QAPU and OGR Organize 3rd Summer School
The Quality Assurance & Planning Unit (QAPU) of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, in collaboration with the office of Grants and Research (OGR) KNUST, has organized the Third (3rd) Summer School for all senior members of the University, both academic and administrative. The theme for the Summer School was “Repositioning KNUST as a Global Institution; Effective Research Management as a Tool”. The objective was to enable staff to understand the role of research management in the University’s research enterprise.
The five-day Summer School had facilitators from the University of Michigan, USA, the National Council of University Research Administrators, USA, and the Attorney General’s Department, Ghana. Participants were taken through topics as: “The Role of Research in Positioning a University as a Global Institution”, “Roles and Responsibilities in the Research Process”, “How to Write a Winning Proposal”, “Implementing Effective Research Management in a World Class University”, among other relevant issues.
In a welcome address, Prof. Samuel Nii Odai, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of QAPU, KNUST, observed that a global institution was one that had gone beyond making impact locally and had started gaining international significance as a result of good research work.
He further went on to say that it was imperative for every academic community to understand that continuously attracting research funds was not solely dependent on the writing of good proposals but also on the performance of the institution. He therefore emphasised the need to eschew mundane research so that the institution would be able to provide tangible output which would have a positive impact on the surrounding communities.
Ms. Heather Offfhaus, one of the facilitators from the University of Michigan, spoke at length on “The Role of Research in Positioning a University as a Global Institution.”In her presentation, she defined a global institution as one that was identified as part of an emerging world or community and whose actions contributed to building the values and practices of that community. She also remarked that a global institution meant going beyond a local impact, committing to issues, having a high sense of responsibility and recognizing future contributions and contributors. She therefore urged participants to recognize the need for collaborative engagements and to also sustain core research strengths while devoting targeted resources to strategic high-potential, high-impact opportunities.
Professor Peter Donkor, the immediate past Pro Vice-Chancellor of KNUST and now Director of OGR, also took the participants through the research landscape at KNUST. He remarked that research output was the most important performance indicator for ranking tertiary institutions and determining the status and quality of institutions.
He told participants that management, therefore, realized the need for a grants and research office so as to assist in all aspects of research projects and other scholarly activities such as identification of a potential sponsor, review & submission of a proposal, negotiation of an award and support through the course of the project. This decision, he said, was based on the fact that research was a stronger foundation for quality teaching and service to the community. The office of Grants and Research, he said, would also serve as a central point for information gathering and assistance in external funding of research.
Participants were also taken through other aspects of the OGR including the financial process and management for grants, the need for research project audit, legal issues in awards of contracts and subcontracts, post-award research administration and management, research information and metrics, and finally how to close out an award.
This year’s Summer School ended with an orientation session for all the new senior members who had just joined KNUST.