Research grants have become an integral part of higher education research as its role in economic and social development increase year by year. However, in Kenya, the diminishing government capitation to institutions of higher learning has made it difficult for universities to rely on the ex-chequer for research funding.
To address this, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi encouraged JKUAT researchers to robustly apply for externally funded research and consultancy grants as means of raising research funds for the University.
“Take interest in what is going on globally, regionally and locally. Issues such as the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and environmental sustainability are some of the critical areas where your expertise has great impact and is required,” advised Prof. Ngumi.
She was speaking during a sensitization workshop, August 11, 2021 on JKUAT financial procedures organized by the Directorate of Grants Management (DGM) in conjunction with the Finance Department.
The workshop, aimed at creating awareness on the procedures undertaken upon receipt of grant funding, attracted researchers from the five Colleges; Engineering and Technology, Pure and Applied Sciences, Health Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Sciences and Human Resource Development.
While acknowledging that research is the bedrock of development, Prof. Ngumi pledged the University’s Management Board’s commitment towards supporting researchers’ endeavours and efficiently manage research grants for sustainable development.
“Guided by our vision, a University of Global Excellence in Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Development, I want to encourage you all to undertake collaborative and multi-discipline research and together we shall forge ahead to make JKUAT a research University,” said Prof. Ngumi.
Director DGM, Prof. Naomi Maina, said the sensitization workshop will enable grantees in the University to efficiently and effectively utilize the services of the Finance department for improved performance and responsiveness to donor requirements.
While highlighting the potential of proper grant management and encouraging researchers to apply for grants, Prof. Maina informed the researchers that the Directorate through JKUAT researchers brought home Kshs. 318,959,527 from 29 contracts in the year 2020/2021.
“We have the potential to enhance our research portfolio and carry out impactful research that are beneficial to the society,” said Prof. Maina.
Finance Officer, Ms. Mary Ngugi, took the researchers through the prudent finance procedures with regard to disbursement of research funds for various activities.
She urged the researchers to adhere to the finance and procurement procedures for seamless operation and cordial relations between her department and researchers.
The meeting was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration / Finance, Prof. Bernard Ikua and Chair, Technical Board of Grants Management, Prof. Daniel Sila.
The Directorate of Grants Management was established in June 2019 with the aim of sourcing for funding, mobilizing staff members to respond to call for proposals, ensure prudent and ethical management of donor funds and enhance communication between JKUAT and donors.