Establishment and Mandate

The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Health. NIMR was established by the Parliament Act No. 23 of 1979 and became operational in 1980; holding the following mandates:

  1. To carry out and promote the carrying out of health research designed to alleviate disease among the people of Tanzania;
  2. To carry out, and promote the carrying out of, medical research into various aspects of local traditional medical practices for the purpose of facilitating the development and application of herbal medicine;
  3. In co-operation with the Government or any other person or body of persons, to promote, or provide facilities for, the training of local personnel for carrying out scientific research into medical problems;
  4. To monitor, control and co-ordinate medical research carried out within Tanzania, or elsewhere, on behalf of or for the benefit of the Government of Tanzania, and to evaluate the findings of that research;
  5. To establish a system of the registration of, and to register, the findings of medical research carried out within Tanzania, and promote the practical application of those findings for the purposes of improving or advancing the health and general welfare of the people of Tanzania; 
  6. To establish and operate systems of documentation and dissemination of information on any aspect of the medical research carried out by or on behalf of the institute;
  7. Carry out, and promote the carrying out of, research and investigation into the causes and the ways of controlling and preventing the occurrence in Tanzania of particular diseases or a category of them.
  8. In co-operation with the Government or any person or body of persons, carry out and promote the carrying out of, basic, applied and operational research designated to provide effective measures for the control of diseases endemic in Tanzania

Research Centres and Stations

The institute has 7 centres and 7 stations in 7 regions of Tanzania. Coordination is done by the Headquarters

Laboratory Capacity

NIMR has laboratories ranging from Biosafety Level (BSL) 1 to 4 for biomedical sciences in Korogwe, Tanga, Mwanza, Amani, Muhimbili, Mbeya, Dodoma and Tabora. Entomology laboratory facilities are available at Amani, Mwanza and Tukuyu.

Other facilities for research and services include dispensaries, experimental huts, mosquito spheres, animal houses, insectaries, libraries and training facilities.

Dissemination of Research Findings

The Institute disseminates research results on health research through its quarterly published Tanzania Journal of Health Research. The Journal established in 1997 was initially published as the Tanzania Health Research Bulletin before 2007. Publications by the Tanzania Journal of Health Research are available at      African Journal on Line (

NIMR has an Annual Scientific Conference launched in 1982, which brings together research scientists, policy makers, practitioners, development partners and media from within and outside Tanzania..

The Role of NIMR as National Regulator for the Conduct of Health Research

The Medical Research Coordinating Committee (MRCC) is the national health research coordinating body. The MRCC has delegated functions of registration, ethical review, approving and monitoring of  health research to the National Health Research Ethics sub-Committee (NatHREC), which is hosted at NIMR Headquarters. NatHREC is responsible for overseeing all issues pertaining to data and material transfers. Permission to Publish needs to be granted before publishing any health-related research conducted in Tanzania