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22 September 2017
The DRUSSA Digest | Vol 4 No 3 | Oct 2015
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The DRUSSA Digest is published online at drussa.net and distributed electronically, four times a year. The Digest features articles about Research Uptake and Research Uptake Management (RUM) with a strong emphasis on the accomplishments of the DRUSSA universities, and the progress of the project. Please do forward this eDigest to your colleagues and suggest that they register as members of the DRUSSA Network.

Editorial
 

In the fifth year of the DRUSSA programme great emphasis is being placed on the sustainability of the dedicated work of the Research Uptake teams at each university. The universities are reporting results that are indicators of institutional changes; strategies and policies that formally embed Research Uptake in academic and support functions, resource allocation for permanent research uptake capacity, use of the knowledge gained in the academic programme offered by CREST at the University of Stellenbosch, experience generated at DRUSSA organized meetings, symposia and training events and, most importantly, at events organized within each university for the benefit of their staff. The third Research Uptake Benchmarking process which is currently underway is intended, not only to record the ‘state of play’ in this final year for comparison with the 2012 baseline Benchmarking and the mid-term Benchmarking held in 2014, but will also identify, for the programme and for each university, the key factors for successful institutional research uptake capacity strengthening.

 

At the University of Mauritius, the Vice-Chancellor has placed the new Knowledge Transfer Office within her portfolio, in recognition of the importance of having a permanent facility to link researchers with the users of research. At a number of universities training in Research Uptake Communication (RUC) is being ‘cascaded’ internally by participants in the annual RUC campaigns and at DRUSSA training workshops run on campuses.

In this final year of the programme, we are extending its reach in sub-Saharan Africa, with the support of the regional Research and Innovation Management Associations (RIMAs), by piloting an introductory Research Uptake Management training course which complements training workshops developed with the support of other funders of Research and Innovation Management capacity in the region. The DRUSSA programme was conceptualized years ago as a response to the declared need for research to be put to use. DRUSSA is another ‘building block’ to support and strengthen prior university research management capacity building programmes and to add Research Uptake capacity as a specialist area in research management.

 
 
We hope you find this an interesting read. Please do follow the links to the full blog version of each article on www.drussa.net for more interesting reading. Please add any feedback or comments to particular features there. If you have any general suggestions or feedback we would be pleased to hear from you. Please email the Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator and the DRUSSA DIGEST Editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
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Knowledge Transfer at the University of Mauritius
 

The University of Mauritius has set up a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) which aims to provide a strong link between the university, government, industry, and the broader community. This will increase the visibility of research conducted by academics and make it more accessible, a key part of Research Uptake Management (RUM), which is at the core of the DRUSSA Programme.


The KTO will act as a one-stop shop for the protection, exchange and commercialisation of knowledge created at the University of Mauritius, which includes technology, know-how, skill and expertise, for both commercial and non-commercial application. It will facilitate the showcasing of university expertise, experience and capacities and strengthen University-Industry-Community collaboration. It will play a central and pivotal role in linking researchers from all Faculties and Centres with the end users of the research, including communities, government and ministries, industry, and the media.

Read the full blog here 
 


Prof. Romeela Mohee is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius

 

 
A Framework  for Strategy - Institutionalising Research Uptake

 

The DRUSSA Research Uptake Management Working Group (RUMWG) will soon commence work on Edition 2 of "A Framework  for Strategy - Institutionalising Research Uptake"

With the benefit of a third year of experience in guiding activities for organizational change, advocating for resources, and embedding institutional Research Uptake capacity requirements into policy and practice, RUMWG convenes again in November 2015 to update and extend the subject matter of the Framework for Strategy. The second edition will be published and disseminated in March 2016.
 
Read more about the process, with a link to the first edition, and meet the RUMWG here
 

 Diana Coates is Managing Director of Organisation Systems Design and DRUSSA Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator
 
 
DRUSSA Research Uptake Capacity - Benchmarking III
 
Sharing and learning from good practice and assessing change is at the heart of the DRUSSA programme. That is why we are delighted to announce the third (and final) DRUSSA Benchmarking Process launched on 12 October 2015. As always, sharing of the survey results will be an opportunity to learn from and communicate examples of institutional change and DRUSSA universities’ successes.

The report will provide “direction of travel” for Research Uptake strategy, processes  and initiatites at  DRUSSA universities once the programme itself completes in September 2016 – and is also one way to assess how any future Research Uptake programmes could be designed to be even more effective.

The draft report will be  distributed in advance of the planned Leadership and Benchmarking Conference 2016, to be held in Mauritius in the week commencing 25 April 2016. The final Report will be published on DRUSSA.net soon thereafter.

Read more here
 

 Liam Roberts is the Acting Programme Manager (DRUSSA)

 

 
Southern African DRUSSA Regional Meetings
 
The DRUSSA team visited a number of Southern African universities during September, and in October met with the University of Botswana (UB), University of Zambia (UZ) and the Zimbabwean National University of Science and Technology (NUST) at a regional workshop held at the University of Botswana. DRUSSA.net interviews Dr B. Mogodisheng Sekhwela who provides an overview of the discussions.

The participants at regional workshop meetings held at UB discussed the successes and challenges that Universities have experianced undertaking Research Uptake activities since the inception of the DRUSSA Programme. The workshop was very positive and a great opportunity to share experiences, which highlighted some of the achievements of each institution, as well as similarities and differences in context.
 
