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20 May 2019
DRUSSA Universities combine their strategic thinking to mutual benefit Print
Friday, 25 July 2014 16:38

A group of leaders and champions from DRUSSA Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa recently gathered to collectively draft a guidelines document on ‘How to write a University Research Uptake Strategy’  

Useful background

Over the past nine months DRUSSA leaders and champions have been preparing and gaining internal acceptance for their University’s Research Uptake action plan. Many of the universities have identified the need for a Research Uptake Strategy, given that it is widely recognized amongst the DRUSSA Universities that the institutionalization of Research Uptake needs to be formally integrated with a range of university policies. These policies span community engagement, research management, technology transfer, public relations, communications and more.

“Many of the DRUSSA Universities have identified the need for a Research Uptake Strategy document, given that it is widely recognized amongst the DRUSSA Universities that the institutionalization of Research Uptake needs to be formally integrated with a range of University policies.”

Key Insights on compiling a pivotal Research Uptake Strategy

Research Uptake spans areas in each University, and needs to be included in so many policies that rather than going through the arduous process  of amending these it seemed a prudent idea to have a Strategy that aligns Research Uptake activity across policy and functional areas. There has been a general consensus that the Guidelines should provide a framework to allow formal alignment of policies and functional areas so that Research Uptake is effective.

How to begin compiling an effective RU Strategy? Guidelines please!

At the DRUSSA Benchmarking meeting in March, university representatives discussed what steps were needed to make progress towards compiling effective RU Strategies.

Over the weekend of 11th and 12th June, a working group met in Johannesburg to write a Strategic Research Uptake guidelines document. It was agreed that in the context of institutionalization of a new strategic approach, the process of change flows from (1) Awareness, to (2) Policy, (3) Strategy and (4) Action plan.  The Research Uptake Working Group (RUMWG) team focused specifically on (3) Strategy, as they collaboratively drafted the guidelines.

The RUMWG members are:

Associate Prof. Bhanooduth (Vinod) Lalljee of University of Mauritius

Prof. Lucy Irungu of University of Nairobi

Prof. Yohannes Teketel of University of Addis Ababa

Prof. Dr-Ing. Verdiana Grace Masanja of University of Rwanda

Mr. Vincent Ankamah-Lomotey of KNUST

Ms. Dorcus Opai-Tetteh of University of Ghana

Convenor: Ms. Diana Coates of OSD facilitated the workshop. 

“It was acknowledged that in the Research Uptake context, the process of change flows from (1) Awareness, to (2) Policy, (3) Strategy and (4) Action plan.  The Research Uptake Working Group (RUMWG) team focused specifically on (3) Strategy, as they collaboratively drafted the guidelines.”

Sharing the benefits

The ‘How to write a University RU Strategy’ guidelines document will be made available to the DRUSSA Universities from the end of July 2014, and will be available on www.drussa.net. These will particularly useful for those DRUSSA Universities that have undertaken to draft their own University RU strategy this year.

Furthermore the RUMWG group will be individually available for email and telephone consultation with DRUSSA Universities in their region through August and September 2014

The RUMWG will present at the next DRUSSA meeting to be held in Accra, Ghana at the end of September 2014, to share their learning and insights.

Don’t forget to look out for ‘How to write a University RU Strategy’ here on the DRUSSA blog at the end of July.

What do you think?Do you know of other resources that may be useful to DRUSSA Universities as they work on compiling their University Research Uptake Strategy? If so, please do comment below.

Diana Coates is a co-leader of the DRUSSA project, and DRUSSA Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator

Email: Diana.Coates@gmail.com

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