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Research Administration

MUHAS has considerable bench, clinical, epidemiological, economic, social science and other specialist expertise among faculty in its schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health and its institutes of traditional medicine and allied health sciences. As part of this collaboration, MUHAS developed its first research agenda. The agenda will harness faculty expertise to address gaps in knowledge about conditions that are prevalent in Tanzania and whose alleviation is key to achievement of national development goals.

MUHAS’S research agenda

Working in inter-disciplinary teams with other national and international experts and stakeholders, faculty will: develop drugs, diagnostics and vaccines; conduct clinical trials, large-scale community interventions, and health promotion research; describe epidemiological profiles and identify risk factors and social determinants; evaluate health system functioning and support policy making and planning; to address:

  • The highly prevalent infectious diseases, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria;
  • Important neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis;
  • The growing burden of non-communicable diseases including cancers, heart disease, and diabetes;
  • Safe motherhood and child health to reduce high rates of maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity;
  • Prevention and treatment of injuries as a major cause of death and disability, particularly those resulting from traffic accidents;
  • Health system strengthening by developing human resources, health information systems, and health care financing, and evaluating public private partnerships; and
  • The quality of health professions education by evaluating methods of teaching and assessment to improve students’ achievement of competencies.

Support to faculty to implement the agenda

Working with UCSF research administrators, the Directorate of Research and Publications has reviewed its capacities and established three professional units to support faculty to undertake their research. The existing unit responsible for institutional proposal review will streamline its process to provide speedy response and advice to researchers; the research development unit will assist investigators in securing funding and writing and submitting proposals; and the grants management unit will set up systems to track proposals and sponsored research, and manage awards. The Directorate will encourage donors and national and international partnerships to support research activities that fall within the agenda. The Directorate will work with partners to build faculty capacity to undertake research, and pair senior mentors with young researchers.

There is little published scholarship about education for health professionals in Africa. It is novel that MUHAS’s research agenda prioritizes educational research as one of its major themes. MUHAS will reward faculty with small grants, and through promotion, for published research that focuses on improving the quality of health professionals’ education. Furthermore, MUHAS will encourage faculty to engage students in their research and to directly feed their findings into the curricula, keeping their students up-to-date with cutting-edge research relevant to the populations they will serve.

Research administration team: Muhsin Aboud, Daima Athumani, Mainda Chanyika, Limi Kahabi, Erik Lium, Georgina Lopez, Eligius Lyamuya, Joyce Masalu, Mariam Masandika, Nana Nachene Mgimwa, Hellen Mtui, Chuck Smukler, Titus Tibenda, Tija Ukondwa