Research Dissemination Conference

The University holds an annual research dissemination conference. The conference provides an opportunity for researchers to share findings, learn and above all, network. During the conference, participants engage in health discourse all aimed at improvement of health services in Malawi. The conference also provides researchers and professionals a platform for disseminating their findings, exchanging contemporary knowledge and building partnerships and collaborations to advance research and innovation, thereby contributing to sustainable development. As it has been year after year, the conference also has researchers sharing findings from research studies with a view to keeping the public, researchers and policy makers informed of current research activities relevant to health in the country. 

The conference is also attended by international participants and researchers from England, Australia, Africa including Malawi. As a University, it is very encouraging to note that international universities have found the conferences relevant and are always willing to take part. Research activities at KUHeS have increased lately and this resonates well with the college’s research strategy and agenda. 


The College of Medicine was opened in 1991 as a community medical school offering different health related courses. The opening of the college was also in the view of conducting research relevant to Malawi and the rest of the world. Within this vein, the college has been conducting Research Dissemination Conferences since 1997. With the rise in research activities at the college, the Research Support Centre was established. Research Support Centre is an arm under the College of Medicine whose sole purpose is to promote research by providing comprehensive research support and grants management services to faculty members, students and research affiliates. Since it’s opening, the Research Support Centre, with help from the University and several sponsors, has been facilitating Research Dissemination Conferences. 


Every year, the conference happens under a theme. These themes are mostly health related. Speeches and presentations that are made on the conferences therefore circulate around the theme. The following are the themes for the past Research Dissemination Conferences since 2000: 

2018:   Health Research for Preventing Illness and Improved Health Services in Malawi

2017:  Driving the next decade of research in Malawi: Achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

2016:  College of Medicine Research Excellence Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

2015:  Addressing the double threat of non-communicable and communicable diseases in Malawi

2014:  Reduction of disease burden in Malawi: Evidence-Based public health approach.

2013:  Towards 2015 ‘Success and Challenges of Health and HIV & AIDS Research in the Context of Millennium Goals’.

2012:   Promoting Research for a healthy

2011:   Promoting Demand driven research in Malawi

2010:   Implementing Research into Policy

2009:   Research Capacity Building in Malawi

2008:   Good Research Practice

2007:   From Research to Treatment: Improving the care of patients with HIV

2006:   A Decade of Research Dissemination in Malawi

2005:   Research addressing poverty-related diseases in Malawi

2004:   Translating Research into Health Policy in Malawi

2003:   Promoting Health Research and Ethics in Malawi

2002:  Encouraging Health Research in Malawi

2001:  College of Medicine and Research in the first 10 years

2000:  Health Research and Policy in Malawi


OPENING CEREMONY: The opening ceremony is made up of speeches mainly by the guest of honour, Vice-Chancellor. 

There are also Keynote Speakers. 

A key note speaker is someone who is responsible for setting the tone for the conference, the key note is supposed to outline the framework for the conference highlighting the main theme for the conference. 

During Speed Talks, College of Medicine Departments, the post graduate dean and directors of the affiliates briefly outline what their departments and organizations have achieved over the years and also outline their plans for the coming year.


Researchers present their research findings to an audience, after which, the audience is given time to ask questions and make comments on the presentation. These presentations are arranged according to themes (i.e. HIV, TB, Non-Communicable Diseases, etc.). Oral Presentations are delivered at four different locations at once over a specified period of time; these are presented according to themes. On the other hand,

Poster presentations involve researchers presenting their research findings through posters. The posters include an introductory section, a brief literature review, methodology, findings, conclusions, recommendations and references.

SCIENCE CAFÉ: The science café is a discussion on a particular theme involving a number of panellists (mostly four or five). The panellists include experts in the field, the general public, researchers and lecturers.

JOHN CHIPHANGWI LECTURE: In honour of the late John Chiphangwi, the conference holds lectures that were coined John Chiphangwi lectures. John Chiphangwi was one of the pioneers, founder and first Malawian Principal of the College of Medicine.

EXHIBITIONS: Different organisations, corporate companies and individuals showcase their products and services through their pavilions which are visited by guests of the conference.

PRIZES: During the conferences, there are judges whose sole responsibility is to select best presenters based on pre-determined criteria. Prizes are given to the best presenter (general category), Best presenter (Post graduate students), Best Presenter (Undergraduate students). Prizes are presented to winners during the closing ceremony by the College of Medicine Principal.

Follow this link to see more about the conference