Science Granting Councils Initiative Workshop to ignite Research Excellence and Ethical Standards in Sub-Saharan Africa

Photo of the SGCI workshop participants in Livingstone, Zambia

The Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) Research Management Project has successfully concluded a transformative four-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop in Livingstone, Zambia. This landmark event was designed to elevate research excellence, uphold ethical standards, and strengthen grant management capabilities across sub-Saharan Africa.

Gathering stakeholders from 14 out of the 17 participating countries, the workshop served as a pivotal platform for honing essential skills in research ethics, excellence, and grant practices. Orchestrated in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the African Academy of Science (AAS), the workshop centred around three core themes: Research Ethics, Research Excellence (RQ+ for Researchers), and Good Financial Grant Practices (GFGP).

The interactive sessions, spanning dynamic presentations, collaborative brainstorming, role-play scenarios, and reflective discussions, empowered participants to become adept facilitators of the RQ+ for Researchers course. This course equips researchers with a structured framework to develop resilient research proposals, potentially revolutionizing the research culture across the region.

Under the stewardship of Dr Isabel Tarling, the Research Excellence theme provided attendees with invaluable insights into elevating the quality and impact of their research endeavours. Meanwhile, Dr Rakeshnie Ramoutar-Prieschl masterfully guided sessions on Research Ethics, equipping Science Granting Councils (SGCs) with the tools to seamlessly integrate ethical frameworks into their operational landscapes. This approach aims to foster a culture of responsible research conduct, ensuring ethical considerations are ingrained in every facet of the research process.

Integral to the workshop's objectives was the cultivation of an enduring impact. Beyond the workshop's duration, a series of post-event initiatives have been set in motion. These include policy enhancements, comprehensive community training, ongoing assessment mechanisms, peer learning platforms, and the dissemination of best practices. Spearheaded by Nodumo Dhlamini and Ruth Issambo Nyarko, these initiatives signal a remarkable stride in nurturing a vibrant and thriving research ecosystem across sub-Saharan Africa.

This initiative underscores the region's unwavering commitment to advancing knowledge, promoting innovation, and upholding the highest standards of ethical research. It lays a foundation for a promising future driven by research excellence and collaborative growth.


Article by Jed Mwangi