Over the 25 years of its existence the Unit has developed physical infrastructure and human resources that have established it as an internationally recognised centre for research on HIV and other communicable diseases. Central to this has been the development of an experienced staff. This has been achieved through training “on the job” provided by dedicated senior personnel, and by providing formal training opportunities and career-pathway training for both scientists and support staff, as well as opportunities for international exposure through attachments, courses and conferences. The outcome of this process is a highly productive research unit, influencing local and international policy and scientific thinking.
In 2003 MRC begun providing funding of about £50,000 annually to send employees or direct collaborators to training courses, this same budget is used for the attendance at International conferences and for student research costs and has since been increased to the current £153,000 annually. Over the years other key sources of training funds have come from Wellcome Trust, EDCTP, Imperial College, EU, Rogers Fellowship and Commonwealth scholarships among others. We have also benefited enormously from the reduced tuition fees offered by the LSHTM. Many of our staff have also benefited from distance learning programmes and more recently the evening classes offered by local Universities.
The Unit has developed substantial infrastructure in terms of buildings, laboratories, equipment and sample archives, information technology and data management systems, at Entebbe, Kyamulibwa, Masaka and Kampala
Other Unit capacity building activities include;
1. Monthly science seminars
2. In-house and external courses
3. Research-in- progress and hot Topics seminars
4. Journal Clubs
5. Collaborative Workshops and symposia
6. Makerere University - UVRI Open Day