Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU)

 

By Elvis Lubanga

The Director for the Makerere University Jinja Campus, Assoc. Prof. Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala has emphasized the importance of research funding, as a pathway for academic success. This was during the Grants Administration and Management Support Unit (GAMSU) sensitisation workshop held at the Jinja Campus on Thursday 4th May 2023 aimed at empowering researchers with the skills and knowledge they need to secure and manage grants.

Kakungulu highlighted the role of Grants Administration and Management in this process and therefore encouraged everyone to take advantage of the resources and expertise available through GAMSU.

The workshop featured participants from Jinja Campus led by Kakungulu, Prof Ronald Balunya and facilitators led by the Head GAMSU, Professor Sylivia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga – Tamusuza.

Assoc. Prof. Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, the Director of Makerere University Jinja Campus addressing participants at the Sensitization Workshop on Grants Administration and Management.
Assoc. Prof. Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, the Director of Makerere University Jinja Campus addressing participants at the Sensitization Workshop on Grants Administration and Management.

In her remarks, Prof. Sylvia A. N. Nannyonga-Tamusuza, the head of GAMSU, delivered an informative presentation on Grants Administration and Management support in Makerere University, where she covered a range of topics, from the basics of grant application to best practices for project management.

Prof. Sylvia A. N. Nannyonga-Tamusuza, the Head, GAMSU addressing participants at the Sensitization Workshop on Grants Administration and Management at Makerere University, Jinja Campus.
Prof. Sylvia A. N. Nannyonga-Tamusuza, the Head, GAMSU addressing participants at the Sensitization Workshop on Grants Administration and Management at Makerere University, Jinja Campus.

Mr. Yunus Musisi, the IT officer at GAMSU shared on how to navigate the GAMSU Database where he supported participants in creating accounts and demonstrated how to add, edit project data in the Database.

Mr. Yunus Musisi, the IT officer at GAMSU, facilitating a session on navigating the GAMSU Database during the Sensitization Workshop.
Mr. Yunus Musisi, the IT officer at GAMSU, facilitating a session on navigating the GAMSU Database during the Sensitization Workshop.

He further noted that “the GAMSU database is going to help organize project information in one place which will ease tracking of grants at Makerere University with Module one capturing project information and module two dealing with the financials.”

Ms Christine Ninsima (CPA) an accountant at GAMSU, discussed the Budgeting and Financial Management procedures and guidelines when handling grant resources. She spelt out the critical considerations in budgeting for grants and highlighted the steps in budgeting, and why we need budgeting.

Ms. Christine Ninsiima facilitating a session on Budgeting and Financial Management procedures and guidelines for staff at the Sensitization Workshop.
Ms. Christine Ninsiima facilitating a session on Budgeting and Financial Management procedures and guidelines for staff at the Sensitization Workshop.

She said “since we cannot meet every need, budgets help in guiding principal investigators on the way forward.”

Christine further explained one of GAMSU’s mandates, which includes receiving and consolidating quarterly reports from all ongoing projects at Makerere, which includes comprehensive income and expenditure reports, as well as physical reports. This is done to not only ensure successful handling of grants but also check for compliance.

Mr. Laban Lwasa, the Senior Administrative Assistant at GAMSU shared skills on navigating funder platforms accessible through GAMSU support which include Grant Forward, proposal central, Grants.gov, European Union Tender Platform among others. He illustrated how to search for relevant funding opportunities, create strong proposals, and increase the chances of securing funds.

He also advised members of faculty at Jinja campus not to shy away from applying for grants just because they are not professors but rather give it a try when they have impactful ideas and proposals.

“I know a colleague who is not a professor but is currently a principal investigator.” Lwasa noted.

Mr. Laban Lwasa, the Senior Administrative Assistant at GAMSU guiding participants on how to navigate funder platforms.
Mr. Laban Lwasa, the Senior Administrative Assistant at GAMSU guiding participants on how to navigate funder platforms.

The workshop ended with closing remarks from Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza, who thanked everyone for their participation and encouraged them to continue building their skills and knowledge in searching, application and management of grants.

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