Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) has started scheduling and holding open days for each of the university’s colleges to showcase research findings and products from projects Mak-RIF has funded or supported.
This was disclosed by Prof William Bazeyo, the chairperson of the Fund, at the open day for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) on April 29, 2021 at the Arts Quadrangle, Makerere University.
“The Mak-RIF team will schedule and hold open days in all colleges at Makerere University. It is in such engagements that we shall be able to engage so that we share about the good work we are all doing,” he said.
So far, the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) has held its own open day on April 15, followed by CHUSS.
In two years, CoCIS received 24 project grants while CHUSS received 61. After two weeks, the College of Health Sciences will follow; exhibiting at Mulago hospital. Makerere University has nine colleges and one standalone school.
Mak-RIF is a special funding stream to Makerere University from Uganda government to support high-impact research and innovations that inform national development priorities.
Official documents show that the objective of the Fund is to “increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda, especially the unfunded priorities”.
The Fund has a Grants Management Committee (GMC) which vets, selects and issues grants to teams and research groups. The Fund got its first-year basket of Shs 30 billion in 2019/2020, and another Shs 30 billion for the second year 2020/2021. Funds for the third year will be released when the financial year starts in July 2021.
Bazeyo reported that in two years, Mak-RIF has allocated Shs 6.3 billion to research projects endorsed by CHUSS. He said the research work and resultant products have boosted Makerere University’s ranking online and visibility in society.
The Fund, now in its second year, is currently funding or supporting 587 research and innovation projects, 61 of them under CHUSS. These projects were picked from 1,446 competitive applications.