Research, Science and Technology (DRST)

Directorate of Research, Science and Technology (DRST)

Brief Profile

SDUE&R was established to promote new areas of Science, Technology Research, & Innovation (RST&I), and to act as a focal point department for organizing, coordinating and promoting RST&I activities in the country.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Formulation of policies relating to  RSTI.
  2. Providing advice to Cabinet on matters relating to RST&I.
  3. Promotion of new areas of Science and Technology, especially emerging technologies.
  4. Research and Development through research institutions and universities for development of indigenous technologies, in co-ordination with the sector Ministry or Department
  5. Coordination and integration of areas of Science & Technology having cross-sectoral linkages in which a number of institutions and departments have interest and capabilities.
  6. Undertaking or financially sponsoring scientific and technological surveys, research design and development, where necessary.
  7. Support and Grants-in-aid to Scientific Research Institutions, Scientific Associations and Bodies.
  8. All matters concerning:
  • University Education Act 2012; STI Act 2013; Bio-safety Act 2013, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Act 2013
  • National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI)
  • Kenya National Commission for UNESCO
  • National Research Fund (NRF)
  • Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA)
  • Bio-safety Appeals Board (BAB)
  • National Bio-safety Authority (NBA)
  • Kenya National Academy of Science
  • Matters commonly affecting Scientific and technological departments/organisations/ institutions e.g. financial, personnel, purchase and import policies and practices.
  • Management Information Systems for Science and Technology and coordination thereof.
  • Matters regarding Inter-Agency/Inter-Departmental coordination for evolving science and  technology missions.
  • Matters concerning domestic technology particularly the promotion of ventures involving  the commercialization of such technology
  • All other measures needed for the promotion of science and technology and their  application to the development and security of the nation.
  • Matters relating to institutional Science and Technology capacity building including setting  up of new institutions and institutional infrastructure.
  • Promotion of Science and Technology at the National, and County levels.
  • Application of STEM for marginalized populations including women, youth, and people with disabilities.

DRST has the following as the mandate:

  1. Formulation of policies relating to Science, Technology, Research & Innovation (RST&I).
  2. Setting up priorities in RST&I
  3. Establishment of funding programmes to support RST&I activities including research fellowships, scholarships etc
  4. Provide research funds for bilateral cooperation for internationalization of RST&I
  5. Increasing RST&I cooperation in the fields of long-term education,  and capacity development
  6. Use of international innovation potential
  7. Implementing research based high-techdevelopment strategy at National and County levels
  8. Strengthen the competitiveness of high-tech markets
  9. Providing research funds
  10. Promotion of new areas of S&T with special emphasis on emerging technologies.
  11. Coordination and integration of areas of RST&I having cross-sectoral linkages in which a number of MDAs have interest and capabilities.
  12. Undertaking or financially sponsoring RST&I national surveys, research design & Indicator and development, where necessary.
  13. Support and Grants-in-aid to Scientific Research Institutions, Scientific Associations and Agencies, Universities, Consortia, International Scientific subscriptions, membership to international scientific organizations, bilateral agreements etc.
  14. All matters concerning:
  • International STI Cooperation including appointment of scientific attaches abroad;
  • Appointment of nominees / representatives to Autonomous STI Institutions/ Agencies, Universities, Boards/Councils etc
  1. Matters commonly affecting Scientific and technological departments/ organizations/ institutions/Commissions/Agencies e.g. financial, personnel, purchase and import policies and practices.
  2. Management Information Systems for S&T and coordination thereof. Matters regarding Inter-Agency/Inter-Departmental coordination for evolving S&T missions.
  3. Matters relating to institutional S&T capacity building including setting up of new institutions and institutional infrastructure.
  4. Promotion of RST&I at the National and County levels
  5. Application of STEM to marginalized populations including women, youth and people with disabilities.

