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UniAbuja sets new record, wins over N3bn grants

The massive research drive at the University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has gained a major ‘momentum’ with the winning of over N3 billion grants by scholars of the institution.

The 2023 UniAbuja’s research grants tripled the N1 billion secured by scholars of the university in 2022.

Vice Chancellor of UniAbuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, made this known at the university’s authors and researchers’ recognition and award ceremony which took place at the main campus of the institution on Monday in Abuja.

Prof. Na’Allah, who expressed delight over the uncommon feat recorded by the institution since the establishment of UniAbuja Centre for Sponsored Projects (CSP) in 2020, commended the award-winning lecturers for living up to expectations by winning several grants from within and outside the shores of the country.

“You have made your university very proud. Thank you so much. I cannot even imagine the responses we have received. In the first year, with all the struggles and push, we ended up having N300 million grants and we celebrated it.

” The next time, we continued to move up and up. Last year it was more than N1 billion, and this year, we have more than N3 billion ; almost N4 billion.

” We are making a mark and we are determined to show that in our university, no matter what it is, we will do research for humanity, and we will show that this is what a world-class university should be. “

The Vice Chancellor challenged the awardees to share ideas, opportunities and experience with other academic staff to ensure UniAbuja produce more grant-winning researchers of international repute.

“When you hear information on grant, share it around so that more people can participate, this will help the university produce more grant winning researchers.

“There is no world class university if there are no world scholars; we must continue to show this nation that a world class university is achievable and we have achieved it.”

While calling on scholars to think of how to solve the several problems confronting Nigeria through their research works, Professor Na’Allah said the university was taking the lead in resolving the challenge of leadership in the country, adding that it would soon roll out a youth leadership clinic to groom great future leaders across the nation.

Earlier, the Director, UniAbuja Centre for Sponsored Projects (CSP), Prof. Obiageli Nnodu, said the centre was introduced in 2020 by the vice chancellor to ensure lecturers develop more interest in research, adding that the move has become a game changer.

“This recognition has spurred the giant in the university to pick interest in research and people are actually coming out now; those that are interesting in writing, applying for grants and they are winning the grants,” she said.

The visibly elated Prof. Nnodu expressed delight that the centre which started small, had grown into something big thereby adding significantly to the revenue of the university.

She, however, expressed concern that some scholars were still unable to fully leverage on a particular category of research grant domiciled in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

” That category of (N2m for pilot project/data) grant, we have over N100 million at TETFund for us up to last year to access. We cannot access the grant because people on the grant before have not written their interim reports, their final reports, they have not done what they should do. That is for last year, we are not talking about this year, ” she said.

On his part, Dr Dike Ojji, who spoke on behalf of the awardees, appreciated the vice chancellor and the university for their support to all scholars and researchers.

Ojji expressed the readiness to put in their best to see that the university grew in terms of research.

The awards to the scholars were grouped into bronze, silver and gold categories, with researchers who attracted up to N2 million grant winning bronze; N2 million to N10 million securing silver and N10 million and above clinching gold.

Seven researchers won gold, two secured silver and 45 clinched gold in this year’s award ceremony.

In the author's category, eight lecturers won gold, with nine and 27 winning silver and bronze respectively.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of laurels and certificates to the award-winning researchers and authors.