Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Universities Commission (NUC) on Wednesday announced that it is combining efforts with the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists in biomedical research.
The NUC said the move was in response to the scientific race for a cure for the deadly COVID-19 which has crippled socioeconomic activities across the world.
NUC confirmed that the partnership, which is being facilitated by a Nigerian scientist at the University of Florida, Prof Folakemi Odedina, is also aimed at training the researchers on grant-writing proposals to access funds at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and other research-funding agencies globally.
NUC Deputy Executive Secretary Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf explained in a statement released in Abuja that the partnership is one of the numerous efforts by the NUC to explore opportunities through collaborations within and outside Nigeria to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists on research.
He was optimistic that the partnership would forge relationships on sabbatical support and bidirectional faculty exchange between Nigerian academic staff as well as staff of the various collaborative universities abroad, particularly at the University of Florida.
He lamented that the Nigerian university system has been battling the problem of research capacity and has been exploring different avenues to enable it to build capacity both at institutional and professional levels.
‘The overall objective of this strategic alliance between the Nigerian university system and Nigerians in the Diaspora is to harness our network so that we can have an opportunity to train our people in terms of research grant writing, research techniques,’ he explained.
‘We also intend through the 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.
‘Many people over the years have been complained about the inability of many of our researchers to access grants in TETFund on the basis of their inability to write grant-winning proposals and that’s what we want to correct.’