Capacity strengthening initiative

The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), an IANPHI member, is located within the Ugandan Ministry of Health. Its high level epidemiologic research has attracted international collaborators. UVRI recently won the highly competitive bid to host the offices of the African AIDS Vaccine Program (AAVP) that are currently in Geneva. 

While UVRI has a high level of research capacity that attracts international collaborators and grants, most grants are managed by costly external accounting firms or by UVRI’s international collaborators. UVRI wants to establish itself as a dynamic, world-class center of excellence through the development of a Research Support Office (RSO). This office would manage, coordinate and execute projects work its partner institutions and collaborators. 

In April 2010, IANPHI awarded a $25,350 (USD) grant to identify gaps and advise on the best approach to establishing the Regional Support Office. A workshop will train UVRI’s administrative staff skills in grant management and train finance and administration staff how to use project management software to manage grants, assist with financial reporting and payroll administration.
UVRI would also use some of the IANPHI grant to strengthen the execution and marketing of UVRI’s strategic plan. With funds from a previous IANPHI grant, UVRI developed a strategic plan that is shared with collaborators to boost funding opportunities. That IANPHI grant also partially supported the development of an independent eight-member scientific advisory board (SAB) comprised of four East African professionals and four international professionals. 

The short-term training grant from IANPHI will help UVRI develop an administrative infrastructure on par with its research capacity. This will help UVRI with its current research projects while allowing it to expand to be a regional research leader in East Africa.