In the pursuit of transforming Kenya into a knowledge economy, the Government of Kenya is establishing Science and Technology Parks in the country.  Establishment of science and technology parks (STPs) is part of a strategy utilized by countries to stimulate economic growth and facilitate transition from a labour intensive to knowledge-based economy. Currently Science and Technology Parks are being established at Chuka University, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) and Konza Technopolis. Specifically, Chuka University is highly credited for raising funds through its A-in-A to establish the Science and Technology Park on its main campus. On the other hand Dedan Kimathi University is also appreciated for establishing key collaborations with international investors. So far the University has attracted private investors including an Anchor tenant who is manufacturing electronic mother boards.

The main objective of the proposed Science and Technology Parks is to create high-tech clusters that serve as catalysts for technology development, economic transformation, and wealth creation with a link to Actors and collaborators. Another objective is to enhance global, regional and national development through fostering research and innovation in key technology areas.

In order to harness potential for manufacturing, the Government is establishing high technology National Physical Sciences Research Laboratories at Konza Technopolis. These will support effective and timely development through scientific research and application of advanced technologies. The role of high technology physical sciences laboratories will be to set and associate with rapidly evolving industrial systems and maintain standards for the industry. They will also support many disciplines in science including material science, nanotechnology, and engineering among others. The main objective of the Laboratories is to provide infrastructure and equipment for research that will deliver cutting edge innovative research solutions that will propel Kenya to an industrialized nation by the year 2030.

Overall, the Government is very keen on amongst others; Supporting development of innovative products, services, processes and techniques; Providing data management, technological updating services to the industries, institutions and business enterprises; Conducting Research and Development in collaboration with industries, organizations and institutions.

Investors are encouraged to take advantage of Konza Technopolis which is classified as a special economic zone under the Special Economic Zones Act of 2015. In this regard the Investors will enjoy Tax Benefits; Work permits; and Rights.

The development of the new proposed policies and their respective briefs  is ongoing. They policies were proposed by Stakeholders to be developed to fill gaps in the University education sector.


1 Policy on Career guidance and Counselling · To promote Career Guidance and Counselling accessibility, capacity building of prospective students through outreach or community programmes, and Mentorship programmes
2 Policy on the Management of Curriculum development by University Senates · To guide Senates with regard to Market/Industry and stakeholder needs, international competitiveness, Porters Value chain and changing dynamics.

· To give direction on curriculum delivery methods and assessment as well as how Graduates can impact the Market.

· To provide dynamic and relevant provisions for curricula and pedagogy based on creativity, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship; and how students with special needs can access quality university education.

· To guide the country realise competencies in graduates as outlined in the International Standard Coding of Occupations (ISCO)

3 Mechanism on the establishment of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in the University Education Sector · To establish a coordinated approach as a means to increase integration between Government, Academia/Research, Industry and Society in the development of University education sector for Kenya’s sustainable development;

· To promote and foster Academia/Research linkages to global sources of high-quality human capital to maintain Kenya’s progress towards a knowledge-based economy; and

· To ensure that resources are applied to strategic priority areas that require Academia/Research collaborations/partnerships.


4 Policy on the management of International scholarships · To define of SAGAs in the management of international scholarships

· To give guidelines on how the Ministry in chrge of University education sector can liaise with Kenya Missions/Embassies abroad to facilitate formation and empowerment of  students’ organizations to help new students settle down and cope with any challenges that may arise.

· To show how HELB can offer financial support to needy Kenyan students abroad.

· To fast-track signing of proposed Agreements with countries that do not honour scholarship awards.

· To ensure there are funds to meet the cost of signed Agreement obligations.

· To develop guidelines on how Kenya can offer competitive scholarships at Ph.D. level in priority fields to international students as part of internationalization

5 Policy on emerging technologies in ST&I · To provide guidelines on anticipated future scenario on emerging technologies and show how this future scenario could play out in Kenya

· To provide an integrated approach on emerging new disciplines, emerging technologies and their convergence.

