JRS grant to develop a Biodiversity Informatics MSc program in Malawi


For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Acting Executive Directors at director @ jrsbiodiversity.org, (206) 454-7915.

JRS grant to develop a Biodiversity Informatics MSc program in Malawi

SEATTLE, Washington – December 7, 2020 – The JRS Biodiversity Foundation announces a grant award of $339,500 to the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) as part of JRS’ Capacity Building and Partnership Program. JRS invests in creating the skills, adding the knowledge and tools, and developing the relationships that will bridge the gap between biodiversity data users and the stakeholders who make and influence decisions that are crucial to preserving biodiversity. Sub-Saharan Africa lacks the human and technical capacity to meet its needs for biodiversity data and knowledge and this is one of several JRS-funded projects that aim to build knowledge and mobilize biodiversity data in Malawi.

Development of a Biodiversity Informatics MSc program at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST)

Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) will focus on training to increase national biodiversity informatics capacity and establish a biodiversity informatics MSc program. Stakeholders and partners will be active participants in the development of program content and modules during the first year, with students accepted into the program at the start of the second and third year of this three-year project. JRS funds will support program personnel, outreach, data mobilization and publications, and 20 MSc students. In addition to addressing capacity gaps within the region, this project is expected to promote collaborative training and mentorship and develop partnerships that will support future efforts to mobilize biodiversity data and grow biodiversity informatics in Malawi. “We are very excited with the support from JRS, this programme will address current gaps in management and use of biodiversity data in policy and decision making in Malawi and its neighboring countries” notes Prof. Address Malata, MUST Vice Chancellor.


About the JRS Biodiversity Foundation – The mission of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation is to increase access to and use of information that will lead to greater biodiversity conservation and more sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2004, the JRS Biodiversity Foundation supports the capacity of institutions and people who collect, manage, and share biodiversity data for Sub-Saharan Africa. JRS’ grantees connect scientific knowledge to stakeholders who make and influence decisions that are crucial to conserving biodiversity. The foundation has awarded $20.3 million in grants since 2007. Visit JRS online at http://jrsbiodiversity.org.

About Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) – MUST was established by an Act of Parliament Number 31 of 2012 with the aim of promoting the development, adaptation, transfer and application of science, technology and innovation for macro- and micro-economic development of Malawi. Its vision is “A world class centre of science and technology education, research and entrepreneurship” which is being realized through the provision of a conducive environment for quality education, training, research, and entrepreneurship, and outreach activities. Visit MUST online at http://www.must.ac.mw/.

Contact at JRS Biodiversity Foundation: Acting Executive Director, director @ jrsbiodiversity.org, +1 (206) 454-7915

Contact at MUST: Mr. James Mphande, MUST Communications Manager, jmphande @ must.ac.mw, +265 999 858447