Research Centres and Institutes

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The University of Nairobi has established research institutes in focus areas of expertise, which are inter-disciplinary centers of excellence in research and development. The university also hosts a number of Centers of Excellence which have been set up by the government or private stakeholders in collaboration with the University to serve the region.

African Women Studies Centre
We recognize that gender relations are contextual and therefore African women’s experiences, like other experiences, are unique. These experiences remain outside the debates in our academic institutions and are often not used to inform the policy makers and other key leaders in our region. The African Women Studies Centre was therefore set up to harness the experiences of the African woman into mainstream knowledge development and policy making.

Centre for Advance Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP)
CASELAP was formally established by University Council of Nairobi in September, 2007 as a teaching and research unit with a main focus on postgraduate level capacity building in Environmental Policy, Environmental Law and Environmental Diplomacy. The primary objective was, and remains, to develop advanced level expertise in environmental governance as a reaction by the University to the fact that despite abundance of scientific and technical information on dangers of environmental degradation, actual threat to environment and depletion of natural resources has continued unabated. Such trends have threatened the threshold of sustainability of resource base and viability of sustainable development for the benefit of the public and private sectors.

Centre for Biotechnology and Informatics (CEBIB)
CEBIB was founded n 2005 as a virtual research centre to train postgraduate students at Masters and PhD level in biosciences (biotechnology & Bioinformatics). The goal of the program is to develop capacity and manpower for the development of Biotechnology. To strengthen the Centre’s teaching and research, CEBIB has incorporated the participation of visiting academics from international links and participating/collaborating institutions.

Centre for Urban Research and Innovations
In addition to providing research and technical input to  our stakeholders, the  Centre for Urban Research and Innovations was set up to create a forum for exploring innovative methodologies for enabling professional planners and designers be more responsive and effective in addressing challenges in contemporary and future African urban settlements.

Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (IAGAS)
The Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (formerly Institute of African Studies) is one of the oldest Institutes within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It started as a cultural division of the Institute for Development Studies in 1967. In 1970 the Institute became fully fledged and moved to its current location inside the National Museums of Kenya compound. The Institute is the custodian of the historic Chiromo Mansion which was declared a National Monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Act – Gazette Notice No. 1427 of 9th March 2001, where it houses its material culture section.

Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA)
The Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) was approved by Senate in December, 2011 to build capacity in sustainable management of effects and impacts of climate change on livelihoods and on development using trans-disciplinary approach.

Institute for Development Studies (IDS)
The Institute for development Studies is a multi-disciplinary as well as a multi-purpose organization focusing on social economic issues of development in Kenya and in the region. Its main functions are research, provision of consultancy services to various government ministries and other development agencies. The Institute has a large concentration of governance experts and as such acts as a pool of expertise in governance and policy drafting for the government of Kenya. 

Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology
The Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INST) in the College of Architecture and Engineering was started in 1979 as the Centre for Nuclear Science Techniques through the collaborative initiative of the University of Nairobi, the National Council for Science and Technology and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Its main focus is Renewable Energy as well as atomic or radiation science.

Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI)
The Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) is a research unit in the Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine. KAVI was established in 1999 through the joint funding from Medical Research Council (MRC), UK and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), USA to spearhead the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine through conduct of clinical trials, HIV epidemiology and basic research. The University of Nairobi is very proud of KAVI’s achievement over the years and is committed to seeing it diversify its research mandate to serve not only Kenya but the Africa region.

Population Studies and Research Institute (PSRI)
The Population Studies and Research Institute (PSRI) was established in 1976 to train demographers at postgraduate level, undertake research in population and health and to provide technical support to the government of Kenya on matters of population and development and population management. PSRI generates information that can assist in explaining population size, change and structure to be used in policy development and implementation.

University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (UNITID)
Tropical and infectious diseases remain the major causes of morbidity and mortality in our region. In children, measles, diarrhea, malaria and acute respiratory infections kill millions worldwide whereas in adults, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, parasitic and other protozoal infections, tuberculosis and malignancies associated with viral infections are major health concerns.
The main impediments to the control of these diseases range from financial constrains to logistical limitations. The ultimate control can be achieved through further research on identifying effective intervention and control strategies which are fully integrated with other health programmes.
The University of Nairobi Institute for Tropical and Infectious Diseases (UNITID) was established in 2003 to harness research and initiate training programmes geared towards management and control of infectious diseases.

Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI) 
Limited natural resources are more often than not, the source of most conflicts. The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI) was set up as a permanent demonstration of the works and ideals of Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai; sustainable management of the natural environment and resources.  
When the relationships between natural resource scarcity and conflict, and natural resources and prosperity are well-articulated, the community will be able to understand their responsibility and realize that natural resource conservation is indeed self-conservation. The Institute aims at cultivating positive ethics, values and practices towards the environment by training stewards who will foster peace, promote holistic sustainable development, and link theory with practice.

Africa Coordinating Centre for Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (A.C.C.A.F.)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)  remains a deepely rooted harmful traditional practice in many countries in the African region and beyond and with emigration, the preactice is increasingly becoming a global issue. The last few decades have seen momentum build up for the abandonment of this practice through policies and treaties assuring the rights of physical integrity and freedom from all kinds of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and discrimination. Kenya is among other countries in Africa that are taking affirmative action towards abandonmnet of FGM as evidenced by the passing of  the 2011 Prohibition of FGM Act.

It is against this background that the Africa Coordinating Centre for Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (ACCAF) was formally established in 2012  with the aim of championing the current efforts and to address the gaps in abandonment of FGM in the African region within one region.The overall aim of the Centre is to strengthen capacity in the region for research, implement interventions and monitor progress in accelerating efforts towards abandonment of FGM and improved care for women and children suffering from negative consequences of the practice.

ACCAF is hosted at the College of Health Sciences, is a planned patnership between the University of Nairobi, University of Sydney, University of Ghent, University of Washington and international organizations such as WHO, UNFPA, The Population Council.

See downloable brochure for more details.

Centre for HIV Prevention and Research (CHIVPR)
The University of Nairobi- Centre for HIV Prevention and Research (CHIVPR) situated at the College of Health Sciences was established in 2006 as a successor to the defunct Strengthening STD/HIV/AIDS Control Project in Kenya (STD Project). The STD Project was a collaboration of the University of Nairobi and University of Manitoba with funding by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The initiative was as an intervention targeting the STD/HIV/AIDS vulnerable groups more specifically Female sex workers and their clients in Kenya.  In the fifteen-year period of its existence between 1990 and 2006, the STD Project recorded impressive results in its areas of operations and in the process amassed a credible body of knowledge and skills.

As a research Centre within the University of Nairobi, CHIVPR aims to build capacity for rigorous health, social and behavioral science research on HIV/AIDS. In addition interpreting this to HIV and AIDS Preventative, care, treatment and support for the Most At Risk Population (MARPS).