The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, has announced an increase in the Research Support Grants (RSG) and Best Research Awards (BRAs) from GH¢600, 000 to GH¢1,000,000 to motivate faculty members to contribute meaningfully to society through cutting-edge research.
Prof. Boampong made this announcement at the Fifth Research Awards and Grants (RAG) Ceremony where 45 awards and grants were presented to academic and non-academic staff to carry out their research projects in specific areas.
Speaking on the significances of BRAs and RAGs, the Vice-Chancellor explained the Best Research Awards and Research Support Grants demonstrate the University’s commitments to providing resources and support to promote excellence and ensure it’s relevance to society.
“Many of the research projects funded under this scheme have yielded scholarly research output in high impact journals index in Scopus. This has contributed immensely to making UCC eligible for the Times Higher Education global ranking,” he stated.
To encourage faculty to improve on their research output, Prof. Boampong mentioned that the Directorate of Research Innovation and Consultancy has introduced UCC Research Output Monitor and Evaluator (UCCROME/ UCCSCHOLAR) which was the first in Africa.
“Through UCCRONE/UCCSCHOLAR, departments/faculties/schools/colleges can track their research endeavours to identify gaps and ways through which these can be plugged. It is a diagnostic tool to guide faculties on how they are faring using key performance indicators embedded in this web application,” he explained.
The Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Prof. Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare, spoke about promoting quality research and urged the University to make a conscious effort and commit a lot of resources to sustain the research ecosystem.
Prof. Awandare who is the founding Director of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana noted that UCC could be more visible and recognised if Management work towards focusing and maintaining research quality.
“ When you don’t work towards research excellence, no amount of spin or public relations will save you or make you look good,” he cautioned.
In order to become one of the leading centres of excellence, Prof. Awandare called on the University to take advantage of its numerous partnerships to enhance its goal towards achieving excellence. He said the University must strive to attract the best scientist by providing facilities; creating a vibrant research environment and good remuneration.
Explaining the processes and outcomes of the RAG and BRA, the Director of DRIC, Prof. Frederick Ato Armah, noted the number of applications had increased substantially since the inception of the awards scheme in 2016.
He said the Research Support Grants (RSGs) awarded for 2020 were 14 each for Individual and Group-led; four (4) for Inter-departmental; two (2) for Policy and practice-oriented RSG-University-wide; one (1) for Sam Jonah Library.
Others were five (5) for non-teaching senior members; one (1) for non-teaching junior members; one (1) for the Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) and four (4) special funding.
Prof. Armah noted that the ceremony would provide an opportunity for research awardees and grantees to share their research output and experiences with policy-makers, academics, industrialists, civil society and the general public for the purpose of national socio-economic transformation.
He congratulated the awardees and grantees and then wished those who were unsuccessful better luck in the years ahead.
The Best Evolving Researcher award was won by Dr. Michael Osei Adu, Prof. Kwame Agyei Frimpong and Dr. Issahaku Adam. They were presented with cash, plaque and a certificate of recognition. Dr. Adu gave a presentation of his research project at the function.
At the College level, Dr. Brandford Bervell of the College of Distance Education, Dr. Richard Kobina Dadzie Ephraim of the College of Health and Allied Sciences; Dr. Samuel Kofi Tulashie of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and Dr. Hope Pius Nudzor of the College of Education Studies received the Best College Level Researcher Awards (BCLRAs) . Each of them received a cash prize, plaque and certificate of recognition.