NEMRA Executive Committee Gets Advisors

NEMRA has appointed new advisors and promoters who will be working closely with the Network’s Executive Committee. Professor. Stella Neema is the advisor for Research and Research Publications, Professor. William Bazeyo, the advisor for Resource Mobilization and Ms. Mercy Kainobwisho the advisor for Legal Affairs.

Professor Neema is a senior anthropologist at College of Humanities and Social Science Makerere University. She also chairs Makerere University’s Research and Ethics Committee. She has over the months been associated with the NEMRA ladies’ group as a role model of a successful woman in academia.

Professor Bazeyo is the Deputy Vice chancellor Finance & Administration at Makerere University. He is passionate about research and has richly contributed to furthering research for development of the communities in Uganda and beyond. Professor Bazeyo also has an enduring commitment to supporting the NEMRA Mbarara chapter.

Ms. Mercy Kainobwisho is the Director Intellectual Property at Uganda registration services bureau. She is a qualified, competent and experienced female Advocate of the High Court of Uganda specializing in Business, company law, Oil and Gas basics and law and Intellectual Property Law. Mercy is keen about research and is closely associated with NEMRA.

NEMRA Exec and the entire network is very delighted!

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NEMRA Appoints a Secretary and an Executive Committee of Directors

NEMRA has appointed a secretary and a four-member Executive Committee of Directors to run the network’s core activities:

  1. Research capacity building,
  2. Research & research publications,
  3. Stakeholder engagement and
  4. Resources & events management.

The committee members are seasoned scholars involved in teaching, research and consultancy at five different institutions in Uganda.


Robert Kakuru is NEMRA’s Secretary.

Robert is affiliated to the Department of Sociology at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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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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African Scholars and the Pursuit of the Continent’s Wellbeing - Professor Elizabeth Bachwayo Speech at NEMRA Anniversary

Professor Elizabeth Bachwayo gave the NEMRA 1st anniversary speech on the African Scholar and the Pursuit of the Continent’s Wellbeing. The anniversary celebrations took place on 21st September 2019 at Uganda Christian University in Mukono.

Professor Elizabeth Bacwayo giving the anniversary keynote speech


African Scholars and the Pursuit of the Continent’s Wellbeing:

There are basically four forms of scholarship

  1. Scholarship as discovery. This is discovery of knowledge. Knowledge is power. Places pure/basic research and pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. Scholarship as discovery of new knowledge and publication is highly recognised for postgraduate award and academic promotion in universities.
  2. Scholarship as integration. Scholars reach out across boundaries to create new knowledge. Involves synthesis of knowledge from different disciplines to find relationships.
  3. Scholarship as practice. Application of knowledge to address national problems in different practice. This is popular outside academia. It is rarely emphasised for postgraduate award or academic promotion.
  4. Scholarship as teaching. Almost every academic is involved in this form of scholarship. It builds on the other 3 forms. Quality teaching depends on the quality of the other scholarships that the teacher engages in.
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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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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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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 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 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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NEMRA is one year.

Programme for anniversary celebration event


The Network for Education and Multidisciplinary Research (NEMRA) was founded on Saturday 22nd September, 2018. The anniversary celebration event is scheduled for Saturday 21st September 2019. It will be held at Uganda Christian University main campus in Mukono starting at 8:00 a.m.

It has been a fruitful one year of existence. The network membership has increased from a handful to hundreds of postgraduate research students and academics in Universities across Africa. These are from different disciplines including Social Sciences and the Humanities, Medicine and Engineering.

Core to NEMRA’s existence is research capacity building for Africa-based scholars. 15 research workshops were, to this effect, conducted in the first year in Kampala and Mbarara. These covered a wide array of topics including; Research Philosophy, Academic Writing, Searching for & Managing electronic resources, Effective Defence/Viva, Academic Research & National Development, Making sense of Qualitative Data, and Research Supervision.

NEMRA was also formed to provide a platform for interuniversity networking and collaboration for quality postgraduate education and research in Africa. NEMRA’s philosophy is that: “the whole is more than singular parts put together” in the process of demystifying the issues around doing academic research, enhancing professionalism and developing insights across a wide array of disciplines. The social media engagement of members has facilitated this kind of networking and peer support. Testimonies from individuals resonate phrases like “NEMRA has been my academic family….I have through this network gained confidence about my research…the PhD journey is no longer lonely….I have learnt a lot..”

The network has a grant writing team that is currently writing proposals for research funding with some already submitted for evaluation.  

A lot more is expected in the second year including strengthening of discipline specific writing groups across regions, attachment of early career researchers to senior academics across the world for mentorship, engagement of stakeholders for uptake of the network’s research outputs and establishment of partnership relationships with bodies, agencies and institutions sharing the same or similar objectives.



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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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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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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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Do Not Shy Away From Research – Prof. Neema Encourages NEMRA Women

"Do not shy away from research and research administration responsibilities,” Professor Stella Neema encouraged NEMRA women.
This was at a breakfast held at Piato restaurant, Kampala on Saturday, 24th August 2019, to discuss experiences, opportunities and challenges of women in academia.

The breakfast was attended by women from Universities around Kampala and Mukono representing various disciplines including Medicine, Social Sciences & the Humanities as well as engineering. 
The women will be working on an accountability programme for peer evaluation.


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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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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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