HR&S RESEARCH MANAGEMENT Support (REACH)

Strategy for Change - Scientific institutions

Background

Although scientific researchers and innovators in Sub-Saharan Africa present amazing solutions to national and international challenges, their ideas are often unrecognised and unsupported.  Consequently, findings tend not to be implemented, and businesses not to be started, and as a result, the society lack access to products and services that would otherwise have strengthened the society. Human Rights and Science (HR&S) claims that the efficiency of implementation of locally developed solutions is strengthened through international equal partnership collaboration.

Ambition

The purpose with the HR&S Research Management Support programme (REACH) is to support scentific institutions with  the generation, dissemination and implementation of scientific findings. HR&S REACH compiles and addresses the necessary conditions required to bring about a given impact, including; truth, trust, state-of-the-art knowledge, sustainable economy, institutional capacity, transparency, accountability, cross-cultural understanding, evaluation planning, and testing the strength of evidence for social impact.

Outcome challenges

Lack of fundraising activities

Testimonies*: Researcher (not PI) “My outcome challenge is lack of funds”. This testimony is stated by almost every researcher asked. The SfC requests “What is the activity” the answer is “none”. Lesson learned, the challenge is not “Lack of funds”, the challengs is lack of fundraising activites. Follow up questions; why are you not engaging yourself is seeking funds? Everyone answers one or several of the following: “I do not know where to apply”, “I do not know how to apply”, “I do not have time”, “I thought it was the PI only who should seek funds”.

Lack of activities related to ensure access to properly funtioning equipment

Testimonies: Researcher often claim that “My outcome challenge is lack of equipment”. This testimony is stated by almost every researcher asked, who is involved with laboratory work. The SfC requests “What is the activity” the answer is “none”. Lesson learned, the challenge is not “Lack of equipment”, the challengs is lack of activities related to ensure access to properly funtioning equipment.

Follow up questions; why are you not engaging yourself with ensuring access to properly funtioning equipment? Everyone answers one or several of the following: “I do not know which piece of equipment I need”, “I do not have the funds”, “I do not have time”, “I do not know what to do to get involved with ensuring access to scientific equipment”.

Lack of activites related to providing access to training events

Testimonies: Researchers often claim that  “My outcome challenge is lack of training events”. This testimony is stated by many researchers asked.

The SfC requests “What is the activity” the answer is “none, or very little”. Lesson learned, the challenge is not “Lack of access to training events”, the challengs is “lack of activites related to providing access to training events”.

Follow up questions; why are you not engaging yourself in activities related to providing access to training events? Everyone answers one or several of the following: “I do not know how to involve myself with enabling access to training events”, “I do not have funds for training events”. “I do not know where to apply”,  “I do not have time”, “I do not consider it to be my responsibility to arrange training events”.

Responsability for experimental work

Testimony by technician: Often technicians do analysis and diagnostic and answers questions related to researchers problems. Researchers often depends on technical procedures and advice when come to methodology application. Technicians are the diagnostic team and advicers if procedural guidance to testing the samples.

Reflection by Cecilia:  Actually, the availability of technicians in unfavourable when researchers are seeking research grants, the grant givers see that the real work is not done by the applicant. Sometime the technicians are not even mentioned in the publication.  Imagine the researcher presents her/his work in a conference, and someone asks about the experimental section, and the researcher cannot answer, while the technician is not mentioned among the authors. That will be an embaramnet to the researcher.

Expectations of Scientific institution management

It seems the Scientific institution management often expects the staff and students to arrange with their own research grants, while being assigned large volumes of lecturing and administrative responsibility. It seems also that the Scientific management welcomes every effort from the Aid industry to provide training to staff and students on any topic selected by the Aid industry itself, free of charge for the Scientific institution management. Especially though, does the institution management prefer coaching of staff and students to submit successful research grant applications. Unfortunately, when the staff and students receives a research grant, very little support, or no support at all, is provided to the researcher to excel in their research. On the contrary actually, there is little or no access to functioning scientific equipment, little or no time for research, lack of good internet, electricity, quality computers, and little or no professional scientific supervision.

Progress markers

– for strengthened scientific capacity

Reflection Cecilia: It seems the scientific capacity at SSA scientific institutions will not be strengthened through dedicated research grants, free training events, paid for pieces of equipment and consumables, equipment repair, library support or IT support.

Informed decision: HR&S will address the implementation of Progress Markers at Insitution management and ministry level instead.

