As the scientific race to find a cure for the deadly COVID-19 continues globally, the National Universities Commission, NUC, has disclosed that it is combining efforts with the Nigeria Diaspora Biomedical Research Group to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists on biomedical research. The partnership which is being facilitated by a Nigerian scientist at the University of Florida, USA, Prof. Folakemi Odedina, is aimed at training the researchers on writing grant proposals to access funds at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, and other research funding agencies globally.
Deputy Executive Secretary of NUC, Dr. Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, who spoke 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, particularly the University of Florida. He further explained that the partnership is one of the numerous efforts by the Commission to explore opportunities through collaborations within and outside Nigeria to build the capacity of Nigerian scientists on research.
He also lamented that the Nigerian university system has been battling the problem of research capacity and has, therefore, been exploring different avenues to enable it 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,” Ramon-Yusuf, said.