The National Universities Commission (NUC) has revealed ongoing efforts with the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group, to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists on biomedical research, with the view of finding a sustainable solution for COVID-19.
Also, Nigerian researchers would equally receive training on grant-writing proposals to access funds at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, and other research-funding agencies globally.
Deputy Executive Secretary NUC, Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, who made this known yesterday in Abuja, noted that the partnership was facilitated by a Nigerian scientist at the University of Florida, USA, Prof. Folakemi Odedina.
Speaking ahead of the inaugural summit of the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group, he said the partnership would forge relationships on sabbaticals support and bidirectional faculty exchange between Nigerian academic staff as well as staff of the various collaborative universities abroad, particularly the University of Florida.
Ramon-Yusuf, however, lamented that the Nigerian university system has been battling the problem of research capacity and has, therefore, been exploring different avenues to enable it build capacity both at institutional and professional levels.
In his words: “The overall objective of this strategic alliance between the Nigerian university system and Nigerians in the Diaspora and in fact, including people who are not Nigerians we are trying to harness our network so that we can have an opportunity to train our people in terms of research grant writing, research techniques.
“We also intend through this collaboration to create multiple opportunities for collaborative research among Nigerian academics and Nigerians as well as non-Nigerians in Diaspora that would lead to both intramural and extramural research wards.
“Another objective of course, is to augment the existing biomedical research training programmes which will foster career development amongst young academics. Today’s activities revolve around grant writing capacity building.
“Many people know that in our system, over the years, people have been complaining about the inability of many of our researchers to access grants in TETFund on the basis of their inability to write grant-winning proposals. So, we hope that at the end of today’s activities, we would have succeeded in owning the research grant writing skills of some of our younger academics.
“We hope that at the end of the summit, we would have arrived at some strategies that would lead us to the sustainable approaches we need to leverage on this collaboration and partnership to build both professional and institutional capacity in our system.”