African Universities’ Research Approaches (AURA) Capacity Development Programme

The African Universities' Research Approaches programme (AURA) seeks to strengthen research and teaching practices in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AURA, led by the Institute of Development Studies in partnership with the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa and Loughborough University, will work with up to nine universities in Sub-Saharan Africa to enrich the research and teaching practices of academics working in health, agriculture and the environment. The overarching aim of the programme is to address the continent-wide goals of supporting universities to transform Africa through investments in people-centred innovations that will bring about economic prosperity and democratic and responsive governance.

AURA brings together the collective knowledge of researchers and educators based in the global south and north to co-create a context-specific educational framework that will enable academics with heavy teaching workloads to undertake research, and enhance the research capacity of their students. In doing so, the programme will respond to the need for locally generated research knowledge by skilled researchers (and graduates); and support academics to nurture effective research and information capabilities in research-led, teaching and learning environments.

AURA was funded by UKAid and implemented over two years, starting in November 2014. During that time the programme produced a teaching and learning framework that is available to download from IDS’ OpenDocs through a creative commons license as individual course packs:

Three research courses:

Two teaching courses:

All of the course packs are aimed at educators in higher education institutions primarily in Africa but are also applicable to educators and other training/service providers in other parts of the world. Resources are can be re-used, adapted, or remixed (where indicated by the license) as long as the resulting materials are fully attributed.

Visit the AURA Programme Communication Channels

For more information about the project, contact the AURA Project Manager, Siobhan Duvigneau:

Key contact

Partner organisations

Partner researchers

Gracian Chimwaza
Dr Mark Hepworth
+44 (0)1509 223039
Project Dates:
November 2014 - September 2016
Project Status:
Total project value:
£ 2,000,000

Key contacts