CEDAT staff oriented into the Makerere University Grants Management System

The Makerere University Grants Management System (MakGMS) was on Tuesday 20thMarch 2024 rolled out at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT).

A training session convened in the CEDAT Boardroom was attended by several staff many of whom are Principal Investigators led by Principal Prof. Moses Musinguzi and was facilitated by staff from Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Principal CEDAT, Assoc. Prof. Moses Musinguzi (File Photo)

In his remarks at the opening of the training the Principal CEDAT, Assoc. Prof. Moses Musinguzi extended his appreciation to the management of Makerere University and GAMSU for developing such a comprehensive system and encouraged staff to embrace it.

Some of us who have been interacting with the system see that it is a very useful tool because it helps us to do documentation and eventual management of the grants that we apply for, he said. The system was one way for the university to justify the level of staff involvement in grant management hence the reason why it attaches a lot of importance to it. He said attracting grants was one of the parameters for consideration of staff seeking promotion or appointment into an administrative position and therefore the record in the system was vital evidence, he emphasized.

Prof. Sylvia Antonia NakimeraNannyonga-Tamusuza, the head of the Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU) said that creating a system was not a way of being strict or bad towards persons with grants but was one of the ways through which the university was taking towardsrealizing its research led mandate through improved management of the grants received in the university. She informed the participants that the Government was threatening to take away the grants as they did to the tuition and that this system would help streamline grant management at the University.

Prof. Sylvia Antonia NakimeraNannyonga-Tamusuza standing

Prof. Sylvia Antonia NakimeraNannyonga-Tamusuza explained that MakGMS handles the entire lifecycle of the grant, pre-awardwhen the award is active, the closeout, and the audit.  She said there were several back-and-forth movements and this was contrary to the misconception that GAMSU was another layer to control and take away the hard-earned grant money. She clarified that GAMSU does not take away money rather their job was to streamline the implementation of the overhead policy, and to ensure that the colleges, departments, the teams and PIs benefit from the overhead as provided in the policy.

She said the system will enable access to grant calls unlike in the past when the calls would be sent to individuals or at college level but would not spread out. She noted that although as a university we pride ourselves in attracting many grants, several of these were in the hands of a few individuals.  The system will also help in the proper profiling of grants, which are one of the criteria used in university rankings.  The system was also useful in informing the Government of the funds coming in and justifying in case of need for further funding, as well as supporting accountability and compliance by tracking progress through monitoring.

MakGMS, she said will ensure cyber security since it handles very sensitive data in addition to the archiving of supporting documents and research data, and will be able to automatically issue certificates to users for grants received. The system will also integrate automatic communication between GAMSU and Principal Investigators to notify researchers of the progress of grant applications.

It is worth noting that Makerere is aspiring to be a research-led University and GAMSU which is at the center of that aspiration will help consolidate all the data regarding grants, support or grant writing, and report about successful grants highlighting topics, amounts of money received, and distribution.