Partnership Crucial to Sourcing Fund for Research, says Expert
An international business and strategy development expert, Dr. Akanimo Odon, has urged researchers at Covenant University to look beyond their immediate environment and consider doing research from a problem-solving perspective, if they must excel in their quest for grants.
Dr. Odon, who specializes in education and training, energy and environment, oil and gas, media, charities and government, gave this admonition on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at a training with the theme ‘Accessing International Fund’ held at the main auditorium of the Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery.
While adducing reasons for why Europeans and Americans tended to flock to Africa, the facilitator said that white people liked to come to Africa because it was full of problems and the whites always looked for problems to solve. He implored participants to consider doing research from a problem-solving perspective, adding that in an environment bedeviled by so much problems, it was the responsibility of the academia to find the solutions.
The Lancaster, UK-based expert stated that partnership was crucial to sourcing funds in this new era. He highlighted some action plans to be done by participants and warned the researchers not to limit their space as they could be limiting their place by so doing. According to him, the researchers must find consortium of partners in other African countries in their respective areas of specialties. He added that they should utilize their contacts, because they may not have access to grants available in Nigeria but collaborating with a faculty in Kenya, where the grant was, could open the door.
While emphasizing that the researchers needed to build a research consortium, the facilitator emphasized that they must embrace multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary research, which was the way to big grants. Researchers, he stated, must develop a partnership profile with partners in industries, non-governmental organisations, and government, and also develop the skills in writing powerful proposals.
Speaking further, Dr. Akanimo encouraged participants to develop their money crews and these included their source persons, liaison persons, finance persons, and media persons. He explained that the source person combed the internet looking for where the grant was; the liaison person looked at the dimension of the grant and who to call; the finance person with expertise in budgeting; and the media person who ensured the researcher had enough visibility on different platforms to attract patronage.
Dr. Akanimo, who was accompanied to the event by Mr. Peter O’Hara of the University of London, commended Covenant University for the giant strides she had made within a short space of time, especially her research-friendly environment, state-of-the-art facilities, and good positioning in global ranking of world’s universities.