Friday, 21 September 2018


Key Functions of Departments and Special Divisions at the Uganda Virus Research Institute 


The Office of the Director (Head of Programs and Partnerships)

The Director is the Chief of Programmes and Partnerships; and the Accounting Officer. He is supported by the Deputy Director.  The Director is responsible for providing leadership to the research community, for advancing the research vision of the Institute, and for overseeing research excellence of programmes and activities directly associated with the Institute.

The Office of the Director, in conjunction with the UVRI Research Committee (URC), works with the research community and coordinates grant proposals for support of the Institutes activities. The Director (Programs and Partnerships) reports to the UVRI Advisory Board (UAB) which will support UNHRO and MoH in the execution of their oversight role.


The Office of the Deputy Director (Chief Research Officer (CRO)

The Deputy Director and Chief Research Officer acts as deputy to the Director and is responsible for all the science centres/science departments as Chief Research Officer of the institute.

Finance and Administration 

Finance and Administration is headed by the Principal Assistant Secretary. Its mandate is to guide the Institution in the implementation of government health policies and regulations, to facilitate recruitment, staff development and welfare as well as control expenditure in the Institution.

Key Functions

  • Supervise and monitor implementation of government health policy at institutional and community levels
  • Coordinate social mobilization and political supervision of Institute’s activities
  • Management and  payment  of utilities for the Institute’s departments
  • Control expenditure and accountability.
  • Produce financial reports for management
  • Pay salaries and wages
  • Draft contracts, agreements and memoranda
  • Repair and maintenance of office premises and equipment
  • Provision of office logistics and stationery
  • Transport management
  • Organize welfare activities
  • Provide security  for office premises

These are the functional units under Finance & Administration

  • Administration
  • Accounts
  •  Human Resource Management and Development (HRM&D);
  •  Procurement and Disposal
  • Infrastructure Maintenance and Development
  •  Stores


Science Centres/Divisions

Each sciences unit is headed by a Senior Principal Research Officer (SPRO)

Division for Ecology/Zoology

The Division for Ecology/Zoology is headed by an Assistant Director. It undertakes research on the animals involved in the virus transmission cycles. The Division executes its roles through the following;

  • Carrying out research on intermediate hosts (monkeys, rodents, ticks, bats, etc)
  • Carrying out laboratory tests and keeping samples of specimens collected from the various intermediate hosts and humans.
  • Providing information geared towards prevention and control of zoonotic and vector borne diseases outbreaks.
  • Establishing and operating a coordinated, effective and productive ecology unit.

Division for General Virology

The science Division for General Virology is headed by an Assistant Director. It conducts comprehensive research at a molecular and cellular level for different virus aetiologies. The centre’s mandate includes:

  • Carrying out virological research in support of disease prevention and intervention strategies in Uganda/internationally
  • Development of clinical trial facilities
  • Carrying out studies related to viruses associated with human cancers (HHV8, HPV-16&18, EBV, etc)
  • Provision of quality assurance, quality control, and
  • Capacity building
Division for Entomology/Vector Biology

The science for Entomology/Vector Biology is headed by an Assistant Director. It is engaged in comprehensive research on the vectors of viral infections. The Division focuses on the;

  • study  of various insect vectors in the transmission of arbovirus infections, and
  • study of other arthropods connected with other diseases of public health importance such as malaria vectorsDivision for Immunology

The Division for Immunology is headed by an Assistant Director. It undertakes comprehensive study in the protection of the body against infection. The centre’s mandate includes undertaking studies in:

  •  Cellular and humoral immunity, and
  • Diagnostics and surveillance
Division for Arbovirology Emerging & Re-Emerging

The Division for Arbovirology Emerging & Re-Emerging Viral Infections is headed by an Assistant Director. It aims at research on diseases transmitted by arthropods and old as well as newly emerging infections. The Division serves as a national and international reference centre for vector-borne viral infectious diseases by:

  • Conducting field and laboratory research and epidemic aid investigations of vector-borne viral infections and their arthropod vectors,
  • Developing and maintaining effective surveillance for vector-borne viral infections and their arthropod vectors,
  • Defining disease etiology, ecology, and pathogenesis for disease diagnosis, surveillance, prevention and control, and
  • Provide diagnostic reference and epidemiological investigations for these diseases;
  • Functioning as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Arboviruses, and
  • Functioning as National Influenza Centre.


