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25 July 2017
The path towards a Master’s of Philosophy in Science and Technology studies: A personal perspective Print
Monday, 22 June 2015 18:43

The University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Research on Evaluation Science and Technology offers an MPhil in Science and Technology Studies (Specialising in Research Uptake and Utilisation), with a rigorous application process including the submission of a proposal for a dissertation. Theogene Nyandwi, a DRUSSA bursary holder from the University of Rwanda, outlines his personal experience of participating in the course and how this has impacted on his work in Research Uptake activities at the University.

Research has been my passion since I became a Research Assistant in the Office of Research at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. The degree offered by DRUSSA partner CREST provided me with the opportunity to build a deep theoretical and practical understanding of Research Uptake and to contribute to the University of Rwanda being among the best participating Universities in the programme. The course of studies was very interactive due to diversity of distinguished lecturers and professors from different academic institutions and different backgrounds around the globe who gave lectures in areas of Research Uptake and utilisation, providing me with more information and knowledge which I could take forward at the University of Rwanda.

 

Applying my knowledge at the University of Rwanda

The University of Rwanda, throughout all six colleges, has institutionalized Research Uptake and Utilisation through organizational structures by putting in place the Research, Technology Transfer and Consultancy centres equipped with staff that deal with innovation and research dissemination and uptake.

Since I enrolled for the MPhil, my daily duties at the University have been dominated by activities aimed at bridging the gap between knowledge produced at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and its dissemination and uptake by the relevant stakeholders by first of all creating an awareness through my research on “ Uptake and Utlisation of Research Results at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences” .

 

The Research, Technology Transfer and Consultancy website

The skills gained extended my horizons and I was tasked with advising the webmaster about research content to be posted on the institutional website. The webometrics and scientometrics skills gained during my studies have helped to advise the web master in developing a comprehensive research web portal which enables the wider community to access all material related to on-going research, publications, ethics, uptake etc.

 


The college of Medicine Research web portal to be found at: http://www.cmhs.ur.ac.rw/research/

 

Annual Research Exhibition Awards

The University of Rwanda has put in place mechanisms to institutionalise Research Uptake and Utilisation by funding an Annual Research Exhibition. The College of Medicine and Health Sciences was the second to win such grant after the College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, and my studies in research utilization and uptake, science communication and research impact assessment  helped me play an advisory role in developing the proposal which resulted in the College successfully winning the grant.

 

Innovation and Use of Research Results as an Integral Part  of the University of Rwanda development

Through a partnership between the University of Rwanda and the Swedish government’s Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) a new initiative on “ Innovation and Use of Research Results as an Integral Part  of the University of Rwanda development  has been launched. This initiative will enable the University to be a source of knowledge, research and Innovations that are transmitted and applied to have a positive impact on people. I was appointed as “Innovation Coordinator at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences” and join five other innovation coordinators across the University of Rwanda to spearhead an innovation culture. Again my appointment was due to the knowledge and skills gained in undertaking the degree over the past two years.

 

My newfound knowledge will be mostly applied in:

  • Research management at my college to ensure the visibility of our researchers by a organizing and reviewing research website content.
  • Conducting  bibliometrics studies on research production, collaboration, etc  at the University of Rwanda
  • Support innovation development to lay a foundation for research and innovation uptake
  • Facilitating the College in boosting the role of the University of Rwanda as a key national actor in disseminating research findings and influencing their use in solving the problems in society

Thanks to the DRUSSA programme’s bursaries for the degree studies at the University of Stellenbosch I am able to contribute to transforming sub-Saharan African citizens’ life through Research for Development.


Theogene Nyandwi is the Innovation Coordinator at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda


 

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