Makerere Research impacting Wider Audience –SIR World Report 2012

Written by: 
Norah Eric

Makerere University’s ranking has improved from 12th in Africa in 2011 to 9th in 2012 according to the Scimago Institutions Ranking (SIR) World Report 2012 . Makerere is the only institution in Uganda that featured in the ranking and is competing with directly-funded Institutions from South Africa, Nigeria and Tunisia.

SIR is a comprehensive ranking of Worldwide Research Institutions, following the goal of embracing every institution around the world with meaningful scientific output. The ranking includes 3,290 institutions that together are responsible for more than 80% of worldwide scientific output during the term 2006-10 as indexed in Elsevier’s SCOPUS database.

Makerere also moved up 11 places in her worldwide ranking from 1,563rd in 2011 to 1,552nd in 2012. The SCOPUS database is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web resources with smart tools that track analyze and visualize research. The report which annually considers the number of scientific articles, reviews, and conference papers contained in the database is good news to Makerere’s research efforts. The improvement in ranking implies that a greater worldwide audience is being impacted by research publications and output from the University.

The University of Cape Town which came top in the region regularly recruits Research Professors and has established a number of funded CHAIRS all aimed at promoting research output. Most of the research at Makerere University is directly funded by institutional development partners such as Sida, The Norwegian Government and Organisations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Recent Government intervention through the Presidential Initiative has also boosted innovations like Uganda’s first electric vehicle the Kiira EV, designed and built by Staff and Students of the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), among others.

Reacting to the improved performance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, Director Quality Assurance noted that “This Report is a good point on which to convince our Government to directly fund research andpublications/publishers so as to elevate our profile as a Research-led Institution.”

He further noted that direct Government involvement in funding research in South Africa has made that country an attractive destination for scholars from all over the globe. As a result, the nation came next to Australia in a world survey of highest payments to Professors by country.

By steadily improving and increasing her research output, Makerere University is committed to reaching a wider audience of policymakers, development partners, researchers, media and general public with the aim of remaining relevant to the communities we exist to serve.