Specialized Units/Division
Epidemiology Unit

The Epidemiology Unit conducts comprehensive epidemiological research and response to disease outbreaks. The Unit is mandated to:

  • Carry out epidemiological research in HIV/AIDS, STDs, malaria and acute viral outbreaks
  • Provide epidemiological and statistical support to the Institute
Immunisable Diseases Unit (IDU) formerly EPI Lab     

The Unit is mandated to:

  • Carry out surveillance and research on vaccine preventable diseases to support UNEPI;
  • Provide lab support for AFP surveillance for the countries in the Great Lakes Region;
  • Function as a WHO Measles Regional Reference Laboratory;
  • Conduct vaccine efficacy studies;
Clinical Unit for Research 

The Clinical Unit for Research previously UVRI Clinic conducts applied research on viral infectious diseases. The mandate of the unit includes:

  • Providing basic essential clinical care to the research volunteers
  • Providing basic clinical services to staff and the immediate family members
  • Serving as a health centre, supervised by Entebbe Hospital, in Entebbe Health Sub-District (HSD)
  • Providing HIV routine counselling & testing (RCT) to communities and occupational HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

Quality Assurance Unit

This Unit encompasses standard setting, monitoring, evaluation and operational research whose outputs feed into the planning function. It is mandated to develop and review quality assurance and inspection procedures.

Support Centres
Planning & Fundraising

Planning and Fundraising is a functional area that was created to coordinate all the planning related functions. Their creation bridges the gap in the existing structure and harmonizes the functions of planning; budgeting; M&E, and information and documentation. The functional area therefore will have the Planning Unit and Fundraising Unit.

The unit is headed by a Senior Economist.

Key functions of the Planning and Fundraising Unit 

  • Facilitate proposal writing and channeling to potential funders
  • Fund raising
  • develop five year and annual work plans for the Institute
  • Budgeting for institute activities
  • Policy development and dissemination
  • Human resource planning and forecasting


The function will comprise of the following areas; Planning & Fundraising and Quality Assurance & Inspectorate.

Planning Unit

The key functions of the Planning Unit are therefore to;

  • Review and revise and update the UVRI development plan (DP);
  • Coordinate the preparation of the Institute plan;
  • Compile the plans of the various functional areas into a complete institution plan;
  • Assist the functional areas in the development, review and implementation of their DPs;
  • Conduct training in planning at all levels of the institution system;
  • Keep up to date with current methodologies and technologies in planning; and
  • Assist UVRI in developing more effective and relevant operational plans.
  • Budgeting

Fundraising Unit;

Key Functions

  • Make sure the Institute is worth raising funds for
  • Ensure there’s a specific fundraising target
  • Writing strong case statements for soliciting for funds
  • Ensure prospect research occurs to identify how much money might be raised from different types of resources
  • Identify specific, potential sources of funds from a diverse mix of sources
  • Develop an action plan about who is going to approach what source, how and by when
  • Profiling the types of donors Institute would like to attract.
  • Ensure effective administrative systems to track grants and donations
  • Track performance


 Special Units

Internal Audit Division (IA); because of its constitutional mandate and direct linkage with the Auditor General’s Office reports directly to the Director.

Information Technology & Corporate Affairs (IT&CA); Public Relations, Corporate Affairsand Information and Documentation. For synergy, much of the work in this unit will be heavily dependent upon robust information systems, thus bringing on board the information and documentation centre

International Relations & Training

The mandate of the International Relations & Training is as a result of the need for the Institute to collaborate and participate in all health research-related matters at national, regional and global levels.  The Division coordinates  the Institute to network with other Governments, Development Partners, Non-Governmental and International philanthropic bodies on scientific and technical matters related to health like funding, disease control etc. It also focuses on professional training of scientists. The training responsibility includes: capacity building for UVRI staff;

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