The Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRID), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a research funding and grantsmanship conference to rejuvenate exploration and inventive aptitudes for members of convocation.
The conference was held in line with the UEW Strategic Plan of 2019-2023, intended to build the research capacity of staff of the University through grantsmanship and international cooperation.
The conference, which took place at the Jophus Anamuah-Mensah Conference Centre, North Campus, UEW, was under the theme: “Building an Excellent University through Funded Research and Innovation”.
The Secretary General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, was the guest of honour and main speaker for the conference. He expounded on the topic, “Making UEW an Institution of Excellence through Funded Research and Innovation: the way forward”.
Prof. Aryeetey, in his presentation, pointed out that UEW must attempt to base research policy on the technological and industrial needs of the society to integrate same into national development plans with adequate and stable funding for implementation to become more research-intensive.
“To build a robust research environment at UEW, there should be massive expansion of the size and support for the higher education sector; promotion of scientific literacy as a critical means of popularising science, technology and innovation in society must be intensified; and incentivise the business sector to invest in research and development by itself through industry‐university collaborations,” he remarked.
The former Vice-Chancellor of UG charged UEW to enroll high proportions of postgraduate students at the Master’s and Doctoral levels with a focus on high level research programmes instead of professional and capping degrees.
“UEW can become research-intensive by increasingly recruiting and retaining only qualified staff with terminal degrees to work and ensure the promotion of senior and well qualified staff to research positions rather than saddling them with administrative duties. UEW can become an institution of Excellence through funded Research and Innovation and the way forward is to become increasingly research-intensive. It is a gradual process,” Prof. Aryeetey averred.
The Director of Quality Assurance, UEW, Prof. Emmanuel Obed Acquah, who chaired the occasion on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni, in his remarks, shed light on the mandate of DRID.
“DRID has emerged with six units to facilitate, promote and then manage research in the University through quality proposal writing and sourcing for external and internal funding to inject new modalities of research activities into UEW,” he stated.
Prof. Acquah iterated that the professionalisation of higher education and the growth of institutions of higher learning actually demands rigorous research and innovation in every aspect of staff’s life to develop the professionals of the University and expose these professionals to a platform that they could create funds for the University.
“Of course, universities all over the world are increasingly dependent on research funds to construct or reconstruct very viable and relevant strategic plans. DRID has the sole responsibility to review our research policies and implement same. They have to develop typology of the knowledge and the skills required to make sure that everybody in this University has got those skills for effective grantsmanship,” he indicated.
Deputy Registrar and the Head of UEW Printing Press, Mr. Reginald S. K. Agbo, who represented the Registrar, Surv. Paul Osei-Barima Esq., on his part, revealed the uniqueness of the event to participants. “Today’s conference will mark a milestone in the annals of UEW as we inaugurate a new Directorate with a much broader mandate and resource than its parent, the Externally Funded Projects Office.”
He noted that “it is a sign of UEW’s quest to succeed in rolling out robust, rigorous, relevant and sustained research agenda that will help the University achieve its core mandate of being a leading higher education institution that engages in cutting-edge research and all other aspects of education. This conference also seeks to grant opportunity to all members of convocation to gain information and make contributions that shape UEW’s current and future research agenda”.
The Director of DRID, Dr. Edmond Agyeman, in his presentation, narrated the restructuring trajectory of erstwhile Externally Funded Projects Office to DRID and also outlined the functions of the Directorate.
Dr. Agyeman encouraged members of convocation and other participants present to repose confidence in the Directorate and channel their proposals, consultancy services and grants through the University system. “It is my hope that together we can work to improve the standing of our university and make it an institution of excellence not only through teaching but also through funded research and innovation.”