Future scientists: Participants at the RUFORUM training in Scientific Data Management. Second left is RUFORUM’s Training and Quality Assurance Manager, Dr. Solange Uwituze

RUFORUM in collaboration with the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI) – USAID Feed the Future Programme, organised a training on Scientific Data Management (SDM) from 30th  March to  4th  April 2015 at Hilux Hotelin  in Morogoro, Tanzania. The training is one of the core activities under iAGRI’s capacity building component. It targeted the third cohort of iAGRI sponsored students who are currently at the stage of data collection and analysis stage of their research.

The SDM course aimed at equipping postgraduate students with skills and knowledge in software use (GenStat & SPSS) in data analysis, and presentation of results in a format that would ensure their wide dissemination as peer reviewed publications and for policy formulation. Specific objectives of the course were to provide participants with:

  1. statistical knowledge in design, analysis and result interpretation of experiments/surveys to agricultural, socio-economics and other biophysical studies;
  2. ability to manage complex data, analyse data using statistical software and interpret results objectively;
  3. skills to manage every component of their theses in order to complete studies within the specified timeframe;
  1. skills to produce manuscripts for publication that contain sound statistical facts.

A total of 18 participants attended the 5-day training facilitated by Dr Suzan Balaba Tumwebaze from Makerere University and Dr Vincent Oeba from Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI). The training took a demand-driven approach. It focused on the students’ needs and key gaps in SDM identified in a training needs assessment done three days earlier. Overall, students appreciated the course deeply. They recommended that it be organised immediately after they leave their host universities to start data collection. This would enable them to design their data collections tools and techniques properly

Scientific Data Management trainings are part of RUFORUM’s Postgraduate Training and Quality Assurance portfolio to enable scientists develop, gain, maintain and advance necessary skills in their respective areas of expertise. The multiplier effects realized through these trainings have improved the overall quality of the final RUFORUM product we want to see – the graduate student who fits in well in every niche of the economy.

About iAGRI: The Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI) is a partnership between the Ohio State University Consortium, Tanzania’s Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania’s National Agricultural Research System and RUFORUM. It aims to strengthen training and collaborative research capacities of SUA and the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives with the goal of improving food security and agricultural productivity in Tanzania. For more information, visit:


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