By Felix Khanoba
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has joined forces with the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists on biomedical research.
The partnership, facilitated by a Nigerian scientist at the University of Florida, USA, Prof. Folakemi Odedina, is also aimed at training young researchers on grant-writing proposals and how best to access funds from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
Deputy Executive Secretary of NUC, Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, who made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at a briefing ahead of the inaugural summit of the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group, said the partnership would forge relationships on sabbaticals support and bidirectional faculty exchange between Nigerian academic staff as well as staff of the various collaborative universities abroad.
He lamented that the Nigerian university system has been battling the problem of research capacity and has, therefore, been exploring different avenues to enable it to build capacity both at institutional and professional levels.
“So in this regard this three days summit has three main components, the first one which is ongoing as we speak is the pre-summit biomedical research training workshop. Research capacity is quite low in our system, just as we have challenges with research infrastructure.
“So the overall objective of this strategic alliance between the Nigerian university system and Nigerians in the Diaspora and in fact including people who are not Nigerians we are trying to harness our network so that we can have an opportunity to train our people in terms of research grant writing, research techniques,” he said.
Speaking on the need for more biomedical research, the deputy Executive Secretary said it was even more critical at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic as it will go a long way in finding a solution to the pandemic.
“Another objective of course is to augment the existing biomedical research training programmes which will foster career development amongst young academics,” he added.