Accountability

Testimony: “I feel I will have better and timely studies at another university. You see a lot goes on at our department and certain things are better not told to people of integrity like you. I would like to have a role that would result in well managed purchase of chemical … etc so that I can progress with my PhD.  The research funds provided to us are not enough but are sufficient if used for the intended use…. how recruitment is done and how and if chemicals are bought, but other aspects are also important. It would help so much if the waste of resources and deliberate delays are dealt with. It is unfortunately a weakness on our side. I have been silenced and cannot talk seriously in the meetings again. A leader told me something I feel is so embarrassing to tell you; activity in the meetings and partnership activities is interpreted as being a spy for you. When prof Cecilia interrogates a group leader about things not done well, then the active person in the group is communicating with Cecilia about what goes on at the department. We  cannot task a donor to provide funds, recruit, buy chemical, teach people to be honest and result oriented, teach people why meetings and contributions in them are for the common good etc, that would be like telling the donor to transfer their offices to universities being helped. I pray we will try to do things well. We have visited serious groups abroad and liked their ways. Unfortunately we fail to emulate them. We have to continue the struggle for the group back at my university.”

Lesson learned: Research funds are sometimes mismanaged. Local stakeholders may sometimes be expected to team-up against a funding partner.

Reflection by CEO: WHY are local stakeholders sometimes teaming-up against a funding partner? Do we have a joint understanding that Europe deserves to be met by in-accountability because Europe is rich as a result of Africa being poor; slave trade, colonial times and present unfair trade deals. I agree with that Europe is being rich because Africa is being poor, and can easily accept such accusations. Now, if we want to find ways to change this as fast as possible, general research and business investments will risk to fail.

Informed decision: Establish clear and measurable structures around recruitment of MSc and PhD students, as well as, around the purchase of chemicals. A very narrow scope for financial research and business investments, ensuring that the partners in Africa will not team-up turn against HR&S, but see the long-term value of accountability when working with HR&S. Also the other way around, find ways to prove that HR&S is an honest and trust-worthy partner with intrinsic motivation for a shift of paradigm.

Literature review *

Outcome challenge

The university librarians tend to have access to keywords to main databases, but the researchers and the technicians are now aware of this opportunity.

Activity

Establish a link and facilitate communication between librarians and researchers.

Encourage workshops by the librarians for the researchers and technicians on increased access to literature.

Ideal Customer Hypothesis

Lessons learned has shown that the Outcome Challenges  “expecting donations and free training” as well as “bureaucracy” are difficult for us to beat within the Public Scientific Institutions. Thus our Ideal Customer Hypothesis in the HR&S Lean business model are the Private Scientific Institutions and the R&D department within the Private Sector.

Global scientific research equal partnership

During times of pandemic and climate change the global dependency on scientific research equal partnership increases. EVERYONE has to contribute, no-one can lack enough sense of joint responsibility to lack taking initiatives, work hard and ambitiously together, to generate scientific results for the benefit of the global community. HR&S addresses scientific institution management concerning ROPE research management and technicians, concerning laboratory management. The scientific management is welcome to request training for their researchers at FULL price. At full price only so that the institution see the full value and thereby the researchers. 

Lesson learned: HR&S is reluctant to offer training on scientific matters directly to researchers. The reason being that researcher seems to not understand or appreciate the effort behind when teachers outside the university provide trainings on scientific matter. They often take it for granted and may see it as reasonable to demand the training to be in a certain way, not reflecting of the conditions of the trainer or show their appreciation. They may request the training to be frequent. Often they come and go without informing their trainer about their absence. They often also request a certificate for having attended, also even if they did not attend much. Nor do researcher seems to understand effort behind providing research grants (or scientific equipment or IT support). Instead researchers ask for training to address seeking research grants and perceive it as a justified short-cut to have access to funds, instead of developing thorough scientific skills and compete on the international market for research grants. There is a savior mentality that researchers from Sub-Sahara Africa shall benefit from research grants that are more easy to access. This approach weakens the academic institutions in Sub-Sahara African countries and it does not at all make sense, as the competitions is about have bright ideas and being ambitious. One of the world´s most fair areas of competition. Even Professors at academic institutions in Sub-Sahara Africa is intensively requesting to have easy accessible research funding, special training, advanced scientific equipment and IT support. This mind-set will make other countries to look down of these countries, if the professors at the universities cannot compete in the area of bright ideas and ambitious efforts. This may even jeopardize other arenas such as the eligibility of Sub-Sahara African countries to OECD, where countries negotiates global trade conditions.

Informed decision: Thus offer training on scientific matters directly to researchers tend to promote a behavior of disrespect among trainees and grant receivers to other researchers (trainers, grant givers, grant reviewers, admin staff etc) and thereby create a negative reputation that restrict opportunities for international collaboration and networking. This seems to goes against global scientific research equal partnership.

