Supporting Innovative Research Capacities in Nigeria
Founding Director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) Nagla Rizk participated in the Nigerian National Workshop on Research Grant Writing and Administration hosted by Lagos State University (LASU) on February 13 and 14, 2018.
Nigeria has witnessed a dramatic expansion in higher education in response to younger-demographic pressures. Despite a large number of publicly and privately owned universities that have been established in the country, a debate has emerged over the quality of the education provided within them as a result of unrelenting funding constraints. This is closely associated with difficulties relating to curricula, academia, pedagogy, research centers and university resources.
The workshop at LASU brought together multidisciplinary scholars, policymakers, university administrators, academics and representatives of funding agencies to provide an overview of these pressing challenges in Nigerian higher education and discuss the importance of nurturing innovative research capacities to overcome current problems.
The main goal was to promote meaningful experience sharing among different participants and explore avant-garde methods to craft research grant writing and streamline grant management.
The convention hoped to do so by springing up alliances between fundraising agencies, researchers and practitioners as well as providing access to an institutional grant of 100 million Nigerian Naira to improve the quality of education in Nigeria and bring out research that is capable of providing solutions to many problems.
“Thirsty for knowledge and keen to harness every opportunity to undertake research, the event opened channels for donor collaboration, research networks' expansion, research funds management and community sharing,” Rizk reflected.
It bears mentioning that the workshop – opened with remarks from Vice Chancellor of LASU Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun and concluded by a speech from University of Ottawa Professor Chidi Oguamanam – was part of the activities of the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) network, a unique partnership between researchers who work together on insights to ease tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge.
A2K4D is the North African hub of Open AIR, with other locations spread across 13 other African countries and Canada. The collaborative network’s research continuously aims to understand how knowledge-based businesses can take advantage of global opportunities, all while sharing the benefits of innovation throughout societies along the way.