Put research into action to impact lives – UCC VC challenges universities

Prof Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has challenged universities in Ghana to put their innovative research into action to impact the lives of the citizenry. He said the innovative outputs from quality research must serve the needs of the society and be meaningful to improve their livelihoods. 'The conduct of relevant cutting-edge research that are capable of rendering tangible and innovative outputs that tackle our developmental problems is one sure way of providing solutions to the societal challenges that we are faced with in the 21st century,' he noted. Prof Boampong threw the challenge at the eighth Research Awards and Grants (RAG) ceremony of the university's Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC). The RAG ceremony has been instituted by UCC to support quality research and encourage research excellence and innovation among faculty. The 2023 edition held under the theme: 'Artificial Intelligence for Innovative Research and Susta inable Development' also commemorated the 10th anniversary of DRIC with a cake-cutting ceremony. Some 44 researchers who distinguished themselves in their respective fields of research were rewarded. Prof. Samuel Kofi Tulashie and Prof. Ernest Teye, both College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and Dr. Peterson Owusu Junior of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies were adjudged the best researchers, received the Best Researcher Awards (RSA) of GHC4,000 cheque each. The remaining 41 had varying amounts of Research Support Grants (RSG). The grants provide seed money for faculty to conduct short-term small-scale research and leverage that for bigger external grant applications, while the Best Research Awards rewards hardworking faculty to motivate them for greater achievements. Apart from the grantees and awardees, other members of management and staff, including Prof Boampong were also recognised for playing various roles in putting UCC ahead in research. Prof Boampong maintained that it was inc umbent on every university to pursue research with intensity because national, continental, and global decision making were hinged on the output of scientific research and its implication on policies. 'Research must be multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary since knowledge to solve societal problem is no longer in distinct silos of disciplines. 'In Africa for example, social and economic challenges span across various dimensions hence, the need to solve them in an integrated and multidimensional fashion,' he added. To further its research agenda as a university, the Vice Chancellor intimated that UCC had consistently increased research quality and innovative research output over the past decade. He touted the endless achievements of the school in research, including being among the top universities globally for research influence, and commended the entire university community and its partners for the feats. He further urged DRIC to be consistent in finding innovative ways to improve the research outputs and grant portfolio of the university. For his part, Prof David Teye Doku, Director of DRIC, reiterated the need for higher educational institutions in Africa to intensify their research mandate for the much-desired socio-economic growth and sustainable development. He noted that research and innovation efforts of UCC were guided by a five-year Research Agenda (2023-2027), which was carefully developed through stakeholder consultations across the University. He added that the agenda took into consideration the National Agenda 2057, the African Union (AU) Developmental Goal (AU Agenda 2063) and the Sustainable Development Goals. 'As part of our mandate, the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) seeks to stimulate research excellence, innovation and grants-making not only within the University of Cape Coast but also across Ghana and Africa,' he said. 'The University of Cape Coast has also made strides in attracting grants and implementing research projects of various scales,' Prof Doku stated. Source: Ghana News Agency