1. Title of Sub-programme: Enhancing Capacity in Basic Science Research and Training for Sustainable Development. 2




Название1. Title of Sub-programme: Enhancing Capacity in Basic Science Research and Training for Sustainable Development. 2
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MAKERERE UNIVERSITY


FACULTY OF SCIENCE


1. Title of Sub-programme: Enhancing Capacity in Basic Science Research and

Training for Sustainable Development.


2. Name and Details of Sub-Programme Coordinator: Dr. Vincent A Ssembatya,

Faculty of Science


3. Name and Details of Collaborating Coordinator: Dr. Peter Sundin, Director of ISP

Uppsala University Sweden


BUDGET USD 5,969,113


March 2009

4. INTRODUCTION

Basic Science is a major prerequisite in national development. It is essential to the understanding of natural and man-made phenomena, discovery of new products, techniques and the application of science and technology for sustainable socio-economic development. Uganda experiences the erratic effects of global warming resulting in reduced agricultural production, disease resurgence, droughts, floods and degradation of the environment among other things. In addition, the country largely depends on biomass as a major source of energy leading to environmental degradation. In spite of the abundant natural resources, the country does not have sufficient capacity to harness them to address the issues of health and nutrition. A firm foundation in the basic sciences is fundamental in tackling these problems and building a modern nation.

Research in the basic sciences in Uganda is limited by inadequate research facilities and the high cost of consumables. In Uganda, less than one third of the close to 30 public and private universities teach or carry out any research in the basic sciences. In particular the establishment of new universities has created faculties of science that lack functional laboratories, research funding, equipment and appropriately educated and trained personnel in the delivery of science. For example, currently the five public universities of Mbarara, Busitema, Kyambogo, Gulu and Makerere have a total of 33 lecturers in Chemistry. Of these, only eight have PhDs and six of them are at Makerere University.

The Faculty of Science in Makerere University has continued to be the major source of scientists for the country. With a population of 30 million people, Uganda has about 100 PhDs in Basic Sciences in the country. Among these, 70 PhDs are in the Faculty of Science at Makerere University. Of these members of the faculty, 10 are full Professors and 12 Associate Professors.

The Faculty of Science has a total of 128 academic staff consisting of 105 males and 23 females. Of the 23 female academic staff 15 of them hold PhD Degrees with two at the rank of Associate Professor. In spite of this being the highest number of female PhD holders in a single faculty in Uganda, this sub-programme seeks to train more female staff at the highest level. The faculty graduated 37 PhDs, five being females in the last 10 years. In 2006 alone, there were 10 PhDs. The faculty has potential to graduate more than 20 PhDs per year with adequate funding. This will enable improvement of the staff/student ratio of about 1:20 which is double that recommended by the National Council for Higher Education. The Faculty provides teaching services to other units such as Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, School of Education, College of Health Sciences, Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology. The Faculty alone has 1044 undergraduates and 154 post graduate students.

With regard to other achievements, the staff have continued to be active in research and publishing. Furthermore, they have organized and participated in several local and international conferences. The Faculty has demonstrated credibility in research as is demonstrated by its ability to attract attention from many international donor agencies such as:

  1. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant of USD 8.6 million to research in Human African Trypanosomiasis will be managed in the Faculty of Science on behalf of seven countries within the East and Central Africa. However, the grant has no component for capacity building.

  2. Another grant of 206,000 Euros has been won by Prof. John Kaddu and Dr. Fred Kironde towards work on Malaria Transmission Blocking by Vaccines, Drugs and Immune Mosquitos. The Makerere Team is part of a consortium of six organizations including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. The project is funded by the European Union through the Wellcome Trust in UK.
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