Prof Nyokabi I. Wagara, PhD
Associate Professor of Plant Pathology
and Deputy Director for Research, Egerton University
P.O BOX 536, Egerton, Njoro, Kenya
Egerton University undertakes basic and applied research that seeks to generate new knowledge, technologies and innovations to enhance social and economic development. The University has highly trained staff who are involved in research, innovations and consultancy. In addition, postgraduate students contribute significantly to research and innovations. Research is undertaken in collaboration with national and international organizations, thereby promoting networking and partnerships. To remain relevant, the university research focus and priority areas are reviewed regularly in line with the national policies, priorities and market needs. The current priority areas of research include Agriculture, Health, Industry and Technology, Governance, Socio-economic and culture, Energy, Water and environment, Education, Natural Resources, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Commerce, Commercialization and Value addition, Climate change, Bio-technology, Cross-cutting and Emerging issues.
Resource mobilization for research projects: To enhance research and innovations, the Division of Research and Extension calls for research and innovations’ proposals from University staff, which are rigorously evaluated and the most competitive are awarded internal funding. This internal funding has especially supported upcoming researchers and propelled them to venture into competing for external donor funding.
In an effort to increase external research funding, the Division promotes development of top-notch, highly competitive research proposals to attract donor funding. The Division undertakes surveillance on research needs and donor priorities by monitoring calls for proposals and circulating them to researchers for proposal development. Competitive research teams are supported to develop targeted research and innovation proposals in response to specific donor calls through the Proposal Development Support Fund. The Division has developed procedures and set up the Research Oversight Committee composed of experts from various disciplines to administer this fund and oversee development of competitive research proposals to attract donor funding.
Management of research and innovation projects: This is guided by the following Egerton University policies:
i). Research Policy: This policy provides guidelines for the ethical conduct of research, administration of research funds and the sharing of benefits.
ii). Intellectual Property Rights Policy: Provides guidelines on how to protect intellectual rights of the researchers, facilitate commercialization of innovations and sharing of benefits.
iii). Consultancy Policy: Provides the necessary institutional framework under which all consultancies are conducted and helps ensure that all consultancies are well coordinated and implemented professionally, ethically, and efficiently.
Motivation of researchers and innovators is provided for in the benefit sharing articles in the above policies.
For good project management and accountability, all projects are monitored and evaluated regularly as stipulated in the University Research Policy. The lessons learnt therein help to improve administration and management of research and innovation projects.
Dissemination of research outputs: All researchers are expected to disseminate their research findings through publications, policy briefs and proceedings of conferences, workshops, seminars, among others.
Staff research capacity development: To develop staff research capacity, the Division conducts numerous trainings, workshops and seminars on development of research and innovation proposals, data management, scientific writing and publications, policy formulation and analysis, Intellectual property rights etc.