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23 August 2017
The Division of Research, Innovation and Outreach (RIO) at Kenyatta University Print
Monday, 23 March 2015 16:55

Kenyatta University has a new Division of Research, Innovation and Outreach (RIO) which has established a web presence, a one-stop resource to provide institutional support for staff undertaking research and Research Uptake.

The Division was established in line with the University’s Identity Statement of creating a community of scholars committed to the generation and dissemination of knowledge and cultivation of wisdom for the welfare of society. The Division aims to catalyze and build a dynamic research culture that not only generates knowledge and innovation but also facilitates the effective utilization of research-based evidence by communities at large and decision makers, to improve development practices and policies leading to economic, social and cultural vitality of our country, region and beyond.

 

Institutional Structures

RIO currently comprises two Units:

Research Support and Dissemination Unit which informs researchers about funding opportunities, processes proposals for submission to funding agencies, supports all academic units in planning conferences, workshops and seminars, coordinates the dissemination of academic research results through conferences and enhances evidence based research uptake by the public sector. The unit also provides advice on reputable journals to publish in and which to avoid.

Research Monitoring and Budget Unit which aids in administering research funds awarded through managing research budgets, processing payments to researchers and ensuring compliance with sponsor expectations of managing program funds and periodic reporting.

"The Division aims to catalyze and build a dynamic research culture that not only generates knowledge and innovation"

Role of the Advisory Board

The Division is also strengthened by the University Research Advisory Board which primarily ensures adherence to the University Research Policy and makes periodic recommendation to enhance the research and innovation environment.

 

Web-Based Research Support

To facilitate the attainment of its objectives, the Division recently launched a vibrant webpage aimed at providing researchers with a one-stop resource to information and data related to research activities within the University and outside. This new web page will be an important tool in keeping pace with the University’s agenda of strengthening research, innovation and uptake and in fulfilling the Division’s mission of encouraging and promoting excellence in research, scholarship and innovative endeavours. Researchers now have access to on-going research activities, published articles, upcoming conferences/workshops, funding opportunities and, a database of funders.

The webpage outlines the strategy to upscale Research Uptake and measures that can be used to assess progress. The page also highlights the key spin off companies being incubated at the University Innovation and Incubation Centre encouraging more student and youth to explore innovativeness that can lead to valuable ventures. The webpage development entailed referencing and comparisons of best practices adopted by world-renowned universities around the world in developing their research web pages. These comparisons helped the Division in determining which content to include, how to package the information, ways to make the page interactive, robust, informative and user friendly. The division has purposefully not made the page static. Instead it will be frequently enhanced to ensure that it remains responsive to changes and needs of researchers and continues to serve as an important tool in the researchers activities and ultimately to achieve its objectives of continuously informing and supporting researchers and the community to benefit from results of an improved research environment.

The webpage has a number of links to important information for researchers:

 


Each of these links take you to further key information for researchers:


 

"This new web page will bean important tool in keeping pace with the University’s agenda of strengthening research, innovation and uptake and in fulfilling the Division’s mission of encouraging and promoting excellence in research, scholarship and innovative endeavours"

Experience at the DRUSSA Symposium

The symposium provided an interactive platform that enabled benchmarking of Research Uptake activities being undertaken by Kenyatta University as well as those being planned for. The event also provided an opportunity to share challenges in uptake and assessment of how well research beyond the University’s walls is being pursued and achieved. More importantly it also enabled networking and discussion on the possibility of considering collaborations and partnerships that will promote Research Uptake management. It was evident that research and innovation provide an array of solutions to the many challenges that encompass society and therefore the effectiveness of research is attained through its impact to society through influence to policy and improvement livelihoods.

 


Dr. Vincent O. Onywera is the Registrar: Research,Innovation and Outreach (RIO) at Kenyatta University Registrar-rio@ku.ac.ke

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