The PSU Centre for Postgraduate Studies and Research is a double-barrelled organ primarily responsible for the facilitation and coordination of the University’s research and training – including consultancy – engagements as well as the coordination function of the PSU-JKUAT joint Masters degree programmes.
The centre’s consultancy or contractual professional services include capacity development trainings for identified skills and consultancy services in a few specialist areas including needs assessment and analysis, evaluation document design and conduct as well as designing and developing communication instruments.
Research and Training Function
The overall objective of this component of the department is founded on the belief that every sustainable progress of whatever aspect in whichever field is subject to informed decisions and planning. Our research activities and programmes therefore aim at addressing contemporary social issues in general by focusing on specific social needs and challenges of the community, government and private sector organizations. In this regard the department seeks collaborative support in running some of the research activities and programmes. The department, therefore, spearheads the University’s search for research collaborations and partnerships with other institutions and agencies, including funding opportunities.
In order to deliver on the above mandate as well as contribute to the realization of the academic goals and research aspirations of the university learning community, the centre ensures continuous engagement and consultation with both the administrative and the rest of the academic organs within the university establishment.
The Centre for postgraduate Studies and Research therefore serves as the fulcrum of the university’s engagement with other external entities in performing the functions that include:
- aiding faculty and student through the enrichment of the research environment:
- advancing curriculum;
- informing the teaching, learning and research;
- providing interdisciplinary research training and mentorship for learners;
- facilitating and coordinating research activities and programmes;
- serving as the linkage between the university and the community with respect to research initiatives of mutual benefit;
- enhancing the reputation of the university by undertaking quality research and communicating or sharing outcomes with relevant stakeholders;
- developing mutually beneficial linkages with government and private sector agencies in order to develop partnerships and collaborative research;
- transferring knowledge to society through outreach activities including collaborative research, seminars, workshops, lectures and publications;
- representing the interests of the university in any collaborative research activities and programmes;
- outsourcing specialist services to external entities including government and private sector agencies;
- ensuring that acceptable research standards and ethics are met and adhered to;
- Searching for funding opportunities and developing funding instruments.
Training and Development
Our Policy and Procedures
The centre’s training and research policy is informed by the University’s vision of being a leading centre for the provision of feasible education programmes and development in line with emerging sciences and technologies. In the same spirit, the centre’s training and research policy hinges on a commitment to excellence in bringing out the best in people development through needs and skills assessment and development in order to maintain and enhance efficiencies. We aim to create a culture of learning and improvement throughout where stakeholders and partners take pride in associating with us for their developmental needs.
Our Training Objectives
- to equip people with required technical skills;
- to provide leadership and management development to all staff and faculty within the University;
- to identify the development needs of the University, the community and contractual partners;
- to ensure that development needs are identified as part of the decision making and planning process and reviewed regularly;
- to promote the use of the full range of development opportunities, ensuring that where a formal course is chosen it is the most appropriate solution;
- to ensure equality in all our training activities and programmes;
- to provide tailored counsel and guidance for career development to learners and aspiring professionals;
- to provide personal and tailored consultancy services to help individuals and teams meet their needs;
- to ensure the development of appropriate skills crucial for delivering business strategies and realizing the goals of our associates.
Identifying and Meeting Needs
Individual – these should be identified as part of the diagnostic process. When individuals work objectives have been agreed they should, with their supervisors, then consider the development needs to enable them to meet those work objectives. At the same time individuals should consider their longer-term career aspirations and identify the development needs arising from these. These should always be discussed with the supervisors or line managers who will need to take account of the needs of the whole team or departments.
Depending on the identified need, discussions can be held with the line manager to determine precisely what is to be gained in terms of knowledge, skills and behaviour from the anticipated training.
Team – these too should be identified by team leaders. Again the training and development team may need to work with line managers in carrying out a training needs analysis and identifying the most appropriate solution. Wherever possible they will provide a tailored solution to the particular need identified.
Organisational – these may arise as the result of new projects, changes in legislation, the introduction of new policies or procedures or technology, etc and should be considered by managers and directors. They should be included in business plans and notified to the organizational head of the human resource development. Other needs may be identified through the year as a result of specific interventions e.g. the communications, audit, reviews, etc.
Once a broad need has been identified, a more specific training needs analysis will be carried out by the training and development unit in collaboration with the target organization in order to specify the requirement and determine the most appropriate way of meeting the needs. More specific details will then be discussed, agreed and factored into the training to ensure all the requirements are taken into consideration.
The training and development team may recommend a formal review of organizational training needs at least once a year during the appraisal process.
Our delivery methods may include:
- Face-to-face classroom training, seminars and briefing sessions;
- Training handouts;
- Visual aids including LCD projectors, charts, etc.
- Feedback and refining needs and delivery
Evaluation Document Design and Conduct
The centre’s evaluation function is conceived based on the assumption that effective evaluations are necessary in order to provide timely information crucial for (informing decisions aimed at) improving performance of respective undertakings besides the contribution to future planning, policy making and overall organizational learning.
While acknowledging that any evaluation assignment will mainly be dependent on the subject, purpose and terms of the evaluation, our general approach would follow the commonly applied six-step model:
- Developing a conceptual model of the programme and identifying key evaluation points;
- Developing evaluation questions and defining measurable outcomes;
- Developing an evaluation design;
- Collecting data;
- Analyzing data; and
- Providing information to interested audiences or stakeholders.
Basically, the approach would entail:
- Analyzing the relevant project founding documents with particular focus on the envisioned objectives and deliverables;
- Drafting a suitable evaluation plan;
- Designing evaluation tools;
- Organizing and conducting any necessary briefings, trainings and workshops;
- Conducting the evaluation;
- Processing and analyzing collected data;
- Disseminating findings and compiling final report.
Post Graduate Programmes
PSU is currently partnering with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to offer Masters Degree programmes in Development Studies and Business Administration. The Centre for Postgraduate and Research is responsible for the coordination function and other liaison activities related to the running of the programmes.