professionalism: being a professional implies a commitment to excellence and integrity in all undertakings. It places the responsibility to serve (care for) others above self-interest and reward. Accordingly, CIRIMO will encourage all researchers at MUST to act as role models by exemplifying this commitment and responsibility, so that peers and students are exposed to and learn the kinds of behaviours that build and maintain professionalism.

Accountability: this entails the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.  Consequently, CIRIMO will encourage MUST faculty, staff and students to be accountable for all of their actions, adhere to the principles and policies of the University and to the ethics and standards of their professions.
Time management: this refers to managing time effectively so that the right time is allocated to the right activity.  Effective time management allows individuals to assign specific time slots to activities as per their importance.  CIRIMO will therefore promote proper time management among researchers to that they can make the best use of their time.
Creativity & innovation: creativity refers to the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. In order to be creative, one needs to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, one needs to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Innovation on the other hand is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need. Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products.  Consequently, CIRIMO will encourage MUST researchers to be creative and most importantly, to transform their creativity into practical solutions for the community. 


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