Accounability of research grants by team-leaders

Testimony* “Unfortunately I have come to another country to take up their scholarship offer but want to continue with the groups back home. I think this is a place where I can have control the progress of my research under normal circumstances.

Your institution helped me so much. I can’t tell you how much. Because me I count every input by your institution – even the wasted one. Because your institution means well especially for Africa.  You see there is great change in the groups because of your extra effort.  But we will do more. As simple as team-leaders accepting to meet weekly and people are allowed to at least talk about progress and challenges. Is a good start. We just need to push this, ensure honesty and good will from the leaders and students.  The system can force the current leaders to change for the good. And they will improve slowly. We need to be serious indeed. 

It is painful when other people kindly work hard and sacrifice for you and then you play around with what they sweat for to help.  The pain you cause when you waste what has been sacrificed for you is much. I pray that we change and act seriously. “

Testimony* “The main challenge is many years of aid with no serious accountability.”

 

Activity

The evaluation planning of the Research management programmes follow the Real-time Outcome Planning & Evaluation (ROPE) strategy. A new ROPE programme starts with setting a goal and to develop indicators to measure results. Then we develop an implementation plan, we secure finances, staff, and infrastructure, then we ensure knowledge sharing, the accounting procedures and the cross-cultural understanding. Then we make an activity plan and assign to people and institutions; who will do what, how and when. Now we implement, and after we measure the results and analyse. Thereafter we complement with what did not go well until we reach the goal we set up in the beginning. HR&S offers to coach through the procedures.

We only work in areas identified by our local partners, and besides programme design and implementation coaching, HR&S contributes with expert advice on the scope of the programme, international state-of-the art knowledge, facilitation of accounting and auditing, cross-cultural understanding, monitoring and evaluation as well as start-up loans. The ROPE practical strategy is useful for the implementation of development programme management, scientific research management, laboratory management. The ROPE strategy is likewise useful for scaling small activities to profitable social enterprises.

Quality scientific research depend on a sustainable economy. This can be achieved through i) professional and continuous research grant seeking and publication of scientific findings, and ii) by interacting with the non-academic sector to implement scientific results through social enterprising and take on new research assignments that are paid for.

Milestone

Lack of fundraising activities

Develop and manage monthly or bimonthly fundraising commeetties that meets regurlarly with effective and efficient meeting agendas. Committee members shares assignments, shares knowledge and support each other in developing research grant applications. PP Awarenes raising on research grant application review criteria and the mandate of grant institutions (not aid institutions).

Lack of activities related to ensure access to properly funtioning equipment

Link key stakeholders to the Laboratory management programme. 

Lack of activites related to providing access to training events

Change mind-set from expecting training events to enabling training events. 

Responsability for experimental work

Testimony by technician: Often technicians do analysis and diagnostic and answers questions related to researchers problems. Researchers often depends on technical procedures and advice when come to methodology application. Technicians are the diagnostic team n advicers if procedural guidance to testing the samples.

Reflection by Cecilia:  Actually, the availability of technicians in unfavourable when researchers are seeking research grants, the grant givers see that the real work is not done by the applicant. Sometime the technicians are not even mentioned in the publication.  Imagine the researcher presents her/his work in a conference, and someone asks about the experimental section, and the researcher cannot answer, while the technician is not mentioned among the authors. That will be an embaramnet to the researcher.

Expectations of Scientific institution management

It seems the Scientific institution management often expects the staff and students to arrange with their own research grants, while being assigned large volumes of lecturing and administrative responsibility. It seems also that the Scientific management welcomes every effort from the Aid industry to provide training to staff and students on any topic selected by the Aid industry itself, free of charge for the Scientific institution management. Especially though, does the institution management prefer coaching of staff and students to submit successful research grant applications. Unfortunately, when the staff and students receives a research grant, very little support, or no support at all, is provided to the researcher to excel in their research. On the contrary actually, there is little or no access to functioning scientific equipment, little or no time for research, lack of good internet, electricity, quality computers, and little or no professional scientific supervision.

Progress markers

– for strengthened scientific capacity

Reflection Cecilia: It seems the scientific capacity at SSA scientific institutions will not be strengthened through dedicated research grants, free training events, paid for pieces of equipment and consumables, equipment repair, library support or IT support.

Informed decision: HR&S will address the implementation of Progress Markers at Insitution management and ministry level instead.

