The overall responsibility of the Research and Knowledge Management Office (RAKMO) is to carry out research activities that have institutional and national significance, to encourage faculty members’ engagement in research activities by providing them with tailor-made training on scientific research techniques and providing them with the necessary financial support, to coordinate and to organize seminars and national events, to collect and to make available various research publications on Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) which were carried out by the academia through its clearing house: “Center for Private Higher Education Research in Ethiopia (CPHERE)”. It also looks for funding schemes for research activities, and works on institutional knowledge management issues. The Office is working on various knowledge management systems to enhance its productivity and to improve the quality of education it offers.
As part of its responsibilities, the Office annually organizes three conferences. The first one is the international conference on Private Higher Education, which has been successfully organized on a continuous basis since 2002. The annual event has become a Forum to present and discuss various relevant issue on private higher education and it is serving as a source of knowledge and information for the sector. It has attracted participants from various governmental institutions, public and private higher learning institutions from Ethiopia and abroad, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national and regional research institutions, and professional associations. The other two annual events are: the Student Research Forum (SRF) and the Multi-Disciplinary Seminar (MDS. The SRF is a Forum exclusively organized for students with the aim of encouraging them to engage in research and communicate their findings. The MDS is aimed at encouraging faculty members to engage in research activities and to present their findings in the Seminar. Annually, RAKMO organizes a Research Review meeting to assess research proposals submitted by St. Mary’s University (SMU) faculty members for internal funding and to share completed research findings of faculty that have been done with SMU sponsorship.
The Office is lead by a Research Director who is accountable to the Executive Vice President Office and it is staffed with team members who have several years of experience in research and knowledge management.