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Message from the Dean
Welcome to the ORA website. The Office of Research Administration (ORA) was set up in the Faculty of Medicine at MUST in 2012 to offer research support to faculty and students. Initially, the ORA was set up to function as a Grants Office in the Faculty, as one of the deliverables of the MEPI MESAU project for its Consortium institutions. The MEPI-MESAU project was a 5 year grant awarded to Makerere University to streamline the teaching of Medicine and boost research in Ugandan institutions of higher learning. Makerere University designed the project as a Consortium of 5 Universities teaching Medicine and Medicine-related courses, with MUST being one of them. However, to avoid conflicting roles with the existing MUST Grants Office, the office was renamed Office of Research Administration (ORA) with the role of supporting Faculty and students to write winning proposals, carry out research projects, publish their findings and translate these findings into health policies to benefit the lives of all Ugandans.
Since its establishment, the ORA has achieved, and continues to achieve tremendous success in the field of research. This success includes the successful submission and award of a 5 year NIH Grant titled “Mbarara University Research Training Initiative – MURTI” which was awarded in 2015. This grant, currently in its second year, has boosted the work of ORA through supporting it to achieve its objectives of building the capacity of Researchers, motivating and retaining them; as well as strengthening the existing collaborations and developing networks to attract more Research collaborators and partners. In addition, through the ORA, two additional grant applications were submitted to NIH, which include Dr. Angella Musiimenta’s K43 NIH grant for building capacity amongst junior faculty which was awarded in 2016 and an R25 grant for building capacity in research ethics submitted by the MUST Research ethics committee; this is still in the offing. More grant applications have and continue to be made through the ORA with a number of applications by different faculty in the pipeline, in order to achieve the ORA vision of being a vibrant one-stop centre providing excellent health sciences Research support in Africa.
The ORA is comprised of a team of dedicated and experienced staff, who put in extra effort to ensure the success of its activities, while maintaining a grip on the ORA strategic direction. The ORA can also not downplay the very important role that its partners play in ensuring success of its objectives and goals. The idea of partnership is central to the work of the Office of Research Administration as seen in the vast number of partnerships on the site. ORA encourages faculty to work collaboratively with its partners to link critical research questions to community-based issues, drawing on diverse methodologies and disciplines, and seeking knowledge from local communities.
As Dean, I invite you to explore this website to learn more about ORA values and commitments, learn and be part of its activities, so that you can truly understand the power of its work in the entire MUST and its potential to be a transformative experience for you.
Assoc. Prof. Samuel Maling, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Medicine