Forgotten your password? 

13 December 2017
Performance Contracts include Research Uptake at the University of Rwanda Print
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:07

In 2013 the University of Rwanda (UR) was established, merging all seven public Universities and shortly after 3 Nursing Schools and 2 Teacher training colleges were added. The aim of the merger was to rationalise resources for increased efficiency and quality. It's research strategy reveals that it is a research intensive university with a vision to conduct excellent research that is locally relevant and internationally recognized. The UR is organized into 6 colleges each formed by a cluster of similar disciplines and is spread over 14 campuses. Despite the upheaval of the merger Research Uptake initiatives, which began in collaboration with the DRUSSA Programme in 2012, the university has continued apace and performance indicators for Research Uptake have been included in institutional and individuals’ contracts. Prof Verdiana Masanja chatted to DRUSSA.net about these indicators.

"Depending on the level a staff member is at (Full Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer/ Researcher, Lecturer/ Researcher Assistance Lecturer/ Research) more emphasis is placed on teaching or research"

In Rwanda every civil servant, including university staff, signs a performance contract each year. For university staff the contract covers research, teaching and community engagement and administration. Depending on the level a staff member is at (Full Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer/ Researcher, Lecturer/ Researcher Assistance Lecturer/ Research) more emphasis is placed on teaching or research. An Associate Professor and Full Professor for example are required to spend 50% of their time on research, whereas Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are required to spend 40% on research, Assistant Lecturers and Programme leaders are required to spend 35% on research, Heads of departments, Deputy Deans of School, and College Directors of centres are required to spend 30% on research; and Deans of Schools are required to spend 25% on research.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for research include academic publications, presentations at conferences, mentoring junior researchers and preparation and submission of research and teaching development proposals, amongst others.Total marks of selected set of indicators should be equal to the percentage of workload allocated to the staff.

Since July 2015 an additional performance category under the Research KPI has been added that includes Research Uptake. The indicators in this category are as follows:

Indicator

Weighting

Repurposing of academic research paper into plain popular language

5

Knowledge translation into local language

5

Communicating published research findings in mainstream and social media, newsletters

5

Exhibition and road show of research findings

10

Production of video documentaries for communities, etc.

10

The process or product has been widely used by stakeholders

10

Research commercialization

5

Influence on policy as demonstrated by membership of advisory panels

10

For example,  an Associate or a Full Professor who has no administrative obligation will prove that he or she spent 50% of his or her academic workload on research by collecting 50 marks from the research category of indicators. Although at least 50% of the points for him or her should come from academic publication, a researcher can gain up to 25% of their points from Research Uptake.

Specific targets are set for leaders and managers at College level and for the University.

"The university has put in place policies to enable staff to achieve these key performance indicators – for example it has dissemination policies to support the uptake of research"

 

Institutional Support

The university has put in place policies to enable staff to achieve these key performance indicators – for example it has dissemination policies to support the uptake of research. As well as this the university provides training on Research Uptake, based on the train the trainer workshops which the university Research Uptake champions have attended. It is planned that this will fall under a centralised capacity building centre which is to be established.


Prof. Masanja speaking at a workshop of UR researchers in Musanze, Northern Province of Rwanda, May 2015

Incentives

The University also provides monetary incentives to researchers to undertake Research Uptake activities. For example the reward for producing a policy brief (which would fall under “Repurposing of academic research paper into plain popular language”) is 100,000 Rwandan Francs (about $150). These rewards are then used to support on-going research.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verdiana Grace Masanja is the University Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies at the University of Rwanda

...Back

Comments


Tomas Harber said on 2015-11-30 16:16:38:
A wonderful set of achievements made in the difficult context of a large merger! Congratulations to Prof Masanja and all our colleagues at University of Rwanda.