Read more here
 

Dr Mogodisheng Sekhwela is the Assistant Director of Research Quality Management for R&D at the University and the DRUSSA Champion at the University of Botswana

 

 
Training the Trainer for Research Uptake Communications at the University of Calabar
 
In an interview with DRUSSA.net, Dr Regina Ejemot-Nwadiaro, from the College of Medical Sciences Department of Public Health at the University of Calabar shares her thoughts on the Research Uptake Communicators (RUC) course held in Rwanda earlier this year.

The University of Calabar has a strong research focus, with research ranging from tropical diseases to biogass energy from waste. As part of its mandate the university disseminates research findings to interested stakeholders in a variety of ways so that the research can have real impact. Dr Ejemot-Nwadiaro, a member of the Research Uptake Team at University of Calabar participated in the annual Research Uptake Communication mentoring campaign, which resulted in each of the DRUSSA universities producing a Research Uptake blog for publication on their own university’s, and the DRUSSA.net website. We interviewed her on the benefits the mentoring and guidance has had for her university.
 
Read the full interview here
 

Dr Regina Ejemot-Nwadiaro is a Lecturer/Researcher from the College of Medical Sciences Department of Public Health at the University of Calabar and the Research Uptake Communicator

 

 
Another point of view - Research Uptake isn’t all Media Buzz
 

The DRUSSA team recently visited a number of Southern African DRUSSA Universities and conducted workshops with various Research Uptake stakeholders on campus. Lauren Kansley, from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, talks about the workshop she attended and how it has influenced her thinking about the role of media liaison in the Research Uptake process.

As a media liaison for the largest university in the Western Province of South Africa my job usually entails chasing down reluctant academics and forcing them to “write” for me. Recently I attended a Research Uptake training workshop hosted by DRUSSA. I expected to go in and have the academics who attended alongside me finally understand what great value I can offer their projects.

That did happen, but by far I think the biggest mind shift was my own.

Plotting a research project from start to finish showed me the multitude of objectives that researchers are trying to achieve and ultimately marketing and media generally featured in the mid to medium range instead of the top billing I expected it to have.

Read more here
 

Lauren Kansley is a Media Liaison Officer for CPUT and the Research Uptake Communicator

 

 
A New Dynamism for Research at University of Buea: Promotion of Research Collaboration and Research Uptake
 
The University of Buea’s mission for research is to conduct research for sustainable development to provide scientific evidence and evidence-based practices that enhance the quality of life of Cameroonians. Both fundamental and applied research is done to address issues of relevance to industry, the local, national and global communities. Sama Awa-Mengi Levai outlines the University’s approach to Research and its promotion of Research Uptake.

The University of Buea (UB) is a young but dynamic and active research university that is dedicated to excellence and ensuring relevance of its research and training to the community. It is one of nine public Universities in Cameroon and mentor to 14 private higher education institutions. The University has grown rapidly since it went operational in 1993.

It’s a tradition that the University of Buea organises research planning days at the beginning of each academic year. These days offer an opportunity for the university to streamline its research activities according to the univerity’s spelled out vision for that academic year. This year, the university is working towards a new dynamism for research and the promotion of collaboration for Research Uptake. 
 
Read the full blog here
 

Sama Awa-Mengi Levai is a Public Relations Officer at the University of Buea and the Research Uptake Communicator

 

 
Research and Innovation Managers vote for the establishment
of an East African Research and Innovation Management Association
 
Following the successful conference and inaugural Annual General Meeting of the newly registered Eastern African Research and Innovation Management Association (EARIMA), hosted by the Ugandan chapter in Kampala, Uganda, in late August, the first elected committee mandated the President, Professor Eli Katunguka-Rwakishaya to initiate the formal recognition of EARIMA by ‘sister’ associations. At the annual Society of Research Administrators International (SRAInternational) meeting in Las Vegas, USA, in October Prof Katunguka Rwakishaya signed an MOU with the SRA International President, Dr John Westensee and CEO Dr Elliot Kulakowski.
 
EARIMA has been constituted as a not for profit organisation. As the Eastern African region is large EARIMA has emulated the SRAInternational by setting up country chapters so that members can meet locally more often than annually at the Association conference. Currently five country chapters have been established; in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Somalia, and as a result of attending the first conference, members from two more countries will be canvassing the opinion of local colleagues about establishing country chapters.   
 
Read the full blog here
 

Diana Coates is Managing Director of Organisation Systems Design and DRUSSA Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator

 

 
Events
 
  • 11th and 12th November 2015 - SARIMA will be hosting a workshop on “Bridging research and practice” in Pretoria. The two day workshop will look at Communicating science with Public Audiences. The closing date for registration is 5 November 2015. More information can be found on the SARIMA website
  • 23 - 25 November - The West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA) is holding its ninth International Conference and Workshops around the theme “Research And Innovation For Human Development: Role Of National Institutions In Addressing Threats In Emerging Economies."  The Conference and Workshops will be held at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, and DRUSSA will be facilitating a half-day workshop on the "Basics of Research Uptake Management".
    More information on the Conference can be found here.
  • 28 February - 1 March 2016 Science Communication - Communicating Research for Uptake Train the Trainers' DRUSSA Workshop, South Africa
  • April 2016 - The DRUSSA programme will convene the third Benchmarking review, in Mauritius

 

 

 
DRUSSA Network News is published quarterly. It is available on the DRUSSA blogsite, the DRUSSA App(register here to get the app) and via email (if you`re registered on the DRUSSA Network).
 
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