|University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor talks about Research Uptake|
|Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:19|
As the DRUSSA Programme draws to a close some of our Research Uptake Communicators met up with their Vice Chancellors, to chat about how Research Uptake capacity has been incorporated at their universities. In this blog Adeola Funmilayo Oladeji interviews the University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Abel Olayinka. He discusses the framework for Research Uptake at the university and concludes that “as the DRUSSA programme is coming to an end, we need to look at challenges and things that we have not been able to do well and continue in order to sustain the programme”.
(Adeola Funmilayo Oladeji interviews the University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor)
Before his appointment as the 12th Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan in September 2015, Prof Olayinka was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), and the DRUSSA Champion for a period of four years. He has also served as the President of the West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA) from 2007 to 2015.
What policies or strategies are in place that support Research Uptake?
The University now has a research policy in place. We also have an intellectual property policy, policy on authorship of scholarly publications and policy on research ethics. The University is also planning to have Open Access policy as well as a Communication policy in place in the future. The development of the University Extension and Outreach policy is in progress.
In terms of strategy, over the past few years, as part of efforts to deepen Research Uptake, the University has established the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and also a central Research Management Office. In addition we now have Research Managers at faculty level to support researchers to find funding opportunities, to assist in proposal writing, especially with the budgeting aspect, and, to include communication and engagement plans for Research Uptake in applications.
What are the main ways in which information about research results have been disseminated? How has this changed throughout the last five years?
We have the University Research Report that is published annually, and from which you can get a good idea of what research people are engaged in.
The University also has a Research and Development Fair Committee, whose main objective is to showcase research findings. As a matter of fact, three days in October have been set aside for students and staff to showcase research findings that will be of interest to the public and private sectors. Hopefully this will become an annual event.
There is also a proposal to have a journal or Newsletters from the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. If we are doing useful research but the broader society is not aware, then not much progress can be made. We need to be more visible and relevant to our environment. The R&D Fair will enable the public to better understand what the University is doing, and, the private sector will hopefully identify innovative solutions that can be commercialised.
What is new is the use of the University website as a strategic Research Uptake Communication platform.
Which of these are the most effective ways in which information about research results have been disseminated?
For now, the University website is the most effective. One of the things we have been doing in the past few years, which is actually part of the initiatives under DRUSSA, is that when people want to give inaugural lectures, the abstract is published on the University website in a way that a layman can understand.
Who are the key target audiences (Communities, Policy Makers etc) that the university has identified?
The University cannot stand alone, we need the private sector and of course the top stakeholder is the government that sets the policy framework, so we need everybody to be on board. The ordinary person on the street needs to feel the impact of the university’s research so for this reason we want our research to influence government policies.
Which are the key Units/Departments (other than faculties) that are involved in RU activities?
The Research Management Office, UI-Research Foundation, Research and Development Fair Committee and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Adeola Funmilayo Oladeji is a Research Administrator in University of Ibadan, a member of the DRUSSA Editorial Board, and one of the University’s Research Uptake Communicators.