The Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) on Tuesday 17th August, 2021 unveiled the 123 recipients of the third round of funding for 2021/2022. The Ceremony presided over by the Chairperson of Council; Mrs. Lorna Magara was also graced by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba and Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Dr. Josephine Nabukenya.
Present at the event hosted in the Council Room, Central Teaching Facility 1 (CTF1) were; Prof. William Bazeyo, Head Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU) and Chairperson Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC), Members of Management, a select number of researchers, representatives of Government and over 300 virtual participants.
Expressing her delight at witnessing the launch the third Mak-RIF Awards, Mrs. Magara said she was confident the awardees would help drive the National Development Plan III (2020/21-2024/25)-NDP III.
“Beyond my role as Chair Council, I am primarily here because I share the conviction and fully subscribe to the consensus that a locally-driven research agenda nurtures homegrown and locally contextualized ideas, which is a prerequisite for development and societal transformation” she explained.
Mrs. Magara thanked the Government of Uganda for the vision and commitment to support research and ensure that research funding is not left to international development partners. “With an investment of 30 billion shillings each financial year for the third year running, Makerere University joins the various institutions in which the Government invests heavily in research for example the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Uganda Virus Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organisation, among others.”
In this regard, she thanked H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for being an ardent believer in homegrown solutions and supporting locally-driven research and innovation.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe in his remarks noted that the 123 Awards under Round 3 would join 587 projects currently funded under Mak-RIF and together, enable each discipline at Makerere to contribute to Uganda’s development and growth. “The potential within Makerere University is enormous and we must continue to harness it.”
He equally appreciated the Government for not cutting funding to research and innovations at Makerere despite the disruptions to revenue collection caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that innovations such as the pedal-operated seed cleaner, electronic partograph for improved monitoring of labour, organ, and tissue biobanking project, enhancing value addition on potato and sorghum enterprises among others have the potential to change the economy of the whole region with minimal investment.
In his presentation, Prof. Bazeyo thanked the Ugandan government for demonstrating how much they value research outcomes by apportioning part of the limited resource envelope to funding research and innovations.
He shared that Mak-RIF Round 3 received 457 applications, with the 123 recipients being funded after a rigorous selection process. He equally shared a list of other universities that were approved by the GMC to conduct projects in their institutions, with the leader from Makerere University for accountability purposes.
“These include Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Busitema University, Gulu University, Kabale University, Bishop Stuart University, Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi and Muni University. Faculty from these institutions have benefited from this round of Mak-RIF funding” added Prof. Bazeyo.
Prof. Bazeyo further informed participants that the Round 3 awards were granted to those applications that best addressed the National Research Agenda informed by NDP III and developed by Mak-RIF with the participation of stakeholders from Industry, Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Academia, Research Institutions, and Civil Society.
The launch also featured three presentations by projects namely;
- Enhancing Value addition on Potato-Sorghum enterprises for Improved Livelihoods in Uganda (EVaPoSIL) – to develop high-value products and determine supply dynamics and profitability for the two crops, presented by Nantambi Bridget
- The Early Preeclampsia Diagnostic Strip (EPED Strip) – a low cost, reliable, safe (non-invasive) and Point of Care Test for self-screening by expectant mothers to know if they are at risk of preeclampsia, presented by Brian Matovu
- Optimized software for planning and simulation of food aid response during the COVID-19 pandemic and other similar disasters in Uganda – presented by Fildah Ayaa
Please click the link below to view the full list of 123 Mak-RIF Round 3 Awards