EVALUATING THE RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN SUB SAHARAN AFRICAN UNIVERSITY RESEARCH OFFICES: NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES EXPERIENCE
University of Lagos (NIGERIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:There is an increase in the establishment of Research Offices (ROs) in many sub Saharan African universities. However, there seems to be an unclear understanding of the roles the Research Office plays which dictates the practice. Clearly, there is a gap in this area which is poorly understood and could be economically significant. Research offices are recognised to facilitate research capacity building, wider visibility, support researchers in writing grant applications for both local and International Grant-Making Organisations (GMOs) to mention a few. Other functions of these offices include identifying research collaborators and supporting commercialisation of research results and knowledge transfers (patenting) from the universities to practitioners/public or industry technology transfers (ITT). Despite the potential importance of ROs in promoting world class research in respective Universities through grants seeking processes and technological diffusion as a source of revenue to the university, there has been limited study on evaluating the link between the roles of Research offices and the practice in sub Saharan African University research offices. We have used semi- structured interviews with Directors from five Nigerian research universities and two grant making Foundations. We validated these data using the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) sessions and over 50 surveys from Research Administrators and Managers across Five selected Universities. Data collected for the research, were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively using NVIVO 2 and SPSS 17 statistical software. Our findings suggest that there are numerous impediments to effective research administration and management process but considerable progress are being made in the pre-award activities. Furthermore, lack of working document or blueprint, limited or inadequate academic and non-academic staffing, weak post award management as well as inadequate funding for research, staff training, worsened by information barrier, lack of capacity on the numerous research for application granting processes and guide, inadequate mobility experience among Research Administrator and poor or weak internet connection were common challenges across board. The study provides a detailed evaluation of the research administration and management practice in Nigerian Universities which might serve as a baseline study and data for future studies that address research administration and management practices in sub Saharan Africa. In addition, information collected can be useful resource/guide for setting up new research office across sub-Saharan African Universities.
Keywords: Research Office (RO), Research Administration and Management Practice (RAMP) Nigeria, Research Administrator, Sub Saharan African (SSA).