- PREAMBLEThe role of research in the furtherance of educational pursuit and the development of society for technological advancement is no longer in doubt. Research is one of the tripods upon which university programmes and activities are structured. It is the kennel the binds and nourishes the other two primary functions of the University system namely teaching and community service. Whether it be knowledge for the purpose of teaching or the application of knowledge to solve societal problems, such knowledge is the result of research. Today, the quality of universities, which is often expressed in terms of ranking, depends mainly on research and related activities.The greatest challenge facing researchers, today in the developing world, however, is bridging the gap between research and development. this is about taking research output across what is popularly known as the “valley of death” to the next level - the development state. and this has to do with developing the research output or ideas into concrete products and services that can benefit society. The need for institutional framework to anchor and bridge this gap has also become imperative.In furtherance of the desire of the Cross River of University Technology to rebrand the university in order to reposition it for the challenges ahead, the Senate of the University approved the establishment of the Directorate of Research and development, R&D. The purpose is to promote research, innovation and collaboration. to actualise this objective a Directorate of Research and Development Committee, DRDC headed by Professor Igwe O. Ewona, who later became its pioneer Director, was constituted by Management. As part of its terms of reference, the DRDC was charged with the responsibility of proposing a structure and modalities for the take-off of the Directorate. The DRDC proposed an Organisational Structure made up of:1. Administrative structure2. Research Screening Committee, RSC3. Research Ethics Committee, REC4. Research Centres/ Centres of ExcellenceThis was graciously approved by management ending the final approval of the Research Policy document by Senate or Council.
- In the context of this document, research shall be deemed to be an original, independent investigation or enquiry undertaken to contribute to knowledge creating further insight to existing body of knowledge and, in some disciplines could be cultural innovation or aesthetic refinement. Typically, research involves inquiry of an experimental or critical nature around defined hypothesis or intellectual definition involving rigorous assessment by experts in a given discipline. In some disciplines, research may be packaged in the form of artistic works, performances or designs that lead to new or substantially improved insights.Research may also include: contributions to the intellectual underpinning of specific subject areas or disciplines, the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved, materials, devices, products, communications, processes and the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it results in new and improved forms.The scope of research may include work of direct relevance to the specific needs of organisation, society, government, industry and commerce. Research findings which may be communicated in the form of publications, products, public presentation, or confidential reports should be open to critique or formal evaluation by relevant professionals.RESEARCH POLICYThis document is a prelude to the research policy of the university which shall be published as soon as it has the approval of Senate and/or Council. The purpose of which shall be to set up a framework that will serve as a guide and regulate research activities in the University.It shall provide an enabling environment that stimulates the development and implementation of research in the University in a manner that academic staff carry out their required research obligations and are supported in their quest for knowledge.VisionTo nurture and promote research activities of global standards in CRUTECH.MissionTo facilitate and contribute to research in all disciplines within and outside the University community, thereby improving yield in terms of grants, research innovation, collaboration, intellectual property and publications.
- ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTUREThe Directorate shall be headed by a Director, who shall be an academic staff not below the rank of a Reader. The administrative officer of the Directorate shall be a non- teaching staff, not below the rank of a Deputy Registrar.The organogram of the Directorate is shown in the Figure below.
There shall be FOUR divisions in the Directorate, each headed by an academic staff, not below the rank of a Senior Lecturer. Each division shall have an administrative staff, not below the rank of Principal Assistant Registrar. The following divisions have been established:
1. Division of Research and Publications
2. Division of Development and Incubation of Technology
3. Division of Collaboration and linkages
4. Division of Centres of Excellence
There shall also be support units such as Finance, headed by a finance officer who shall keep the books of accounts for the Directorate. an ICT unit is imperative in current technological world. it shall be headed by an ICT expert who shall manage the website and the digital internet facilities of the Directorate.
General Functions of DRD
Apart from the specific roles prescribed hereunder, the general functions of the DRD shall be to:
1. Define the research focus and priorities of the University;
2. Identify research priorities in various disciplines and initiate programmes;
3. Initiate and support staff and students exchange programmes;
4. Source and manage research funds;
5. Foster new collaborations and strengthen existing ones;
6. Partner with research institutions and industry;
7. Provide guidelines and facilities for researchers;
8. Patent and keep copy rights for the university;
9. Commercialise/Market research output;
10. Provide logistics for researchers to implement ideas;
11. Ensure strict adherence to established standards in the built environment and;
12. Perform any other function relating to research and Development in the university.
13. Perform an annual evaluation of the University’s Research performance and report same to Senate through the RMB
Functions of Division of Research and Publications
The basic functions of the Division of Research and Publications shall be:
14. To oversee the implementation of the University’ research policy frame- work and guidelines towards generating new knowledge in the thematic areas identified in this policy;
15. To strengthen general research activities of the University by providing benchmarks, training of academic and non – academic staff as the case may be;
16. To provide climate for collaborative and interdisciplinary world-class researches;
17. To support indexed publications among staff and upgrade local publications outlets for international listings and indexing;
18. To vet and recommend to the Vice-Chancellor applications for research grants from the University research funds;
19. To act as clearing house for, and disseminator of, information on research issues and activities in the University;
20. To facilitate the publication of research outputs
21. To be responsible for organisation and conduct of inaugural lectures.
22. To collaborate with and coordinate the activities of research groups within the University.
Functions of Division of Innovation and Technology Incubation
The Functions of Division of Innovation and Technology Incubation shall include:
23. To identify researches and projects across the University that demonstrate clear commercial or social value;
24. To stimulate technology incubation of new inventions;
25. To identify potential users (inventors, industry, government and entrepreneurs) of University’s research outputs with the aim of knowledge transfer/sharing.
