NEMRA Activities During the First Year

Here is what the Network for Education & Multidisciplinary Research Africa (NEMRA) has been up and about.

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The Anniversary Talk: Who made NEMRA great this year?

A total of 15 research workshops were conducted in Kampala and Mbarara. Here is a list of facilitators.

  1. Mr. Alfred Bongomin (Uganda Management Institute)
  2. Dr. Loice Natukunda (Makerere University)
  3. Professor John Mugisha (Cavendish University)
  4. Associate Professor Doris Kakuru (Visiting Professor Carleton University CA)
  5. Mr. Konrad Sanyu(Civia Aviation Authority, Uganda)
  6. Professor Jude Lubega (Uganda Technology and Management University)
  7. Dr. Edgar Nabutanyi (Makerere University)
  8. Mr. Joshua Byenkya (Freelance) 
  9. Mrs Christine Mwebesa (Wits University, Johannesburg SA)
  10. Associate Professor Mesharch Katusiime (Kabale University, Kabale)
  11. Professor Stella Neema (Makerere University)

Individuals made financial donations

  1. Professor William Bazeyo
  2. Professor John Mugisha
  3. Professor Elijah Mushemeza
  4. Mrs Christine Mwebesa
  5. Associate Professor Mesharch Katusiime
  6. Mr Frederick Etyang
  7. Associate Professor Doris Kakuru

Thank you too to NEMRA paid up members. Membership fees went a long way in financing the activities this year.

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NEMRA Holds First Postgraduate Research Workshop in Western Uganda

Network for Education and Multidisciplinary Research (NEMRA) held its first ever Mbarara Chapter Postgraduate Research Workshop at Bishop Stuart University in Kakoba on 10th May 2019.

Group photo of participants at the workshop held at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara. 

The workshop organized under the theme: "Critical analysis in postgraduate reading and writing” was attended by academics and postgraduate students from Bishop Stuart University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).

It was facilitated by NEMRA founders Dr. Mesharck Katusiime and Dr. Loice Natukunda who gave a talk on how to read and write critically.

In attendance was the Director Graduate School, Research and Innovation, Prof. Fina Opio, the Academic Registrar and University Secretary.

Giving closing remarks, Prof. Opio thanked NEMRA for organizing the workshop and requested it to organize subsequent monthly research workshops in Mbarara. The next workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 15th 2019 and will cover "Searching for and effective use of e-resources with the help of Zotero".

Bishop Stuart welcomed the idea of networking with other universities.

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2019 Annual Plan for NEMRA Events and Activities

The Network for Education and Multidisciplinary Research Africa (NEMRA), is an independent group of early career and senior academic researchers as well as postgraduate students from across several universities in Uganda and Rwanda.

Every month, NEMRA holds research workshops where members, PhD and masters students come together to learn, share knowledge, collaborate and network among academic researchers and scholars.

Below is the Annual Plan for all the events and activities to be held in 2019.

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The representative of postgraduate students on NEMRA Board of Directors wins an award

Christine Charity Mwebesa is a PhD student at University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa. She also sits on NEMRA Board of Directors as a representative of Postgraduate Research students. This week, Christine won a R9000 prize for her research. She explains:

"Every year, our University holds a cross faculty postgraduate symposium. The competition for the awards has two rounds. First round is competition within the faculty. The first three winners at the Faculty are awarded and they then go on to compete at the University level. I won the first prize of gradflash category in the first round"

NEMRA is very proud of Christine's achievemnet. 

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NEMRA E-CARS Mentorship Program

NEMRA is working on a mentorship program for those interested in the improvement of the way postgraduate research is done, supervised and examined at Africa based higher institutions of learning. The program is called E-CARS - the Early Career Researchers' Support program. 

This program is open to all Africa based PhD students in their final leg (i.e intending to submit by December 2020) as well as early career academics in Africa who obtained their PhDs in or after 2015.

According to Dr. Loice Natukunda, one of the network's  founding member, NEMRA is already in the process of developing a database of potential mentees and mentors.  

“We are looking for mentors from within and beyond Africa. i.e senior academics with a desire to see this improvement and a commitment to serve towards this goal,” she says. 

Those interested and desiring  active involvement as a mentee and/or mentor, are requested to kindly send their LinkedIn Url and Whatsapp No. to Asso. Prof. Doris Kakuru by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please kindly use NEMRA E-CARS as the subject line.

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Excellence at Viva

NEMRA's 5th research workshop was conducted under the theme "Excellence at Viva". The workshop held on 23rd February 2019 attracted postgraduate students and academics (some very senior) from universities across Kampala and Mukono district.

Dr. Loice Natukunda, the facilitator of the workshop, ably covered the following:

????        Comprehending examiners’ expectations

????        Tips on pre-viva preparation

????        Conduct during viva

????        Possible viva questions

????        Post-viva expectations

Feedback from participants

“This ought to be presented at the beginning of a PhD programme”

“The research workshops are very helpful. Keep this up”

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NEMRA's July 2019 Research workshop Was A 'Double Do'

Two workshops were conducted under the topic "Research Supervision as a mentor-mentee relationship" this month on Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July. 

A group photo of all the participants at the workshop held at RAN Lab in Kololo. 

