Follow us:

VC Harps on Quality Research as UK-Based Don Sensitizes on Grants Application

“Good research enhances the reputation of individuals, it also does for the University and the nation at large. Countries that get it right invest so much in research and this propels them for the greater development that we have seen in the Western world.”

The foregoing submission came from the Vice-Chancellor Olabisi Onabanjo University [OOU], Ago-Iwoye, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, while underscoring the significance of quality research for lecturers. The Vice-Chancellor, who charged Academic staff to brace up and equip themselves with requisite skills to successfully access funding for their research bids, also called for adequate investment in research to stimulate national development.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde

Prof. Olatunde made this known at a Workshop on Proposal Writing on Accessing Research Grants, which was organised recently by the Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance. The event, which attracted distinguished scholars, eminent personalities, staff and members of the University Community, was held inside the Senate Chamber, Main Campus, Ago-Iwoye.

In his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola, identified research as a crucial and significant requirement in the promotion of academic excellence and the ranking of any University. He noted that as a result of the importance of research and its attendant competitiveness, many Universities have invested in the training of their academics on methods of writing proposals in accessing research grants.

He said, “There is no gainsaying the fact that all Universities carry out research as individual’s research outputs play significant roles in his or her promotion. However, there is also the place of competition and rivalry in research, particularly when it comes to accessing grants provided by national and international bodies.

“It is for this reason that Universities invest in the training of their academics in methods of writing proposals in accessing research grants.”
Prof. Olatunde commended the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, for sponsoring the workshop to sharpen the skills and boost the capacity of lecturers in the University. The Vice-Chancellor, who acknowledged the Awujale for instituting over N3billion investment in the University, enjoined the elites and wealthy citizens to emulate the traditional ruler.

His words: “The Awujale has been greatly concerned about the challenge of development in this country which has been orchestrated by governance crisis. As a man who has seen it all, he reflected on how good governance had greatly enhanced development in the old Western Region which made it a model not only for Nigeria but Africa at large.
Oba Adetona has endowed a Professorial Chair in Governance in the University with over a billion Naira purposely to stimulate research in governance and development. Governance and development, in this sense, covers all the fields of human endeavour.”

“Kabiyesi has not only provided the enabling environment, but keeps on encouraging us on a daily basis. Such personality is very rare in this nation. He has gone a step further by funding Institute of Governance in the University with over three billion Naira investment. We hope this will change the attitude of our elites and wealthy ones in this nation so that they can invest rightly in the intellectual and physical development of this nation.”

The Occupier of Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Prof. Akinsola Agagu [left], delivering his keynote address

With proper and relevant training, the Vice-Chancellor expressed optimism that many more lecturers in the University would easily write research proposals and successfully access grants for that purpose henceforth.

Delivering his keynote address, the Occupier of the Professorial Chair in Governance, Prof. Akinsola Agagu, said research remains one of the main pillars of the job of academics, adding that it is the fulcrum of development of any nation.

He said, “The Western countries that bestride the world like colossus attained that feat through rigorous as well as sustained research. China, Japan, the Asian Tigers and the like have changed their fortune through their success in their research bids.”

“The recognition of the place of research in national, regional and global development has led some nations, foundations and other bodies, including international ones, to invest enormous resources in research.”

Prof. Agagu disclosed that the workshop was “just a tip of the iceberg,” pointing out that the Professorial Chair in Governance would come up with varieties of programmes that will stimulate academic development in the next two years. He thanked the University Management and both the academic and non-teaching staff for great support given to him since assumption of office.

The scholar explained that the grants writing proposal workshop was sponsored by the Awujale based on the need to stimulate research, especially in the area of governance.
“Kabiyesi is so much concerned about the deplorable and deteriorating situation of governance in this country and he had instituted a professorial chair so that we can drive research in this area. He doesn’t believe that we should abandon the Nigeria project. He believes that through intellectual engineering, we can still turn around the fortune of this country. And the best way is to have a virile research,” he added.

The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, it will be recalled, had domiciled the Professorial Chair in Governance at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, OOU to enhance the image of the University and execute researches capable of proffering solutions to contemporary challenges and issues of governance at both local and global levels.

The highly revered monarch believes that despite the current challenges, intellectual engagement through deep research efforts could provide solutions for governance deficit in the country and that such efforts can only be complemented and sustained through ability to access grants by scholars researching in governance issues.
In his presentation, the Guest Lecturer, Dr Akin Iwilade, advised academics to understand the rudiments of grants application in order to enhance their research bids. According to him, the applicant’s profile must speak expertise and signify competence to the funders.

Iwilade, who is a lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, said those seeking to access research grants must have academic reputation for excellence and professional visibility. He asked them to always find interesting, compelling and innovative titles for their proposals and ensure concise writing.
He said, “It is really important that people have the academic reputation for excellence and the only way you can build that is a combination of publications in world leading journals. When I say world leading journals, I don’t necessarily mean foreign journals.

“One of the problems we have locally is that the reason why our journals are not world leading is because when we write anything that we think is decent, we want to sell it abroad. And, of course, our Universities are increasingly pushing people to publish offshore.”

Iwilade, who is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies at the University of Lagos, urged academics to always endeavour to adhere to rules and application deadlines. He warned against having the notion that grants are means of financial enrichment, stressing that “grants are basically to facilitate the research that we do.”
The don also pointed out that Universities have fundamental role to play in providing institutional support for academics, adding that institutional structure that can manage research grants for transparency is advisable in the ivory towers.

He added, “When you are building partnerships, especially for large grants that usually require partnerships, it’s also really important that there is a clear convergence of relevant expertise between scholars from the institution making the application and the partners.

“The vast majority of funders are more interested in how well your proposals speak to the discipline and to the conceptual and theoretical debates in the discipline. So, my key advice for proposal writing in particular is that it is really important to focus on making a contribution to conceptual thinking on the subject, that is what theoretical debate do you intend to contribute to and not necessarily what empirical or policy problem you wish to solve.”

Meanwhile, the University Librarian, Dr Adebambo Oduwole, has advised academics seeking grants for their research works to always read current literature to boost their chances of accessing research grants. In his contributions at the workshop, he said OOU Library was readily available to assist lecturers and researchers with up-to-date articles, books and e-resources in order to come up with robust research and rich publications.

Oduwole said, “The quality of your publication determines whether you will get the grant or not. If you are looking for the gap in your research work, you need to read a lot of current literature. So, this is where we (OOU) come in as an institution.

“I can tell you – and I’m not boasting – there is no library in West Africa that has what we have here in OOU. We have over 28 databases. If any journal article is published today, we have it in our library. During the recent National Universities Commission accreditation, we demonstrated the huge capacity and resources of our library for the assessors.”

While noting that the University had invested so much in its library resource, the Librarian enjoined academics and researchers to always patronise it so that the tremendous investments would not go to waste.

Scroll to Top