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17 October 2017
Snapshot: UoN’s progress towards institutionalizing Research Uptake Print
Friday, 23 May 2014 14:49

Prof. Lucy Irungu of University of Nairobi spoke at the INORMS2014 conference, briefly summarising University of Nairobi’s progress in getting research into use. 

The University of Nairobi (UON) has made notable progress towards embedding Research Uptake and Research Uptake Management into our institutional structures since the launch of the DRUSSA programme in June 2012. The university has successfully put to use opportunities available through the DRUSSA postgraduate and short courses, so as to strengthen both institutional and individual capacity at UON.

The University of Nairobi (UON) has made notable progress towards embedding Research Uptake and Research Uptake Management into our institutional structures since the launch of the DRUSSA programme in June 2012.”

Building institutional Research Uptake Capacity at UON

When looking at progress in embedding Research Uptake capacity at institutional level at our UON, there has been significant development in strengthening the University of Nairobi’s institutional structure for research management and uptake.

  • Institutional buy-in has been achieved for institutionalizing Research Uptake and management as a core function of the university, with uptake-related activities strongly supported by university management.

  • A ‘University Communication Policy’ has been developed. This policy recommends a strengthened communication office with stronger links between all core function units at the University.

  • A ‘University Extension and Outreach Policy’ has been developed.

  • A proposal is being considered to create a position for a Director of Research and Extension. The expert in this position will work closely with the university’s communication office, researchers and stakeholders to provide support to researchers and to consolidate and manage the process of getting research into use.

  • An Open Access Policy has been developed and implemented. Through this University of Nairobi’s digital repository has been strengthened to enhance dissemination of research outputs.

  • The university’s existing Research Policy has been reviewed so as to align it with the changes in both the university governance structure and the university’s strategic plan. The opportunity was also taken to include Research Uptake and utilization in the research policy.

  • The university has approved an Innovation Disclosure Form to be used by researchers, so as to encourage a streamlined collection of innovation information.

  • The Research Grants Management Information System (RGMIS) has been developed and is currently being piloted.

    • An Innovation Fund has been created to encourage creativity among the university fraternity as well as to enhance possibilities for utilization of new knowledge.

    • The University has taken up membership with Linking Academia with Industry (LIWA) [http://liwatrust.org] to enhance the university’s engagement with industry.
Institutional buy-in has been achieved for institutionalizing Research Uptake and management as a core function of the university, with uptake-related activities strongly supported by university management.”

Building individual Research Uptake capacity at UON

UON has also had a strong focus on strengthening individual capacity in Research Uptake Managementas a means to strengthen institutional Research Uptake capacity. Significant progress has been made here too.

  • Individual professional development courses:

    • One staff member enrolled for an MPhil and another for a PhD in Science & Technology Studies (Specialisation in Research Uptake & Utilisation) offered by the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. The DRUSSA programme has awarded bursaries for these degrees.

    • A total of six members have attended short courses in ‘Science Communication and Knowledge Utilization’ run by CREST.

    • The University’s appointed Research Uptake Champion and Leader have both attended additional courses by CREST on ‘Research Evaluation, Impact assessment and Bibliometrics/Scientometrics’.

  • Individual capacity has also grown through the sharing of Research Uptake best practices, both through networking with other DRUSSA University participants on DRUSSA’s online platforms, and amongst members of UON’s own Research Uptake implementation team.

  • While playing key roles in developing policies directed at supporting Research Uptake, members of UON’s Research Uptake Implementation team have developed their skillsets and gained valuable experience.

  • An article on a UON Research Uptake project, ‘The impact of water sector reforms and interventions in urban Kenya’, was published both digitally and in print in the DRUSSA Universities PLATFORM2013. This article provided an introductory ‘snapshot summary’ of this research for policy influencers and stakeholders, and was used as part of a DRUSSA blog and social media campaign. The researcher, Dr. Samuel Owuor, is now working with the DRUSSA communication team to enhance Research Uptake opportunities for this research.

Prof. Lucy. W. Irungu is Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research of Production And Extension and Research Uptake Leader at University of Nairobi.
lirungu@uonbi.ac.ke;
www.uonbi.ac.ke

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