Professor John Mugisha, the Vice Chancellor of Cavendish University who facilitated the Saturday event took participants through the Anne Lee approach to research supervision (Lee, 2008). The workshop was hosted by Resilient Africa Network of Makerere University School of Public health.

The Sunday event was held at Bugema University where Professor Jude Lubega, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UTAMU shared with participants about the ethical dimension of supervision, the role of doctoral committees and publications resulting from a supervisory relationship.

Group photo of participants at the Bugema workshop. 

The participants had positive things to say during and after the workshops:

 "I thank God for all this generous sharing. This is very helpful to us. I am currently on my PhD journey .

About the subject matter covered in the workshop, I realise that, the supervisor - supervisee relationship that was emphasized is a one to one relationship. But the case of a many-to-one relationship needs to be tackled.That is two or more supervisors knowing each other or not, with completely different  philosophical orientations , supervising a student. How can the student get them to agree on a unified thesis theme in the event of continued divergences in their feed back? What about one being very active in reading the student's work and returning feedback while the others taking unbearably too long to reply. What should a student do?"

"The winner was on how to handle sex advances from innocent students not on basis of love but in search for marks. Though a student can forgive you at a point in time, you as a supervisor you will never forgive yourself for being a predator. Using a personal experience and how the facilitator handled the whole situation indicated why you, Prof. John Mugisha, are a Vice Chancellor. Once again it was a great day!"

Prof. John Mugisha, Vice Chancellor Cavendish University conducting the workshop.

"Thank you professor for sharing your experiences. Personally was humbled by your humility despite your vast experiences and levels of accomplishment."

"Thanks Dr. Loice Natukunda for today's  event. It has broaden my thinking on my doctoral journey."


Prof. Jude Lubega, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) was the facilitator at the second workshop held in Bugema.

The two workshops attracted participation from 12 higher learning institutions  which include as below:-
1. Makerere University
2. Mbarara University of Science Technology
3. Makerere University Business School
4. Ndejje University
6. University of Rwanda
7. Kenyatta University
8. Mountain of the moon University
9. Uganda Christian University
1o. University of Ibadan
11. Mutesa Royal University
12. Bugema University

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AREN-Ug Changes Name to NEMRA

The Academic Research and Education Network Uganda (AREN-Ug) has changed its name to Network for Education and Multidisciplinary Research Africa (NEMRA).

The network says the new brand better reflects its vision of being a solid network of academic researchers advancing a culture of intellectually generated evidence-based policy and practice in Uganda and beyond.

“We are now continental which improves the scope of our activities and opportunities”, says one of the founders.


This is an independent group of early career and senior academic researchers as well as postgraduate students from across several universities in Uganda and Rwanda.

The group operates as a not-for- profit network with a vision of being a solid network of academic researchers advancing a culture of intellectually generated evidence-based policy and practice in Uganda and beyond.

Its mission is to demystify the issues around doing academic research, develop insights across a wide array of disciplines, share ideas and develop networks.

One of its objectives is to provide a platform for collaboration and networking among academic researchers and postgraduate students

The network intends to produce relevant, high quality academic research outputs for policy and decision making at every level of society in Uganda and beyond.

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Bugema University Hosts NEMRA 8th Research Workshop

Bugema University has commended NEMRA for enhancing capacity building for postgraduate research. This was at the network's 8th research workshop held at the University's Kampala branch in Makerere Kikoni over the weekend.

Participants at the NEMRA's 8th workshop held in Bugema University.

The Dean Graduate School, Dr. Rosette Kabuye commended the network for organizing the workshops and networking opportunities to share knowledge with students and academicians.

“We are excited to have been given an opportunity to host and benefit from the knowledge offered on research and we hope you keep Bugema in the network,” she said.

In her welcome remarks she also appreciated the role NEMRA has taken on in providing a platform for interuniversity collaboration and networking.

NEMRA holds monthly research workshops, seminars and stakeholder engagements to develop insights into research areas, share ideas and develop networks.

“We are targeting universities and non-academic institutions to partner with to improve the academic research output in the region,” said Christine Mwebesa, one of the founders of NEMRA.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Loice Natukunda who engaged participants on making sense of qualitative data using principles from grounded theory.

By the end of the workshop, participants were able to rationalize their choice for using qualitative data and how to apply grounded theory principles to derive meaning from their qualitative data.

The next workshop will be held on 27th July 2019 at Resilient Africa Network (RAN) Lab, Makerere University School of Public Health on Plot 28, Upper Kololo Terrace in Kampala.

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Make Use of Academic Networks and Doctoral Committees

Participants at the 3rd Academic Research and Education Network Uganda were advised to make use of the academic networks and doctoral committees.

Speaking at the workshop, Prof. Jude Lubega the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University called upon all researchers and PhD students to join academic networks such as AREN-Ug if they want to come up with good research.

“Make use of the academic networks or doctoral committees around you. Supervisors should be able to connect PhD students to those resourceful networks,” said Prof. Lubega.

“Schedule regular meetings, conduct continuous assessment, develop individual progress plans,” he added. Two PhD students Benson Ogwal Stanley and Faith Ahabyoona also presented their papers at the workshop.


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