Eight undergraduate students of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja) have won N2.2million as research grants from the university’s Centre for Undergraduate Research Fund.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, who spoke at the maiden undergraduate research day with the theme: ‘Promoting National Development Through Research’ in Abuja, pledged to increase investment on research and development with a view to further boost national development.
Na’Allah said one of the problems in Nigeria was bad leadership and poor investment in research.
He urged university managements and students to identify and undertake research on local and national problems to enable Nigeria be at par with developed countries of the world.
According to him, the university would continue to harvest undergraduates to embark on research, grant them the needed financial support and mentorship, through the Centre which was established to primarily encourage undergraduate students at all levels in the university to develop keen interest in research, know Nigeria’s problems and how to resolve them.
He said: “How has the many universities in Nigeria helped in sustaining and developing this nation to compete with other nations of the world?
“Universities have no other business than helping the nation to grow and I want to encourage all universities in Nigeria to have centres of undergraduate research’’.
“I urge other undergraduates to look at the problems of the nation that they want to research into.“
The university will give you the money, support and assistance so that your research will be successful.
Na’Allah who further revealed that the university has developed the ‘Journal of Undergraduate Research’ open only for publication of undergraduate researches, said it would create partnership and linkages with industries, foster future employment opportunities and expose Nigerian students to global recognition.
The director, Centre for Undergraduate Research, Dr Taibat Atoyebi, said the institution was looking at collaborating with other organisations and industries so as to fund the researches.
On the selection process she said: “We scrutinise the topic and see the ones that are researchable, you know not everything is researchable, some topics are just like essay we want something that is empirical, sustainable, practical and original.”