Collaboration with Makerere University - Doctoral Education

An agreement was signed 2015 and amended 2020 and valid until 2025, regarding a joint doctoral training programme towards degree of Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, under which more than 40 students affiliated to Makerere University College of Health Sciences have completed the joint doctoral training programme in the past years.

Joint doctoral training programme

The joint doctoral training programme has been developed based on double registration/admission, joint supervision and a joint examination process. Since 2002, supervisors at Makerere University (MAK) collaborate with supervisors at Karolinska Institutet to supervise doctoral students from Makerere University. The doctoral students are under the regulations of both universities, and have a master’s degree as a minimum requirement, for example a basic degree in medicine, biochemistry, or social sciences.

From initially including five research areas in 2002 with 20 sub-projects and doctoral students, in 2014 the collaboration comprised seven research areas. As of 2020, there have been more than 40 PhD thesis defended in this programme. 

Counterparts at MAK have been the College of Health Sciences and the School of Public Health, as well as relevant parts of the University Administration, i.e. School of Graduate Studies. 

The current phase of the Sida programme from 2015 to 2023

The current phase of the Sida financed programme from 2015 to 2020 has been extended until 31 May 2023.KI was granted funding for four project applications, all led by the Health Systems and Policy research group at KI. There are a few doctoral students from MAK involved in projects, all locally admitted as part of the plan Sida has to reduce the engagement in higher education in Uganda. In the current programme local supervisors are supervising local PhD-students with support of their Swedish partners.

Strong research capacity has been built, both in Uganda and in Sweden. The collaborative research environment addresses health issues and health system priorities in Uganda, in several cases resulting in policy and practice reforms. The collaboration has provided the research groups with many comparative advantages and promoted the development of “consortium-like” thematic area research projects.

More than 40 PhD students from Makerere has graduated and more than 500 articles have been peer reviewed, the majority with a Ugandan as first author.  It is expected that this increased pool of trained researchers and locally directed research projects will have effects on the development of civil society in Uganda.