My R4i Experience: SALEM ABDULLAHI (PhD)

From Federal University of Kashere, Gombe

One of the frustrations I have had to contend with as a researcher is the relevance of academic research. My colleagues will agree with me that most of our research works end up on the shelves of Libraries. My frustrations knew no bounds each time I went to the Library only to see projects, dissertations and thesis gathering dust for lack of use. Without sounding exaggerative, very few of our nation’s researches are mostly consulted by other researchers.

The question that agitates my mind and I think the minds of other researchers as well, is how will someone dissipate much energy carrying out a research work only for it to end up as mere decoration in the shelves?. Year in year out, universities, especially in Nigeria, keep producing undergraduate and postgraduate research, devoid of any usefulness to society. Simply put, most research works have failed to address societal needs. This is certainly a departure from other climes where solutions to existential challenges are found in the ivory towers, via research for innovation and commercialization.

You could therefore understand my elation when the idea of the Research for Impact initiative was mooted. I was like perhaps, answers to my age-old concern would be provided by the organizers. I quickly grabbed the opportunity with both hands. As a teacher and researcher, I am a very curious person, always striving for more knowledge and discoveries, and true to my expectation, the organizers did not disappoint. The organizers are as concerned and worried as I am about the non-profitability of research works here in Nigeria; thus their decision to organize the training, as the name implies, R4i, which simply means Research for Impact.  My take away from R4i is that it couldn’t have come at a better time. The organizers deserve an applause for organizing this training at a time our nation is grappling with sundry existential problems occasioned by devaluation of the currency and subsidy removal. The nation needs quality research work more than ever.

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