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We ‘ll Support Research to increase OOU Visibility – VC

The Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, has reassured lecturers that the University Management will continue to support academic research towards enhancing the visibility of the institution. He also reiterated the commitment of OOU authorities to the regular sponsorship of workshops that would expose academic staff to ways and means of accessing fund for their research bids.

Prof. Olatunde gave the assurance at a two-day Capacity Building Workshop on Research Proposal Writing on Thursday, 12th and Friday, 13th August, 2021 organised by the University’s Directorate of Research, Linkages and Advancement. The workshop, with the theme: “Retooling for Research Excellence: Refocusing on Grant Writing,” was held at the Otunba Gbenga Daniel Lecture Theatre, Main Campus, Ago-Iwoye.

In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor said it was important to always reorientate academics in terms of teaching and research and align their worldview with current trends. Due to the value of research, he pointed out that Universities have continued to invest in the training of their academic staff on methods of writing effective proposals to access research grants.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola during the Workshop
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji
Agboola during the Workshop

Prof. Olatunde averred that one of the things that can give increased visibility to any University is the volume of research work, saying his leadership will continue to support everything that will enhance research activities in the institution. He recalled how OOU had partnered with Swansea University, United Kingdom on research collaboration and approved several workshops on grants writing for researchers and academics in the University.

His words: “It is important for us to always reorientate ourselves towards the reason why we are academics in the first instance, not only in terms of teaching but also in terms of research. Also, we felt it’s important for us to bring juggernauts in the research field who have won grants many times to tell us how we would be able to get international and national grants.

Our focus should not only be on teaching, it is also important for us to look at the research aspect of our activities and that’s why we’ll continue to sponsor workshops relating to research, focused on research methodologies and grants winning to ensure that we can also be a University that is reputed for very sound research through the abilities and efforts of the academic staff and colleagues.”

“We do know that one of the things that can give us increased visibility is research work and we will continue to support everything that will enhance your research activities. We are not unaware of those challenges relating to teaching load and that’s why we have progressively addressed the issue of staff needs of the various departments.”

The Vice-Chancellor also pleaded with professors and senior lecturers in various Universities to always provide leadership and mentor younger academics in the art of award-winning research proposals.

In his paper presentation entitled, “The role of Research and Development Innovation in Nation Building,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola, said research is very crucial to economic development, adding that there is no way a country can move forward in any part of the world if there is no innovative research.

Agboola, who stated that human capital is is imperative for economic success, noted that the nation’s economy will definitely depend on the capacity of academics to innovate, educate and build people capable of solving the various challenges of the country.

“Innovative research and its subsequent commercialization, is the driver that nurtures the engine of any economic growth. We also know that it would generate the raw fund, it would also contribute to the expansion of the knowledge economy. We are also aware that the nature and the demands of the modern economy today is relationship that we are trying to establish between the University and industry and therefore, if we invest in research and development, there is no way human capital will not be a factor and this is very imperative for economic success,” he said.

While underscoring the relevance of research, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor explained that governments are also interested in it because research fosters global economic performance, increases the effectiveness of the public service and policy and also enhances the quality of life and creative output of the citizens.

Agboola urged the University lecturers to tap into the National Research Fund of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and access its grants for their research proposals. According to him, a sum of N8.5billion has been announced for this year’s grant cycle and the fund is available to support various research projects.

He added, “The government has tried its best to institute a TETFund Research Fund. For this year, you are likely to have N8.5billion from national research fund. Now let us imagine if we are able to get 10 of them in this University at the rate of N50million, or even if it’s N30milllion. You see what it will be able to do for us in terms of the research capability that we are going to have.”

“Why TETFund is leading the efforts is because of the visionary leadership present there. The Federal Government is also very committed, we also see that there is commitment of the tertiary institutions’ stakeholders like NUC, NBTE and others. In this University, we are also very committed. At least we can see the commitment of Management in this regard and if we are able to align all these together, I can assure you this nation would be great.”

“Research is very crucial to economic development. There is no nation that will develop more than the innovations that they have. If you check the number of patents as at 2015, South Africa has 4,600; Egypt 2,275; Kenya 90; Morocco 55; but Nigeria is just 36. And then we can see for ourselves why the nation is not developing.”

The Guest Lecturer, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, making his
presentation at the Workshop

Delivering the Guest Lecture entitled, “Keys to writing Fundable Research Proposals,” a former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, enjoined OOU lecturers to collaborate across disciplines, saying most research projects that attract funding are multi-disciplinary. According to him, research teams of the future are those from different disciplines coming together to carry out research to solve societal problems.

Bamiro warned academics against engaging in what he termed “discipline arrogance.” He added, “As academics, we need to learn from other disciplines. When you are writing all these proposals, you have to come together and brainstorm. But the reality in our Universities is that people are still not ready to imbibe the principles of interdisciplinary research.”

The Guest Lecturer, who pointed out that the purpose of research is to discover answer through the application of scientific procedure, challenged academics in OOU to take advantage of the opportunities offered by TETFund through the National Research Fund (NRF).

Prof. Bamiro, who lamented the failure of many political leaders in the country to appreciate research, advocated a leadership that is committed to research and appreciate its input into governance.

On the second day of the workshop, Prof. Ganiyu Oboh from the Federal University of opportunities offered by TETFund through the National Research Fund (NRF).
Prof. Bamiro, who lamented the failure of many political leaders in the country to appreciate research, advocated a leadership that is committed to research and appreciate its input into governance.

Cross Section of Participants at the Workshop

On the second day of the workshop, Prof. Ganiyu Oboh from the Federal University of of Technology, Akure (FUTA) delivered papers on “Successful Grant Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide” and “The Anatomy of Successful Research Proposals.” Another academic, Prof. Ayodele Jegede from the University of Ibadan spoke on two topics entitled, “Issues in Consideration of Award Winning Research Proposals” and “Responsible Conduct of Research.”

The Workshop Planning Committee in a group photograph with the
Guest Lecturer, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro (3rd left)

The Director-General, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Institute of Governance Studies, Prof. Adigun Agbaje, equally delivered a lecture on “Preparing Fundable Research Budgets Sourcing for External Grants from Local and International Agencies.”

In his remarks, the Director, Directorate of Research, Linkages and Advancement at OOU, Dr Joseph Ashidi, expressed gratitude to the resource persons for delivering impactful and educative lectures which, he noted, would be beneficial to the teeming participants.

In attendance at the two-day workshop were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Charles Adekoya; University Librarian, Dr

L-R: The DG. Oba (Dr.) S.K. Adetona Institute of Governance Studies, Prof. Adigun Agbaje; Prof. Ayodele Jegede of UI; DVC, Administration, Prof. Charles Adekoya; Prof. Ganiyu Oboh of FUTA; Ag. Director, Directorate of Research, Linkages and Advancement, OOU, Dr. Joseph Ashidi and the University Librarian, Dr. Adebambo Oduwole at the Workshop

Adebambo Oduwole; and the Bursar, Mr. Semiu Makinde.

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