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22 September 2019

DRUSSA Legacy for Sustainability

The DRUSSA Learning Resource 

The site  remains live as a publicly accessible resource. There is a wealth of programme-derived knowledge, tools, and resources that university leaders, research staff and research uptake managers should continue to be able to access and use as they strengthen their university management systems for getting research into use.

There is another, new  public access location for the DRUSSA Learning Resource .  The Association of Commonwealth Universities has developed the Learning Resource to serve as the long-term home research uptake resources and other literature and tools for research uptake you may find useful.

The Learning Resource  is housed on the ACU website and it re-curates a selection of 160 documents from that can be utilised as training aids, tools and resources in strengthening research uptake systems going forward, and will also be supplemented with new resources under development – such as online research uptake guides and new literature in the field.

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Five Years of the DRUSSA Programme has been the digital hub for twenty two developmentally oriented universities in twelve countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  All but one of the programme’s collaborating partners are located in sub-Saharan Africa too.   CREST [live link] at the University of Stellenbosch will continue to offer the Research Uptake and Impact specialism in it M. Phil in Science and Technology Studies. OSD [live link] has taken the Communication and Engagement role and has been both a learning resource and a learner in this role.  The ACU, in addition to co-ordinating the organizational change initiatives chosen by each university and the demand-side pilot in Uganda and Ghana that has linked users of research evidence with producers of research evidence, has been the accountable grantholder and liaison with the funder, UKAID in the UK.    The programme is featured in the UK government’s DevTracker [live link]


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DRUSSA Fables: A series of metaphors and parables
The use of metaphors and parables in science communication is well established – by constructing a narrative around an idea or event that has little to do with science, much can be said about science. Metaphors are particularly useful in communicating scientific results to non-subject specialists, since the narrative carrying a metaphor can be highly entertaining, thus making it easy for the message to be absorbed.
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DRUSSA Fables: Muscles and bling
“You youngsters …,” Grandpa Impact pointed his cane to his grandson sitting across from him at the crackling fire. “Yes, you … All you care about is showing off your muscles and bling. Always wanting to impress. This new generation has lost the good old virtue of modesty.”
“But Grandpa,” Young Evaluator protested. “People need to be made to believe upfront that one 
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2013 WARIMA Conference rescheduled

The West African Research and Innovation Association (WARIMA) is a key network for DRUSSA, so we were disappointed to learn that its seventh annual Conference, scheduled for later this month, has been postponed. New dates have not yet been set. In assessing member response, the Organising Committee, conference host the University of Jos and the WARIMA Executive decided that registration and the number of abstracts submitted were too low to warrant a conference. This is, supposedly, the result of the ongoing Academic Staff Union industrial action on Nigerian campuses.

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DRUSSA Fables: Mama Scientist`s dancing daughter

We scientists are like mothers--we cherish our findings and keep them close to our hearts, showing them off only to our scientific counterparts. However, findings "need to become" to be of greater value to society. For that reason, we sometimes need to let go of our findings--the same way Mama Scientist had to let go of her precious daughter, allowing her to drift into territory beyond her control... 

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DRUSSA Fables: Practitioners are alive and well on Planet P

The last few decades have seen frequent visits between the occupants of Planet R and Planet P. The natural inhabitants of Planet P are practitioners, while Planet R is home to researchers. Lately, the authorities of Planet R have been placing increasing pressure on their researchers to make their work more relevant and accessible to their kin labouring on Planet P. Being from Planet R myself, when a visitor from Planet P paid a passing visit to my neighbourhood, I jumped at the opportunity to interview him. I met a mature man, balding slightly and sporting grey touches at his temples. He was stylishly dressed in an elegant pinstriped suit.

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DRUSSA Fables: Winemakers, trains and knowledge
A bottle of wine is a knowledge product. Its features, like aroma, taste and texture, are the end result of various sources of knowledge and skill. One could rightfully ask what knowledge sources winemakers rely on when making wine and specifically to what extent they use scientific research findings.
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2013 WARIMA Conference: First Announcement and Call for Papers
The West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA), in collaboration with the University of Jos, has announced the 7th WARIMA International Conference and Workshops at the University of Jos, Jos, NIGERIA, from 24 to 29 November 2013, and issued a call for papers.
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Don't miss this opportunity: Submit your EOI
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) have called on individuals and institutions to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a new fellowship scheme and institutional capacity-strengthening programme that will enhance research into the impacts of climate change.
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Report-back from INORMS 2012

by Diana Coates


INORMS is an umbrella body for research management associations. Mooted in the early 2000s, four conferences have now been held. More than 400 research managers attended the latest, in Copenhagen, in May, more than 40 of whom were from Africa. The next will be held in Washington DC in April 2014.

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African researchers needed for TV show
Are you an Africa-based researcher? Do you have what it takes to be on TV? Good Morning Africa, a digital satellite TV show aired across Africa, has joined forces with Research Professional Africa to offer African scientists a platform to communicate their research to an audience of millions.
Good Morning Africa is seeking scientists who are willing to be interviewed at their institution about their science, and the potential it has to help their countries and their continent.
The ten-minute interviews will be featured on the Good Morning Africa show, which gets aired in over 49 African countries daily, reaching a possible 200 million people.
These interviews will showcase how African scientists are contributing to the continent’s development. Whether you work in crops, malaria, renewable energy or aquaculture, this is an opportunity not to be missed!
To have a shot at being selected for an interview, all you need to do is write us and tell us about your research.
Interested scientists should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , telling us in no more than 800 words why you should be selected for an interview. Submissions will be judged and read by non-scientists, so avoid heavy scientific jargon. In addition to your name, current place of work and short CV, applications need to provide details on:
1.     Your current research
2.     The real-world problems that it addresses
3.     The direct impact it could have on Africans
Applications will be accepted throughout July and August. Get your application in sooner rather than later to increase your chances! Scientists of any age can apply.
About Good Morning Africa
Good Morning Africa is 45-minute satellite TV programme that reaches 49 African countries daily. It is intended to entertain and update viewers on the latest events happening across the world through the eyes of the African Continent. The aim of Good Morning Africa is to highlight the modern Africa; and continent driven by economic development, tourism, new technologies, updated information, and current events that matter most. The programme is designed to be fresh, insightful and as current as possible, maintaining the attention and loyalty of African viewers. Visit for more information.
About Research Professional Africa
Research Professional Africa is an online information platform for academics, researchers, students, research and innovation managers, development officers and policymakers in Africa. Subscribers get access to comprehensive, authoritative and detailed information of over 45,000 research funding opportunities globally. The newsroom covers African science, policy and research funding news and analyses research funding trends on the continent. Visit for more information