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The Role of Research Support Centres in Promoting Research and Academic Excellence Exnevia Gomo Research Support Centre College of Health Sciences University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Research Support Centres in Promoting Research and Academic Excellence Exnevia Gomo Research Support Centre College of Health Sciences University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Research Support Centres in Promoting Research and Academic Excellence Exnevia Gomo Research Support Centre College of Health Sciences University of Zimbabwe SACORE Annual Scientific Meeting Livingstone, Zambia 5 September 2011 1UZCHS Research Support centre

2 Outline of Presentation Definitions Background – Research & Academia Rationale for RSCs Key Elements of Research Support Emerging Evidence of RSC Relevance Conclusion UZCHS Research Support centre2

3 Academia The environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship the world within an educational community. An example of academia is a college, its students, and its teachers (MacMillan) 3UZCHS Research Support centre

4 Excellence……. The man became great. He continued becoming greater until he was exceedingly great (Genesis chapter 26 verse 13.) 4UZCHS Research Support centre

5 Research and Academia – the link Research Service Teaching Academia 5UZCHS Research Support centre

6 Academic Career Pathways LecturerSenior Lecturer Associate Professor Full Professor Balanced Portfolio Research Teaching 6UZCHS Research Support centre Adapted from: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/hr/managing/promotion/academicpromotionguidesforcandidate.pdf

7 Conditions for Academic Advancement… Scholarly leadership must be demonstrated through evidence of effectiveness of – teaching, – research, – professional activities – community contributions. 7UZCHS Research Support centre

8 Research – Teaching Balance in African Universities Most African universities emphasize teaching and are research non-intensive i.e Weak Research Capacity 8UZCHS Research Support centre

9 What is Research Capacity? 9UZCHS Research Support centre Enhancing the abilities of individuals, organisations and systems to undertake and disseminate high quality research efficiently and effectively. A DfID Practice Paper, 2010

10 Excellence in Research….. Quality of individual skills (critical mass), Quality of the research environment (institutional/broader), – funding, – adequate infrastructure, – robust governance – research incentives, – time available to the researcher 10UZCHS Research Support centre

11 Research Capacity Strengthening Models Individual skills development Institutional strengthening – organisational structures, – processes, – resources, – management and governance issues so that local institutions are able to attract, train and retain capable researchers. 11UZCHS Research Support centre

12 Challenges for African Institutions Increasing teaching load in the face of brain-drain and dwindling resources Predominantly individualized instead of combined with institutionalized research capacity strengthening Internationalization of research – Increasing competitiveness of funding – Shifting of focus by funding agencies away from informal arrangements with individual researchers and to the assurance of institutional oversight for funded projects. – Increasing demand for better accountability of resources by the broader society 12 UZCHS Research Support centre

13 Increasing Demands….on the Institutions Lead to increase in the role of institutions in the procurement, management, monitoring, and certification of projects Success of research increasingly dependent on the effectiveness with which the institutional functions are discharge 13 UZCHS Research Support centre

14 Regeneration of capacity…. Successful research at an institution depends on depth of expertise practiced by a wide range of people, not only academic, and a an environment that nurtures individuals, systems and cultures of research. Thus, in the absence of on-going research activity, one cannot talk meaningfully about sustainable research capacity building 14UZCHS Research Support centre A DfID Practice Paper, 2010

15 A Case for Institutionalizing RSCs A Central Office (nexus) that anchors research related activities to facilitate evolution of and ensure a corporate identity, motivation, good practice and culture of research The corporate identity must be backed by common benefits (and common restrictions, of course). 15UZCHS Research Support centre

16 RSC – a ONE-STOP-PROFESSIONAL SHOP Research governance Stimulating research Grant application Grant management Training Good research practice and research compliance Information services Publicity Professional development 16UZCHS Research Support centre

17 17 ONE-STOP SHOP DEPARTMENTS… Research Governance (Research Culture Regeneration of Capacity) Research Training (courses) Individual Support Grants Administration Medico-Legal Services Compliance Support Research Information & Data Management Support UZCHS Research Support centre

18 18 Individual researcher support Governance and Compliance Research Training Activities One-on-one Consultation Research methodology Data management Statistics Proposal writing & submission Research Policies Approvals Good research practice Incentives Intellectual property Clinical Trials Support CRA training CTC training ICH-GCP training Clinical trial monitoring Support to Research Ethics Committee Courses Grant writing Proposal writing GCP Research methodology Clinical trial design Data management Data analysis Ethics Research integrity Project management Scientific writing UZCHS Research Support centre

19 19 Information Services Grants Administration Data Management Activities cont’d….1 Information Hub Funding Opportunities Training Opportunities Conferences Collaborations Communication, Dissemination of research results COM Research Database Publication Tracking International Relations Knowledge Translation Policy maker engagement Administration Funding Opportunities Training Opportunities Proposal Preparation Budget Preparation Submission Financial Management of Awards Project management Medico-legal services Data entry Data audit Statistics Training UZCHS Research Support centre

20 Activities cont’d…..2 Research-Teaching …the Interface Undergraduate research priming/training (BOILER PLATE) – promoting research-led learning and teaching – Support for student research projects Funding – small research grants Information Role modeling Postgraduate research training Professional development – MAXIMIZING SYNERGIES BETWEEN RESEARCH AND MEDICAL EDUCATION UZCHS Research Support centre 20

21 RSC – a nexus – the Centripetal Force for Research UZCHS Research Support centre21 RSC Faculty Students Administrative Staff Management

22 Evidence…… Malawi RSC – The model – Significant contribution to Awareness and appreciation of research Research skills building – Quality of research Improving grants management Research governance (including definition and sustainability of incentives) Income Emerging RSCs in Zambia and Zimbabwe UZCHS Research Support centre22

23 Evidence…… Increasing dedicated funding for research administration and research leadership – Wellcome Trust – NIH – EDCTP Increasing efforts to professionalize research management and administration – Regional and International Research Administration/Management Associations – Certificate, Diploma, Degree courses in Research Administration UZCHS Research Support centre23

24 RSC, Reinforcing culture of excellence…… UZCHS Research Support centre24

25 RSC, Stimulating research interest…… UZCHS Research Support centre25

26 UZCHS Research Support centre26 RSC, facilitating application for grants……

27 Achievable through … INVESTMENT AT ALL LEVELS UZCHS Research Support centre27 Institutional Research Governance Infrastructure, Systems Researchers, Teachers, Students Impact, Institutional Profile

28 Conclusion… Developing research support services is a critical component of sustainable research and teaching capacity building and research excellence RSCs enhance nexus between research and teaching RSC services, improved governance and resources encourage and facilitate research and teaching UZCHS Research Support centre28

29 Conclusion The extent to which higher education institutions are engaged in research and development activities has a key role in determining the status and the quality of these institutions and the contribution, which they make to economic and social development Source: Dr Ellen Hazelkorn, IMHE/OECD, Paris and DIT, Dublin, EUA conference, Barcelona, June 2004. UZCHS Research Support centre29

30 Thank You Ndatenda Zikomo UZCHS Research Support centre30


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