Accountability

Testimony: “I feel I will have better and timely studies at another university. You see a lot goes on at our department and certain things are better not told to people of integrity like you. I would like to have a role that would result in well managed purchase of chemical … etc so that I can progress with my PhD.  The research funds provided to us are not enough but are sufficient if used for the intended use…. how recruitment is done and how and if chemicals are bought, but other aspects are also important. It would help so much if the waste of resources and deliberate delays are dealt with. It is unfortunately a weakness on our side. I have been silenced and cannot talk seriously in the meetings again. A leader told me something I feel is so embarrassing to tell you; activity in the meetings and partnership activities is interpreted as being a spy for you. When prof Cecilia interrogates a group leader about things not done well, then the active person in the group is communicating with Cecilia about what goes on at the department. We  cannot task a donor to provide funds, recruit, buy chemical, teach people to be honest and result oriented, teach people why meetings and contributions in them are for the common good etc, that would be like telling the donor to transfer their offices to universities being helped. I pray we will try to do things well. We have visited serious groups abroad and liked their ways. Unfortunately we fail to emulate them. We have to continue the struggle for the group back at my university.”

Lesson learned: Research funds are sometimes mismanaged. Local stakeholders may sometimes be expected to team-up against a funding partner.

Reflection by CEO: WHY are local stakeholders sometimes teaming-up against a funding partner? Do we have a joint understanding that Europe deserves to be met by in-accountability because Europe is rich as a result of Africa being poor; slave trade, colonial times and present unfair trade deals. I agree with that Europe is being rich because Africa is being poor, and can easily accept such accusations. Now, if we want to find ways to change this as fast as possible, general research and business investments will risk to fail.

Informed decision: Establish clear and measurable structures around recruitment of MSc and PhD students, as well as, around the purchase of chemicals. A very narrow scope for financial research and business investments, ensuring that the partners in Africa will not team-up turn against HR&S, but see the long-term value of accountability when working with HR&S. Also the other way around, find ways to prove that HR&S is an honest and trust-worthy partner with intrinsic motivation for a shift of paradigm.

Literature review *

Outcome challenge

The university librarians tend to have access to keywords to main databases, but the researchers and the technicians are now aware of this opportunity.

Activity

Establish a link and facilitate communication between librarians and researchers.

Encourage workshops by the librarians for the researchers and technicians on increased access to literature.

Ideal Customer Hypothesis

Lessons learned has shown that the Outcome Challenges  “expecting donations and free training” as well as “bureaucracy” are difficult for us to beat within the Public Scientific Institutions. Thus our Ideal Customer Hypothesis in the HR&S Lean business model are the Private Scientific Institutions and the R&D department within the Private Sector.

Global scientific research equal partnership

During times of pandemic and climate change the global dependency on scientific research equal partnership increases. EVERYONE has to contribute, no-one can lack enough sense of joint responsibility to lack taking initiatives, work hard and ambitiously together, to generate scientific results for the benefit of the global community. HR&S addresses scientific institution management concerning ROPE research management and technicians, concerning laboratory management. The scientific management is welcome to request training for their researchers at FULL price. At full price only so that the institution see the full value and thereby the researchers. 

Lesson learned: HR&S is reluctant to offer training on scientific matters directly to researchers. The reason being that researcher seems to not understand or appreciate the effort behind when teachers outside the university provide trainings on scientific matter. They often take it for granted and may see it as reasonable to demand the training to be in a certain way, not reflecting of the conditions of the trainer or show their appreciation. They may request the training to be frequent. Often they come and go without informing their trainer about their absence. They often also request a certificate for having attended, also even if they did not attend much. Nor do researcher seems to understand effort behind providing research grants (or scientific equipment or IT support). Instead researchers ask for training to address seeking research grants and perceive it as a justified short-cut to have access to funds, instead of developing thorough scientific skills and compete on the international market for research grants. There is a savior mentality that researchers from Sub-Sahara Africa shall benefit from research grants that are more easy to access. This approach weakens the academic institutions in Sub-Sahara African countries and it does not at all make sense, as the competitions is about have bright ideas and being ambitious. One of the world´s most fair areas of competition. Even Professors at academic institutions in Sub-Sahara Africa is intensively requesting to have easy accessible research funding, special training, advanced scientific equipment and IT support. This mind-set will make other countries to look down of these countries, if the professors at the universities cannot compete in the area of bright ideas and ambitious efforts. This may even jeopardize other arenas such as the eligibility of Sub-Sahara African countries to OECD, where countries negotiates global trade conditions.

Informed decision: Thus offer training on scientific matters directly to researchers tend to promote a behavior of disrespect among trainees and grant receivers to other researchers (trainers, grant givers, grant reviewers, admin staff etc) and thereby create a negative reputation that restrict opportunities for international collaboration and networking. This seems to goes against global scientific research equal partnership.

Accounability of research grants by team-leaders

Testimony* “Unfortunately I have come to another country to take up their scholarship offer but want to continue with the groups back home. I think this is a place where I can have control the progress of my research under normal circumstances.

