UANDISHI–Building Capacity for Writing Scientific Manuscripts


UANDISHI-Building Capacity for Writing Scientific Manuscripts program held the certificate award ceremony to mark completion of the year 2023 training. UANDISHI is an innovative and experiential blended mentor-mentee Scientific Manuscript Writing and Mentorship training being implemented at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), University of Nairobi. The training seasons in 2023 were March-June 2023 for Cohort 1, and July-October 2023 for Cohort 2. A total of 18 postgraduate students (mentees) and 6 faculty members (mentors) successfully completed the training. Each of the mentees developed a manuscript out of their postgraduate project data. Of the 18 manuscripts, 7 have already been submitted to peer reviewed journals with 1 manuscript already accepted for publication.

UANDISHI is funded by IAVI; Ms Mawia Mutava, Program Management Specialist ADVANCE, represented IAVI in the certificates award ceremony. In her brief remarks, Ms Mutava, commended the work and achievements by UANDISHI team; she expressed gratitude to the University of Nairobi for support, the mentees for their dedication and outputs, the mentors for offering support whole heartedly, the Program Principal Investigator Dr. Gloria Omosa-Manyonyi for the commitment and KAVI-ICR director Prof. Walter Jaoko for supporting the project.


Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to be with you this morning for the award of certificates for those who have successfully completed the manuscript writing training under “UANDISHI PROGRAMME”.

I am informed that this programme started in 2021 following award of a grant by IAVI, one of University of Nairobi’s longstanding collaborative partners. I take this opportunity to sincerely thank them for this support.

I am aware that this initiative aims at building capacity for scientific writing at the Faculty of Health Sciences not only among students but also among faculty members. I loud these efforts.

Scientific writing a very important tool for communicating research findings. In fact, not disseminating research findings after doing research is considered an unethical practice. It wastes resources of funders, wastes the time of research participants, among others. Research should not be conducted in a vacuum. For it to be meaningful, people need to know what you found in the research. A lot of good research remain in dissertations and thesis at the University of Nairobi Libraries without being published. Although the Commission for University Education (CUE) requirements for 1 publication for master’s degree, and 3 publications for a PhD before award of these degrees has gone a long way in encouraging the culture of publication, manuscript writing and publication still remains a major challenge for many. Therefore, this initiative is playing a very important role in filling this glaring gap.

The model used by Uandishi whereby mentees are mentored by mentors is laudable. This model will ensure sustainability even beyond the training programme. I would encourage more of such models within the University of Nairobi.

I understand that these trainings which have been largely confined to the Faculty of Health Sciences has the potential of being expanded to include those from other faculties at some later stage. I would encourage movement in this direction. Within the Faculty of Health Sciences, it is notable that these trainings have benefited all departments. I am very proud of this achievement.

To date there have been 25 mentors and 48 mentees from the University of Nairobi who have benefitted from opportunities offered by this programme. This will go a long way in ensuring more publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals are churned from University of Nairobi, and thus contributing to the University’s vision of being a globally competitive university.

Finally, I am reliably informed that the next phase of the programme will be to expand it to other universities in the country and beyond, and in this regard, it is currently piloting a training in Uganda of 10 mentees. This is highly recommended.  The extension to include a component on grant writing in which so far you have had 7 sessions of sensitization is also a welcome move. I wish you all the best in that direction.

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, I wish all the mentees and mentors a wonderful journey in peer-reviewed publications and deeply congratulate all the awardees of certificates this morning.


Prof. Margaret Jesang Hutchinson

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Innovation and Enterprise

University of Nairobi