University Administration Support Program (UASP)

University Administration Support Program (UASP)


IREX believes that research management capacity is essential to research excellence. The University Administration Support Program (UASP) assists mid- to senior-level university leaders from across Africa to develop their capacity to manage research and knowledge transfer.

The current program is targeted at university administrative and academic staff at member institutions of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

UASP currently supports research management capacity development through two distinct program activities, both of which are designed to support participants to develop insights and reform plans on approaches, activities, policies, procedures, organizational arrangements, and professional development to advance their universities into leading research institutions that have real impact in their communities and beyond.

Receiving Applications April 1-May 15, 2024: UASP Research Management Fellowships

The UASP Research Management fellowship is a competitive, three-stage program which consists of (1) a 70-hour, two-semester online Research Management and Learning Course; (2) a multi-week virtual exchange placement with a U.S. university; and (3) a funded five-week in-person fellowship in the United States, comprised of a four-week site visit to a U.S. university along with an additional week of intensive research management training with peers in Washington, DC. Fellows (mid- and senior-level university managers, administrators, and faculty) are supported to develop an implement plan to introduce research management reforms at their home institutions and will be integrated into the growing UASP alumni and research expert network. Fellows must be available to commit (on average) at least 1 hour per week to online course activities between July 2024-February 2025 and to travel to the United States for a full-time, 5-week visit taking place approximately March-April 2025. Following successful program completion, UASP alumni will earn a George Mason University-issued certificate demonstrating continuing education units, receive support to join a research management professional association, and have opportunity to apply for a competitive alumni small grant pool to support their project implementation (please note small grants are not awarded to all alumni).

Application Coming Soon: UASP Online Research Management and Leadership Training Course.

The course is a fully online program consisting of a 70-hour, three-month online training program, comprised of asynchronous and synchronous elements which integrate assignments and peer engagement around a different topic each week. Participants are supported to assess their own institution’s research administration functions and to incrementally develop concrete plans to improve those processes by the end of the course. A subset of participants have the option to be paired with a U.S. partner university for virtual engagement on a particular focus area. Participants must be available to commit at least 1 hour per week to coursework, on average. Those who successfully complete the course will earn a George Mason University-issued certificate demonstrating continuing education units, and be eligible to have fees covered for credentialing as a research management professional and/or membership in a professional research management association.

Research Management Fellowship

Research Management Fellowship: We are currently accepting applications for approximately 22 competitively awarded fellowships for the online, 70-hour Research Management & Leadership Course. Application deadline May 15, 2024.


  • The fellowship aims to equip a new generation of university leaders across Africa with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to strengthen and improve institutional management of research and knowledge transfer and be catalysts of change.
  • UASP fellows will better understand international trends and best practices, actively disseminate their knowledge within and beyond their institutions, and apply their ideas, skills, and networks gained through the fellowship to drive improvement to their institution’s performance.
When you compare our university to others in the region, we are far better in research Management. When we interact, they admit that our university is far advanced when it comes to RM and I think it is because we participated in programs like the UASP. prior UASP participant

Project Activities

  • Human and institutional development: Through a combination of intensive training, peer engagement, and—in the case of UASP Fellowships—engagement with U.S. universities, UASP participants will create their own Implementation Plan with a view to improving research management performance at their home institutions. UASP provides coaching, technical assistance, and opportunities for professional association membership and/or seed funding for reform projects at alumni’s home universities.
  • Sustainable partnerships: UASP alumni, their U.S. counterparts, and their institutions create collaborative partnerships that result in new ventures such as joint grants submission, joint research, administrator and faculty exchanges, and the organization of international conferences. 
We had discussions where we could compare our institution with other institutions by information obtained from our colleagues from other universities. That gave us the advantage of knowing what else could be done to improve where we were in the institution. prior UASP participant

Quick Facts

  • Between 2002 and 2023, UASP has supported 259 fellows from 18 countries across Eurasia and Africa.
  • More than 80 leading universities across the U.S. have hosted UASP fellows.
  • More than 84% of fellows implement reform projects at their home universities and 72% have driven sustainable institutional change as a result of their participation
  • Reform projects have included establishing offices of sponsored research, creating technology transfer centers, developing research ethics policies, and launching courses and training on research methods, proposal writing, and grants management.
  • More than 68% of UASP alumni maintain the professional networks they developed through UASP, some for over a decade.
  • More than 33% of alumni established formal collaborations between their home universities and U.S. host universities.

Success Stories

It was really a demanding 6/7 months. But it was worth it. It is probably the best training I ever had. UASP alumni



Carnegie Corporation of New York

African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA)