The 4-Point Agenda: 4. Improve Research Training

 

This includes policies and structures to assist upcoming lecturers and PhD students to

become more innovative, more productive, and more effective in their work. This

requires an active culture of mentoring and support.

GOALS

  • Foster a stronger research culture, with clearly measurable output.
  • Increase the number, quality and impact of completed PG research projects

STRATEGY/APPROACH

(i)           Making maximum more imaginative use of available staff development funds.

(ii)           Encourage our younger colleagues to enroll for PhD programmes in FUTO and undertake part of their PhD research projects in suitable laboratories abroad, for no less than one year, with funding support from TETFund.

 

It is widely acknowledged that the quality of instruction (teaching) in FUTO and indeed many Nigerian Universities is at par with that in most universities abroad. Hence, rather than expend staff development funds in excess of 20 million Naira for full PhD programmes abroad, we should focus more on sandwich programmes, wherein the course work is undertaken in FUTO, while the actual research work is undertaken at a collaborating institution abroad. This will be much more cost effective, and part of the funds saved will be used to enable the supervisors visit the collaborating institute for 2-4 weeks while the student is there, to become familiar with the workings of the host laboratory and further cement the collaboration. In this way, both the student and supervisors gain improved knowledge/skills and international exposure, with resulting joint publications with the hosts, all of these at lower cost to the University. Such policy will encourage our staff to seek out foreign collaborators, thereby improving FUTO’s international research-based institutional ranking.

 

(iii)          Encourage FUTO staff with PhD qualifications obtained not later than five years to seek postdoctoral research training in research laboratories abroad. Funding support, where necessary, could be provided by TETFund, under the academic staff development program

(iv)         Develop and build national collaborative links in PG training through available national networks and international links through available research fellowships.

(v)          Include PG student supervision and completion targets in staff appraisal definitions.

(vi)         Frequently evaluate strategies to boost timely completion of PG programs.

(vii)        Promote excellence in supervision through policy, best practice guidelines and training.

(viii)       Set PG performance targets for all Departments, Schools and Research Centers.