Your institution helped me so much. I can’t tell you how much. Because me I count every input by your institution – even the wasted one. Because your institution means well especially for Africa.  You see there is great change in the groups because of your extra effort.  But we will do more. As simple as team-leaders accepting to meet weekly and people are allowed to at least talk about progress and challenges. Is a good start. We just need to push this, ensure honesty and good will from the leaders and students.  The system can force the current leaders to change for the good. And they will improve slowly. We need to be serious indeed. 

It is painful when other people kindly work hard and sacrifice for you and then you play around with what they sweat for to help.  The pain you cause when you waste what has been sacrificed for you is much. I pray that we change and act seriously. “

Testimony* “The main challenge is many years of aid with no serious accountability.”

 

Milestone

Accountability

We need to measure accountability in parallel with scientific matters withing research aid programmes.

  • Present the criteria for how to select the supported researchers and exactly who where selected and why, per person.
  • Supported researchers must submit two manuscripts per year and publish one paper per year. Present structures for how to manage the reply to reviews.
    The budget must reflect address all outcome challenges related to submitting two manuscripts and publishing one paper. If they do not reach this progress marker the researcher her/himself must explain why, with signatures. 
  • Demand well defined justification for the budget items and then use those as progress markers. The receivers of research aid grants must present how they meet progress markers in annual programme reports. If they do not reach this progress marker the research leaders must explain why, each with signatures.
  • Present structures for how to ensure that supported researchers have access to chemicals.
  • Present structures for how to ensure that supported researchers have access to scientific literature.
  • Present structures for how to ensure that supported researchers have access to supervisors.
  • Present structures for how to ensure service and maintenance of pieces of equipment.
  • Annual auditing of financial reports, with management reports.
  • Ensure enough reviewers from the region of the receivers of support that understands the local system very well.
  • Ensure that the strive for gender equality is not used by men to get favours from women.

Output

Already 20 workshops have been held benefitting from the HR&S strategies. We have target Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The programme addresses five categories of Target partners (TPs):
TP1 Research: TP1A. Researchers: PhD students, Post-doc researchers, Professors. TP 1B. Research Students: MSc students. TP 1C. Supervisors, TP 1D. Entrepreneurs from the university. TP2 Education: TP 2A. Lecturers. TP3 Research services: TP 3A. Laboratory Technicians, TP 3B. IT technicians, TP 3C. Librarians. TP4 Research management: TP 4A. Department management, TP 4B. University Top management; VC, DVC research, innovation and enterprising, DVC administration, DVC academic, Finance manager, Bursary, TP 4C. Top management Administration; Accountant, Procurement officer, Public relations and communication. TP5 External Research services: TP 5A. Agreed Suppliers.

The output from these workshops includes the below:
Professional Ambitions of the researchers have been found to be:
1. Individual career goals. 2.Perform high quality research. 3.Disseminate scientific findings. 4. Implement scientific findings. 5.Enable talents of Africa.
Outcome challenges for the researchers have been presented as:
Lack of: 1. motivation to do research, 2. time management, 3. collaboration & networking, 3. theoretical research capacity, 4. practical research capacity, 5. capacity to address the needs of the rural and urban civil society, 6. Dissemination of scientific findings, 7. Implementation of scientific findings. 8 business development capacity.

Activities to address the challenges have been agreed on as well as indicators to measure outcome and impact.

Strategy for Change - RESEARCHERS

Ambitions

  1. Individual career goals.
  2. Perform high quality research.
  3. Disseminate scientific findings.
  4. Implement scientific findings.
  5. Enable talents of Africa.
  6. Solve the challenges of the country.

 

Outcome challenges

  1. Motivation to do research.
  2. Time management.
  3. Collaboration & networking.
  4. Theoretical knowledge.
  5. Practical research opportunities.
  6. Dissemination of scientific findings
  7. Implementation of scientific findings.
  8. Addressing the needs of the civil society.
  9. Business start-up & management.

 

Output – Local

Knowledge

  • Manage a grant management club; set times, venue and appoint coordinator.
  • Manage a publish club; set times, venue and appoint coordinator.
  • Manage an English language club; weekly, set time and venue. Appoint English language teacher and coordinator. Homework: learn three new words per day.

Collaborate & network

  • Find opportunities to do things together. Capture opportunities for collaboration.
  • Share knowledge and experiences. Create knowledge sharing platforms.
  • Give time and attend the meetings.
  • Be positive to all contributions by others. We should help people to get more motivation.
  • Address team building.
  • Build research teams. Network among research teams.
  • Partner-up with departments of the same discipline worldwide
  • Build a network of all African scientists. Establish pan African networks with regular meetings in domains without (mathematics). Build a network of all African scientists to do basic and applied research together.
  • Arrange with collaborative platform between researchers, students and technicians.
  • In order to have a reliable and functional team, then it is necessary that the objectives of the project are well defined.
  • Increase direct research collaboration through identifying authors as new potential collaborators.

