iHub By James Ndiga / October 22, 2013
Research Outreach Experiences
iHub Research strives to drive tech research in East Africa and build the local research capacity to conduct quality research in the region. Our research outreach efforts aim to:
- Build the reputation of iHub Research as a destination of choice for leading research talents;
- Intensify qualitative and qualitative research in universities and with our stakeholders through collaborative efforts;
- Develop mechanisms and platforms for disseminating research findings for societal consumption;
- Give back to the community by helping the next generation of students gain access to research skills and knowledge.
As part of our outreach activities over the last 2 months, we have conducted outreaches in 5 universities (Catholic, Egerton, Kabarak, Dedan Kimathi and Nairobi University) and we are hoping to reach out to more by the end of the year. We have been able to share research knowledge with a broad audience of professors and over 400 students (undergraduates and masters degree ranging Computer Science, Development Studies, Actuarial Science, etc) through trainings and communicating our passion for research to budding scholars.
We held 2-3 hour info sessions giving a brief history of the iHub, its other departments, and opportunities. We also talked about the various research works that have been published and how the professors and students can get involved with the work we do.
A key observation from the sessions is that students seem to thirst for more tech knowledge and enquire more on how they can be beneficiaries of the research work. They therefore utilize this opportunity by engaging the speakers as they try to tap into future opportunities of internship and employment.
Key challenges noted were that students lack early exposure to certain opportunities available to them, especially on ‘specialties’, which are not offered as disciplines in their curriculum e.g. research and it is only through training and such outreach activities that they get to realize their strengths and capitalize on them early in their academic careers.
“From the session as a developer, I learnt that I could access iHub Research from their website and make use of the already researched information for my apps.
I learnt that the community has of recent added Artificial Intelligence, the statistics researchers have also a better part in the community where they share and work together.” said Antony Oroko from Dedan Kimathi University”.
“We are looking forward to more events like this and even more startups sharing their experiences with us,” said Stephen Muiruri, Project Manager Egerton University Computer Science Students Association.”
Attendees were eager to know when the next talk would take place to gain more inspiration and enhance their skills. The level of engagement in such sessions has been providing us with better understanding of the gaps that need to be bridged in future sessions in universities and with stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to share our research widely to enable individuals and organizations to make informed decisions.
If you are interested in participating in future outreach events, please contact ndiga[at]ihub.co.ke.
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