26. To facilitate the creation of new techniques, technologies, products, new businesses and generating licenses and consultancy emanating from the University’s original research projects;
27. To provide technical and logistic support in the thematic and non-thematic research areas to generate Intellectual Property (IPs) rights;
28. To provide incentives and challenge the faculties, departments and centres to generate IPs from their original research works and showcase all the IPs so generated locally and internationally;
29. To develop the capacity of researchers/research groups in IP generating researches;
30. To create a stock of commercially viable knowledge-based product for the University;
31. To attract contract research between the University and corporations, governments and others; and
32. To organise periodically an exhibition of research output from the University.
Functions of Division of Partnerships and Collaborations
The following shall be the functions of the Division of Partnerships and Colaborations
33. To improve the position of the University in the global knowledge production/supply-chain networks;
34. To coordinate partnerships entered into with other institutions, organisations and individuals;
35. To serve as a one-stop-shop for information, logistics, funding and support for all partnerships and networks locally and internationally;
36. To ensure the execution of the deliverables and terms of all linkages, partnerships and externally generated funding;
37. To identify mutually beneficial partnerships and ensure the sustainability of existing networks;
38. To continually follow-up on all partnerships and ensure that they are mutually beneficial;
39. To ensure effective linkages and collaborations between the university and industry and;
40. To foster both national and international collaborations and grantmanship
Research Centres and Institutes
Research centres help promote the University’s areas of Research excellence and enhances its reputation. They are also channels for engaging with other Research institutions and industry and facilitating interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary interactions.
The University shall establish Research Centres in order to focus in areas where it seems to have comparative advantage in terms of material and human resources to raise the research profile of the University or could be in an area of interest that the University is challenged or wishes to develop. This may generally be in the areas of applied research to help maximise external Research funding.
Research Centres and Institutes may be established when:
(i) there exist high quality and competitive manpower and demand which may include terms of collaboration
(ii) the purpose is consistent with the strategic interests of the University
(iii) It is expected to deliver competitive outcomes.
(iv) it agrees with the desires of research funders and the interests of end-users
(v) there exist an integrated group of researchers generating significant Research outputs and attracting sizeable Research funding
The establishment of each research Institute and Centre shall be by the declaration or approval of Senate.
Functions of Centres of Excellence
The basic functions Centres of Excellence shall be:
1. To strengthen general research activities of the University in specific disciplines.
2. To provide climate for collaborative and interdisciplinary world-class researches;
3. To attract contract research between the University and corporations, governments
4. To promote Innovation and Technology Incubation within the field
5. To identify potential users (inventors, industry, government and entrepreneurs) and
6. To ensure effective linkages and collaborations between the university and other institutions
Functions of the ICT Officer
There shall be an Information and Communications Technology, ICT Officer for the DRD, whose functions shall be:
1. To create and maintain a website for the Directorate which shall be linked to the that of the university;
2. To Advertise the programmes and activities of the Directorate and the university at large which shall enhance its visibility and ranking and;
3. To assist researchers in the publication of their findings.
Functions of Finance Officer
There shall be a finance officer whose duties shall include:
1. To keep the books of accounts of the DRD;
2. Open and maintain the various dedicated accounts of funding agencies and;
3. To facilitate financial transactions between the researchers/ university and funding organisations.
Research Screening Committee, RSC
There shall be standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the Directorate such as Research Screening Committee, RSC and Research Ethics Committee, REC, which shall be set up as the need arises. The functions of Standing Committees shall be specified in the Policy Document while the terms of reference of Ad Hoc committees shall be specified by the Research Board.
Research Screening Committee, RSC
There shall also be a Research Screening Committee, RSC for the Directorate which shall
1. Be charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality of research proposals to be presented to or funded by the University.
2. Vet and recommend research proposals for funding.
3. Be made up of representatives from all the faculties of the University who shall be Senior academic with a track record of research prowess and high international academic ranking.
4. Have the Director, DRD as Chairman and the Deputy Registrar, DRD as its Secretary
Research Ethics Committee, REC
There shall be a Research Ethics Committee, REC which shall
1. Ensure strict adherence to Statutory and Ethical Obligations of researchers
2. Shall determine disciplinary measures for erring researchers
3. Determine ethical requirements for affected researches
Requirement to Undertake Research
(a) An academic staff engaged by the University in teaching, Research, scholarship and/or creative activities that are appropriate to their discipline which may be undertaken as an individual or in collaboration with others and who can/is:
(i) Supervise Research students;
(ii) Willing to disseminate Research results through teaching, publication in journals and public lectures;
(iii) Active within his area of professional engagement and discipline;
(iv) Willing to contribute to the research environment and culture of CRUTECH through activities such as mentoring, engagement in new research initiatives and strengthening the research infrastructure; and
(v) Participates in initiatives designed to secure financial support for Research activities from external sources.
(vi) Morally upright to undertake a research project.
(vii) Can work with others
(b) The requirement to undertake Research is a career expectation and will be balanced with the other obligations of academic staff including teaching and administrative responsibilities.
Professor Igwe O. Ewona
CROSS RIVER UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, CALABAR, NIGERIA