Dr Loice Natukunda, Lecturer in Research Methods at the University of Lincoln, UK, won an award for Research Culture Impact through Researcher Development at the Vitae International Research Development Conference 2023. Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers and the conference is their annual flagship event.
The award recognises her work in founding the Network for Education and Multidisciplinary Research Africa (NEMRA), which has engaged in numerous researcher development activities that have boosted the research culture in Uganda over the last five years.
Loice said: “The network for education and multidisciplinary research Africa (NEMRA) was established in September 2018 in Kampala by a group of researchers from various institutions in Uganda. The purpose was to create space for interuniversity networking and collaboration for stakeholders in researcher development, research, and research products utilisation. The aim was to network, offer mutual support, share resources and generally impact the research culture through joint efforts.
“An award for this initiative is an encouragement to the founders, management, the members and all NEMRA’s partners from around the world. Recognising the positive impact that NEMRA has made over the last five years is a testament of the value that synergy can bring in researcher development and creating a positive impact on the research landscape in Africa. I am personally energised in the pursuit of NEMRA’s vision into the years ahead. Thank you, Vitae UK.”
Clare Viney CEO, CRAC-Vitae said “This award aims to showcase activities or work within researcher development that has had a positive impact on improving research culture. Loice through her leadership of NEMRA perfectly demonstrates how researcher development can act as a catalyst for change in research culture.
“When she returned to Uganda in 2017 Loice realised the lack of inter-university networking between postgraduate research students, academics, and practitioners was a barrier to progress. Her energy is building a sustainable and impactful research culture in Africa benefitting thousands of individuals and institutions. We hope this award is not just in recognition of the effort so far but the start of something even bigger for Loice and NEMRA.”
The awards were sponsored by UKRI and Wellcome and more information can be found here: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/events/vitae-impact-culture-engagement-awards-2023/vitae-impact-culture-and-engagement-ice-nomination-shortlist