Over 170 staff and students of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology drawn from multiple disciplines completed a training workshop on writing winning grant proposals to attract more research funds.
The training which was conducted virtually on August 19, 2020 is in line with JKUAT’s blueprint anchored on research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Head of Directorate of Performance Contracting and Appraisal (DiPCA), Prof. John Wesonga who was one of two key trainers along with Dean, School of Food and Nutrition Sciences, Prof. Daniel Sila, urged the trainees to embrace multidisciplinary collaborations noting that the challenges that the society was facing were often complex and required an integrative, collaborative approach.
Prof. Wesonga advised that the key to writing winning proposals was to formulate a clear title to create a good first impression on the evaluator. He said most foundations were overwhelmed by the number of proposals received to the extent that it was the outline and clarity of the title that only determine the outcome of the applicant’s proposal.
He noted that the first impression needed to explain the key elements of the research and state the general purpose, specific goals, research design, methods, contribution and rationale.
“The title provides the first impression of the proposal and therefore it should be complete and provide the focus of your investigation. The title gives a glimpse of the nature of the proposed investigation and should include key ideas,” said Prof. Wesonga.
On his part Prof. Sila focused on the logical framework in proposal writing. He said a winning proposal needed to have three key phases namely: a planning phase, writing phase and a submission phase.
He explained that a planning phase involved self- assessment, the field to be researched on and the resources, brainstorming research ideas, and setting up of review committee.
He warned the participants not to be consumed by greed while writing their budgets urging them to seek consultation with the necessary offices on the current market rates when writing quotations.
“The person writing the proposal should not be motivated by money and therefore the budget should be an accurate reflection of the projected costs and revenue involved in running the programme,” said Prof. Sila.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ngumi who attended the training congratulated the organizers for stepping up and aiding the University realize it’s research, innovation and entrepreneurship agenda.
She stated that the public has confidence in JKUAT’s research capabilities with members of the community providing positive feedback from her interactions with them.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua lauded the Grants Management Office for organizing the training saying it will go a long way in ensuring institutional and personal growth.
He challenged the trainees to immediately start writing grant proposals and form multidisciplinary consortium in order to increase the chances of writing successful proposals.
The head of the Grants Management Office Prof. Naomi Maina expressed her gratitude to the trainers for offering to conduct the training without seeking payment.
She said one of her key functions is to identify sources of funding, mobilize staff members to respond to calls for proposals and ensure efficient and timely utilization of funds as per the respective project work plan and budget, as well as strengthening partnerships.