The Research Management Support: UR-RIPGS sub-programme, formerly known as Research Management Support: UR-RPGS Unit, changed its appellation to the UR-Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies Directorate (UR-RIPGS). The sub-programme has collaboration with Uppsala University (UU), Linkoping University and the International Science Programme (ISP) for some research skills training courses and the training of laboratory technicians. The sub-programme implements the scientific part of Research Management as part of the 2013-2018 agreement resulting from the Research Cooperation between Sweden and former National University of Rwanda (NUR) since 2002. By then the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) supported activities that aimed to improve the research capacity of the former NUR as an institution but also the research capacity of individual researchers. The supported activities included producing research policies, awarding research grants, research dissemination and postgraduate education. The same activities continued to be supported as part of the 2013-2018 agreement with the aim to continue to improve the environment, culture, and systems for research production, research dissemination and postgraduate education.
With the creation of the University of Rwanda (UR) in September 2013, by merging different public Higher Learning Institutions including NUR, the proportions decreased. For example, the proportion of postgraduate students dropped from 24% (of former NUR) to 2%, from 35% for former NUR to 19% for the number of UR PhD holders among staff, while staff population increased from 500 of NUR to 1500 of UR. Likewise, the merger brought together staff that did not have similar experiences and skills in research production, postgraduate education delivery and mobilisation of resources for related activities. Policies, guidelines and research management tools therefore needed harmonisation.
Through the support of UR-Sweden Program more was achieved in terms of research and postgraduate studies by providing an enabling environment for research and providing resources and facilities to enable staff to do research but still more is needed to be done for UR to become an academically excellent research led institution that is locally relevant and internationally recognized.