6 Guidelines for appointing  Chairpersons, independent members and Alternate Directors to Councils/Boards of SAGAS · To provide guidelines to manage the process of appointing Alternate Directors, Chairs and Independent members of Boards/Councils of SAGAs

· To give direction on how Alternate Directors, Chairs and Independent members of Boards/Councils of SAGAs can be capacity build.

7 Policy on brain drain and Brain gain · To provide clear guidelines for interactions, exchange of information and resources with the Diaspora

· To link national development needs with Diaspora recourses, and serve to guide the activities more systematically

· To pursue the return of country expatriates with incentives

· To give guidance on the mobilization of the  Diaspora to participate in development through virtual participation

8 Diaspora policy for the University Education sector · To provide direction on how Diaspora participation in University Education, Research and Innovation can be mainstreamed.

· To provide guidelines on how to identify, develop and manage Kenyan student database in foreign Universities.

· To guide interaction between Diaspora and Kenya’s stakeholders in University Education, Research and Innovation.

· To guide on the development, promotion and management of Strategic Partnerships, exchange and collaborations between Kenya and Diaspora.

· To guide on the mobilization of Diaspora resources towards University Education, Research and Innovation.

· To give direction on how the establishment and appointment of University Education and Research Attachees to Strategic Missions abroad can be managed.

9 Policy on University funding and resource mobilization · To give direction on University funding and resource mobilization with regard to targeted free tuition scheme, linking amount of resources allocated to indicators of University performance, innovative funding mechanisms that include funding formula, performance contracts and competitiveness index.

· To explore means and ways of partnership for resource mobilization and resource maintenance.

· To give direction on changing dynamics affecting mobilization of resources

10 Biosciences Policy · To give guidance on the following:

ü Strengthening capabilities in Biosecurity, Bioeconomy, Biomedical, Biodiversity Informatics and allied Life Sciences areas.

ü Harnessing policy and institutional frameworks in order to regulate the entire Biosciences field

ü Promoting public-private sector collaboration; including Government, Industry, Scientists (knowledge-based institutions – KBIs) and Society

ü Creating competitiveness in sustainable exploitation; utilization, conservation and management of resources

ü Increasing expertise; including critical hard and soft skills in Biosciences

ü Harnessing innovations in terms of products, processes, marketing and organizational methods

ü Enhancing infrastructure needed to integrate advances in Bioscience knowledge and technology.

ü Managing Biosecurity by protecting, controlling and accounting for biological select agents and toxins of global concern, their delivery systems and related materials.

ü Streamlining the production, stockpiling and use of micro-organisms and their toxins which have the potential of  being used as weapons of mass destruction

ü Undertaking affirmative action for women, youth and the marginalized in the Biosciences

11 Policy on university security · To give guidance to Universities to provide security on University Internal Environment, University neighbourhoods, Mental Health, ICT, Collaboration and linkages and Intellectual Capital
12 Policy on Kenya Think Tanks in the University education sector · To provide guidelines to manage Think Tanks in the University Education sector

· To provide processes for establishment of:

ü A Think Tank to contribute to the delivery of the Government’s objectives on University Education, Research and Innovation.

ü The National Ad-hoc Think Tank for Accelerating Research and Innovation (NATTARI).

ü Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) as a Strategic Think Tank

· To give direction on how a Data base on National Think Tanks in the University education sector can be established.

13 Policy on management of University Infrastructure · To give guidance on the creation of an attractive environment for highly-skilled scientific, technical and administrative personnel;

· To provide avenues on how Kenyan research teams can access global RI;

· To foster regional development with long-term socio-economic benefits;

· To foster an entrepreneurial climate favourable to industrial investment in research and innovation, with a direct impact across society (e.g. through spin-offs, new market opportunities related to procurement/equipment supplies and new, innovative products and services).