Ensure state-of-the-art knowledge

  • Be up-dated bout the state-of-the art knowledge.

Practical research

  • Identify quality pieces of equipment that are suitable for African conditions.
  • Create a good atmosphere and a collaborative platform between researchers, students and technicians.

 

Output – Sweden

Progress markers

LevelONE: Supported researchers must submit two manuscripts per year and publish one paper per year. Present structures for how to manage the reply to reviews. The budget must reflect address all outcome challenges related to submitting two manuscripts and publishing one paper. If they do not reach this progress marker the researcher her/himself must explain why, with signatures.

Expected Outcome

Planning

  • Individual time management. Ensure enough time to do research through own well-disciplined time management.
  • Individual long-term planning with measurable mile-stones.

Knowledge

  • Know how to seek research grants and how to invest them well, so that the career is promoted.
  • Identify the appropriate grant giving institutions.
  • Send grant application to donors supporting research and scientific meetings.
  • Seek funding from the government, send grant application to the government.
  • Know how to publish.
  • Manage the English language.

Attitude – Lack of motivation due to limited financial support

  • Change attitude from focusing on money to focusing on research output.
  • We should think that we make the investment in ourselves.
  • Team work can also motivate.

Deliver

  • Develop novel ideas.
  • Develop products and services.
  • Develop patents.

practical research

  • Access to a quality laboratory with functioning advanced equipment and well educated technicians.
  • Develop a proper business situation around laboratories.
  • Convince the authorities through policy-briefs and Round table sessions to equip the laboratories.

Address the needs of the civil society

  • Analyse the mind-set of the community.
  • Sensitise the local community on development, promote the usage of developed products.
  • Developing products and services, for example: use local material as pigment, know how traditional medicine can be used to overcome health problems in Africa.
  • Benefit from and collaborate around local knowledge when developing products and services.

Collaborate with policymakers

  • Support policy development.
  • Support politicians to develop national policies to promote community development
  • Lobby among the politicians.

Collaborate with the private sector

  • Address the needs of the private sector.

Disseminate scientific findings

  • Disseminate results through workshops and conferences.
  • Publish.
  • Share with the government; Inform about scientific findings through policy briefs. Inform about products and services through Round Table discussions. Prove to be useful to the government in order to motivate them to invest in scientific research.

Implement scientific findings

  • Work in research areas with practical applications.
  • Reach out to the society. Have knowledge in their areas of research. Have knowledge about the problem before starting the research work. Focus on impactful research to the society.
  • Discuss with industries to identify the gaps, then research on what the industry need.
  • Work in collaboration in order to come up with impactful research. Compare with others, ensure interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Establish local research institutions besides universities and government institutions.
  • Adopt competency based training.
  • Do more research even with the available inadequate pieces of equipment.
  • Implement work directly after publication.
  • See how money can generate income.
  • Believe in ourselves.
  • Avoid depending fully on aid. The prolonged provision of aid became a problem since it discouraged creativity, innovation and creative thinking as the researchers focus on the money rather than the impact of the research.

Develop businesses

  • Improved service delivery.
  • Generate start-up capital; Take bank loan or seek investor; needs guarantee which can be a home or a piece of land.
  • Address National fund for investment for farmers.

Enable talents

  • Involve everyone, also those lacking tuition fee.
  • Empower women; ensure women researcher role-models, seek research grant for women. Ensure gender balance.
  • Promote African researchers at other continents.
 

Strategic partnership

INASP

https://www.inasp.info

Build the individual skills of researchers via:

  • Massive open online courses (MOOCs) on research writing and publication. Our large-scale online courses in research writing, publishing and grant proposal writing are supported by expert facilitators from around the world.
  • Thematic online courses on research communication and proposal writing. We deliver intensive courses on research communication and proposal writing, tailored to fit thematic areas, and country context.
  • Supporting research communication to non-academic audiences, such as policymakers and practitioners. We design and implement research uptake strategies and skills training for projects aiming to influence policy.

Develop lasting institutional capacity to support research communication 

INASP works with universities and research institutes to develop institutional research communications training programmes.

  • Enabling institutions to develop in-house research communications training. INASP supports institutions to develop research communication skills training programmes and train local trainers to build capacity for ongoing development of staff.
  • Design and delivery of online learning programmes. INASP supports institutions to deliver online learning programmes by developing low-bandwidth courses, hosted on their own learning platforms, training local trainers in online learning methods and online course facilitation

We strengthen the visibility and quality of Southern published research through our work to support Southern journals platforms and publishing standards.

