By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
Eight students of the University of Abuja, have won a combined sum of N2.2 million research grant from the university’s Centre for Undergraduate Research Fund.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, who disclosed this, Wednesday, while speaking at the university’s First Undergraduate Research Day, explained that the centre was established to help the students develop their talents in research.
To this end, he enjoined other universities to emulate the University of Abuja by having centres of undergraduate research.
At the event with the theme: “Promoting National Development Through Research”, Na’Allah further explained that the university started the programme not only to help students financially but support them through mentorship and other necessary areas with a view to excelling in research work.
“I want to encourage all universities in Nigeria and I hope that other universities will have centres of undergraduate research,” he said.
According to him,” the university has developed a new journal called the ‘Journal of Undergraduate Research’ which is open only for publication of undergraduate researches.”
Prof. Na’Allah, who stressed the importance of universities in developing nations, said such can only be achieved by investing in the young ones through research. He vowed that the university under his leadership will continue to spearhead research and development as a tool for national development.
Although he could not explain the areas the students’ researches focus on, the University of Abuja Centre for Undergraduate Research Fund is tasked with encouraging undergraduate students at all levels not only to develop a keen interest in research but also to know Nigeria’s problems and how to resolve them.
Earlier, the university’s Director, Centre for Undergraduate Research, Dr Taibat Adebukola Atoyebi, said the institution was looking at collaborating with other organizations and industries so as to fund the researches
Speaking on the selection process she said, “We first told students to express interest that they want to go into this research. After that we scrutinize the topic and see the ones that are researchable, you know not everything is researchable, some topics are just like easy we want something that is empirical, something that is sustainable, that is practical and original.
“So after reading that, we called for proposals from the successful candidates, from the shortlisted candidates, so after the proposals were submitted, they are presented both orally and virtually to all of us, because of the COVID-19, if you are unable to make it physically then you can do it virtually.”