14 Policy on On-line learning · To provide guidance on  how internet costs can be sustainably managed by Universities and Internet providers

· To guide stakeholders on how free/loaned low-cost smartphones can be acquired by students

· To provide strategies that will enable the government access emergency relief funds from the international community to cater for online teaching and learning

· To enable Lecturers to prepare lessons by utilizing Call Senders to provide emergency online learning through internet service providers.

· To strengthen the Kenya National Educational and Research Network (KENET)

16 Policy on the management of International Scholarships · To give guidelines with regard to sourcing, administration and processing of international scholarships
17 De-balkanization Policy · To give guidelines with regard to addressing amongst others; tribalism, nepotism, silo mentality, and discrimination and with the aim of giving power to the Minister in charge of University education to bring sanity into university management by rationally transferring senior staff to provide national balance.

· To provide direction on the review of university management structure/ organograms to promote research and innovation and refocus universities for global competitiveness

This Blue print is being prepared to put Kenya on the pathway of harnessing a knowledge-based economy. Amongst others; it will be based on the following terms of reference (ToR):

  • Designing a framework and making recommendations on how Kenyan University processes including; education, research and development (R&D), instructions, mentorship, commercialization, networking, services etc. should be reformed to address the National and Global knowledge economy.
  • Preparing thematic reports to analyze key competencies for graduate knowledge workers in Kenya including utilization of T-professionals
  • Developing policy recommendations for accelerating reforms on internationalization of Kenyan university education, research, and the knowledge society implications
  • Showing how Kenya will develop her diaspora society as a bridge between research, policy making and funding
  • Showing how Kenya will network her universities for sustainable growth
  • Showing how Kenya will apply knowledge to leverage on the outputs of MoE Semi-autonomous institutions as well as Research institutions for economic growth
  • Addressing any other emerging areas/fields of concern in the University education and Research sector; including 4th Industrial revolution (4IR) currently referred to by United Nations as 4.T.
  • Taking advantage of upcoming ST&I institutions; including Science and Technology Parks, National Physical Sciences Laboratories Research Laboratories, Kenya Institute of Advanced of Science and Technology (KAIST, National Open University of Kenya (NOUK) etc.

Taking advantage of existing National University-Industry collaborations Committee.

The Welfare policy is meant to enable DRST to become a fully functional organisation whose management recognizes the staff as the most valuable resource that contributes to the organization’s success or failure.  Over time, DRST has not managed to establish a viable welfare that would enable it to effectively cater for work environment and customer satisfaction matters, yet the welfare of all employees is essential in achieving the Directorates’ vision and mission.  Such a situation has called for a need that DRST formulates a policy that will guide the running of the welfare of its staff.

This policy seeks to establish a statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of staff as needs arise. Civil servants currently enjoy a government medical cover that promotes their wellbeing in terms of health, but their happiness and fortunes have not been addressed well at individual levels.

The objective of DRST Welfare Policy is to establish a Welfare system that will ensure that staff needs and welfare are addressed for increased staff motivation and work place satisfaction by:

  1. Enabling DRST staff to build on their professional ego through welfare support
  2. Establishing Staff welfare committee guidelines necessary for a Welfare
  • Effecting AESOP’S-based teamwork whose main value is “sister’s and brother’s keeper
  1. Establishing a system that ensures that all staff are treated in a fair, sensitive and confidential manner, at all times.

The policy presents key issues including: Work Environment; Staff Communication; Office Facilities; Visitors Port; Tea Room; Access to DRST; Sanitary Conveniences; Boardroom, Offices of the chief executives; Cleaning Arrangements; Maintenance of Equipment, Devices and Systems; Facilities for expectant and nursing staff; Promotion and Training; Staff wellness; Coordination; Monthly contributions by DRST staff; Emerging needs; Celebration parties for retiring DRST staff members; and The Research Attic.

While it is appreciated that wholesome implementation of this policy is not possible and cannot be done at once, DRSt will identify and implement activities that will yield low-lying fruits. The review, amendment, update, and implementation of the policy shall be a responsibility of all DRST staff.

Ministry of Education
Skip to content