AuthorAID

https://www.authoraid.info/en/about/
AuthorAID is a free pioneering global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in low and middle income countries.  AuthorAID supports over 20,000 researchers in low and middle income countries to publish and communicate their work. The AuthorAID network offers:

  • Personal mentoring by highly published researchers and professional editors
  • Online training workshops on scientific writing
  • A discussion group for discussion and questions where researchers can benefit from advice and insights from members across the globe
  • Access to a range of documents and resources on best practice in writing and publication
  • A chance to network or collaborate with other researchers

AuthorAID works directly with universities and institutions to build local capacity

  • AuthorAID has worked to embed research writing skills in universities and institutions around the world.
  • AuthorAID supports women researchers to address the issues preventing them from progressing to senior roles in their institutions. Learn more about our gender toolkit.

BAG

https://www.bag.rw

BAG is a digital platform that uses Gamification to offer a solution for students and recent graduates to access real-time experience-based learning. BAG provides a Virtual Internship and Challenge portal to support students in higher learning institutes to complement the theoretical learning in school with market relevant exercises & experience, directly related to the future employers’ needs. BAG is on a mission to increase the collective market readiness score of the African youth and multiply the knowledge transfers between employers and learners.

CAMES

Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES) https://www.lecames.org/

Mission: In order to manage higher education and scientific research issues in member countries, CAMES has more specific missions to: Promote and foster understanding and solidarity between Member States;     Establish permanent cultural and scientific cooperation between Member States; Collect and distribute all academic or research documents: theses, statistics, information on exams, directories, annals, rankings, information on job offers and applications from all origins; Prepare draft conventions between the states concerned in the fields of higher education and research and contribute to the application of these conventions; Design and promote consultation with a view to coordinating higher education and research systems in order to harmonize the programs and levels of recruitment in the various higher education and research establishments, promote cooperation between the various institutions, as well as information exchange.

Memembers Oct 2021

  • Institut International de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (2iE), Burkina Faso
  • Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone subhumide (CIRDES), Burkina Faso
  • Université Aube Nouvelle, Burkina Faso
  • Eau et Assainissement pour l’Afrique (EAA), Burkina Faso
  • Université Saint Thomas d’Aquin (USTA), Burkina Faso
  • Institut International des Assurances (IIA), Cameroun
  • Université Catholique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest(UCAO)
  • Université Senghor à Alexandrie, Egypte
  • Institut Africain d’Informatique(IAI), Gabon
  • Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon
  • Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL), Gabon
  • Institut du Sahel, Mali
  • Centre Régional AGRHYMET, Niger
  • Centre de Formation aux Techniques des levés Aérospatiaux (RECTAS), Nigéria
  • Ecole Inter-états des Sciences et Médecine Vétérinaires (EISMV ), Sénégal
  • Ecole Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications (ESMT), Sénégal
  • Centre Africain d’Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG ), Sénégal
  • Institut Sous-régional Multisectoriel de Technologie Appliquée, de Planification et d’Evaluation de Projets (ISTA)

Research4Life

https://www.research4life.org

Research4Life provides institutions in lower income countries with online access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content. Research4Life aims to improve teaching, research and policy-making in health, agriculture, the environment and other life, physical and social sciences.

Local, not-for-profit institutions from two groups of eligible countries, areas and territories may register for free or low-cost access to ten of thousands of peer-reviewed international scientific journals, publications, and databases through Research4Life. If your institution is an academic, government or research institution in a low- and middle-income country, it may be eligible to join Research4Life.

Eligible institutions are: national universities, professional schools, research institutes, teaching hospitals and healthcare centers,government offices, national libraries, agricultural extension centers, andlocal, non-governmental organisations. Thousands of institutions across the world have already joined Research4Life. Universities and professional schools should check if the institution is represented on the list of registered academic institutions and if so, contact the librarian for access.

Since 2002, Research4Life have provided researchers at more than 10,000 institutions in over 125 lower- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to up 140,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences and legal information.

We do this in partnership with organisations in the fields of scholarly communications, technology and international development: WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, ILO; Cornell and Yale Universities; the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers and more than 180 international publisher partners.

There are five programs through which users can access content: Research for Health (Hinari), Research in Agriculture (AGORA), Research in the Environment (OARE), Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) and Research for Global Justice (GOALI).

