Mak Heads of Department tipped on effective research leadership

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has appealed to Heads of Department to build strong research leadership structures that can meet Makerere University research agenda; of being a research led university. Speaking to Heads of Department from the College of Health Sciences on 30th August, 2019, Prof. Nawangwe noted that effective research leadership is a key component of well-built and profound research in the 21st Century.

According to Prof. Nawangwe, Heads of Department are the epicenter of research by virtue of their positions as immediate supervisors and coordinators of all academic work in colleges. He therefore recognized their role in building a sustainable research culture and systems in institutions of higher learning.

Your role is highly commendable and I request for your effort to enhance the value proportion for quality and relevant research output at Makerere University. As an institution, we have what it takes to become a research led university, and with a formidable leadership we shall achieve this goal, he said.

He applauded the College of Health Sciences for the tremendous research output that has greatly impacted society and marketed the university to the world. We are known for having contributed towards developing the malaria and HIV/AIDS treatment. We have undertaken research and written publications that have transformed societies especially in areas of health, he said.

The Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) in collaboration with the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) held three (3) consecutive workshops with Heads of Department from the 10 colleges of Makerere University. The workshops were funded by IREX's University Administration Support Program and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

According to Dr. Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the interactive workshops were geared towards building a sustainable research culture and research management systems for quality and relevant research output under the theme Building Institutional Capacity for Faculty Researcher Development, Funding and Management of Sponsored Research.

Addressing participants, Dr. Kakumba said that effective leadership is a priority and urged academic leaders to build the requisite skills in budgeting for research, writing winning research proposals and grants management.

He encouraged Heads of Department to build a strong leadership research structure that is ready to steer the College towards successful and formidable research results.

In a presentation, the Dean School of Public Health (MakSPH) Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze introduced participants to the ingredients of effective research leadership and these included;

Effective leadership

Strong technical competencies: research design, implementation, analysis, grants writing, publication

Motivating creativity

Experimental and entrepreneurial culture

Flexible work processes to allow creativity

Heterogeneous human resources (multidisciplinary)

Resources to support research and innovations

She urged the Chairs to always be the leaders they desire to see. Lead by example. If it is writing, write; if it is putting in the extra time, do it; if it is winning grants, win them and then the people will be inspired to do the same. Have a working cordial relationship with your staff and activate your communication platforms.

The presentations that followed focused on: Research Governance & Organizational Capacity: Role of Central Research Office/Directorate, Research and Researcher Career Development; Funding Research; Managing Research Grants; and Knowledge Transfer Innovations.

The Sessions were chaired by Dr. David Owiny, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya and Dr. Robert Wamala respectively.

Source: Makerere University

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