 

Guidance on quality journals

So-called ‘predatory’often charge a fee for fast publication but have poor publishing practices, fail to carry out legitimate peer review, and fake their inclusion in important indexes. There is  unclear and conflicting advice on how to tell a credible journal from a ‘predatory’ one. Researchers must use their own critical analysis skills and decide for themselves whether a journal is appropriate for their research. AuthorAid advices;  i) Do not trust email invites and ‘Call for Papers’ (unless we recognise the sender); ii) Be sceptical of ‘international’ or ‘global’ journals, and those with a wide scope: iii) Double-check claims of prestigious indexing and impact factors (Impact factors Web of Science database: http://mjl.clarivate.com/): iv) 4. Read the ‘Aims and scope’ or ‘About’ page – check the journal understands your field; v) 5. Check who is publishing the journal – are they a credible scholarly organisation?: and vi) 6. We check our reference lists – we familiarise ourselves with good journals in our fields. https://www.authoraid.info/en/news/details/1310/.

MIAR collects data for the identification and the analysis of scientific journals. http://miar.ub.edu/

Other sources:
My experience of predatory journals and how to avoid them (Aamir Raoof Memon) https://www.authoraid.info/en/news/details/1250/
Identifying Predatory Publishers – How to tell reputable journals from shady ones (The Scientist) https://www.the-scientist.com/careers/identifying-predatory-publishers-31225
GUIDE: How to spot predatory academic journals in the wild (Africa Check) https://africacheck.org/fact-checks/guides/guide-how-spot-predatory-academic-journals-wild

 

 

NOTE - Applyng for a research grant

How to prepare and write your application

Make sure that you have enough preliminary data to support your application (this is an aspect that is often overlooked but that reviewers are very keen on).
Read the guidelines and the application form carefully, so that you know exactly what information is needed and how to prepare it.
Ask one of your colleagues to read your application, as you might receive useful feedback from them.

Pay attention to the following
Include all the requested information on the Principal Investigator so that reviewers will be able to properly assess your proposal. The section on the papers published is particularly important.
Summary and abstract: These are the first sections of the research project read by the reviewers and not all the reviewers will be experts in your field of research or the techniques you propose. A concise, clear and organised text will help them to grasp/understand your project.
Introduction & Research project: Provide sufficient background information to enable all reviewers to understand your proposed work.
The originality/importance of the proposed theme should be clearly indicated. If you propose studies already carried out by other groups make sure that you indicate in which aspects/approaches your proposal differs from ongoing studies and why the grant giver should therefore fund your project.
Make sure that your proposal is well organised and presented in a logical manner. All the sections should fit together. Use simple, clear sentences, do not use jargon.
Time schedule: Be realistic in proposing your specific goals and make sure that your aims can be accomplished within the proposed time and with the resources available combined with the resources requested.
Training Component: It important to also train  others, in case training will be provided. Specify the training that will be carried out (number and qualification of potential people to be trained, techniques that will be learned, etc.).
Collaborations: Clearly state any established collaborations that will be part of the project and detail the contributions provided by each collaborator. A letter confirming the collaboration is an additional asset. This section is particularly important when the PI does not have previous or strong experience in the proposed field and/ or techniques, which will be provided by a collaborator.
Facilities available: Provide a detailed list of the infrastructure, personnel and equipment available in your Institution and necessary for the proposed research. Indicate if facilities provided by other Institutions/organisations will be made available. Mention any additional funding and other resources that your Institute will provide for the execution of the project (e.g., support for a technician, librarian, social scientist, statistician, PhD students, etc.)
Feasibility: Make sure that the personnel involved have the expertise to carry out the proposed research. Provide details on the expertise of the PI and of each individual member of the research team.
Budget: Read the guidelines carefully and list only expenses justified by the proposed research. Do not request funds for costs not covered by the grant or exceeding the limits set for the five budget categories. If applying for pieces of equipment, ensure that you propose the most suitable piece of equipment and the correct price. Ensure that the cost for transportation, insurance,  service, maintenance, and use is covered, preferably by the Institution.

Examples of grant givers

This compilation gives examples of research grant givers. Disclaimer: HR&S dos not propose these grants over over other opportunities, there is no priortisation, they all have their nieches and specalisations, and there are obviously a lot of other opportunities as well.

  • http://www.ekhagastiftelsen.se/eng/vem.shtml
  • http://www.elsevierfoundation.org/greenchem/
  • https://www.daad.or.ke/en/ DAAD Regional Office Nairobi offers services for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • https://tropicalforestry.wordpress.com/2020/09/08/call-for-daad-scholarship-applications-for-admission-2021/
  • https://twas.org/opportunities/fellowships
  • https://www.aasciences.africa/call/arise
  • https://wascal.org/100-scholarship-in-any-of-our-11-west-african-countries-of-your-choice/

Acknowledgement

The Research management support programme has been developed by Assoc. Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN.

She is grateful for the support provided by friends, colleagues and partners all over the world.

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