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    Friday, January 26, 2024

    FUTA, OAU, FUT-MINNA Lead in N5.1b TETFund Research Grants

    The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, and Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT-MINNA), have the highest number of approved proposals for the N5.1billion Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) research grants.

    While 17 proposals were approved for FUTA, both OAU and FUT-MINNA had 16 proposals approved by the intervention agency.

    They are part of the 185 successful research proposals under TETFund’s National Research Fund (NRF) 2023 grant cycle.

    We gathered that about 4,287 applications were received by TETFund across the country.

    Executive Secretary of the agency, Sonny Echono, who stated this while meeting with heads of institutions in Abuja, listed other schools that also had their proposals approved. These include: Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) (10); University of Jos and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, with nine each, University of Lagos (UNILAG), eight; University of Ilorin and Usmanu Danfodiyo University, seven each; while the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), University of Ibadan (UI), and Osun State University, received six each, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) got five.

    Echono commended the institutions for performing exceptionally, noting that the agency’s commitment to researchers and academics is beginning to yield results.

    “We will begin to introduce this as a culture. Soon, we will put this as one of our interventions as a way of encouraging those who are doing well in so many areas, and through that introduce merit and competition.

    The National Research Fund (NRF) grant was introduced by TETFund to encourage cutting-edge research, which explores research areas relevant to the nation’s societal needs, such as power and energy, health, security, agriculture, employment and wealth creation.

    Also, a statement by TETFund’s Acting Director, Public Affairs, Abdulmumin Oniyangi, said the development is in continuation of efforts aimed at boosting research and development for economic and technological development.

    According to the statement, the approval followed the report of the agency’s National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC), which recommended the funding of the 185 research proposals after a rigorous screening exercise which commenced in March 2023 with 4,287 applicants.

    A breakdown of the funds showed that N3,784,635,923.00 was approved for science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) thematic group; N759,875,400.00 for humanities and social science (HSS), while cross cutting (CC) received N583,669,300.63 with individual grants ranging between N8 million and N46 million.

    Some of the approved works under SETI include application of the hydro-biogeochemical framework to develop a national rural water quality assurance plan for sustainable water quality management in Nigeria; development and use of doubled haploid maize lines for improved maize yield and tolerance to armyworm; development of an intelligent multi-chamber evaporative cooling preservative system for post-harvest storage of selected fruits in Nigeria and development of electric vehicle with special tracking features, among others.

    Projects under cross cutting thematic group include utilisation of scrap tyres and plastic wastes as aggregate conductive material for renewable energy storage system; development of appropriate technology for production of aluminium alloy sacrificial anodes for applications in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, as well as development of an economical low voltage programmable electroporation and investigation of pulse electric field for wound healing and cancer treatment.

    Approved under humanities and social sciences are digital financial inclusion, rural households’ consumption structure and well-being in Nigeria; equity and inclusion: creating access to library resources for students living with vision impairment in e-learning environment in Nigerian universities and mitigating post-traumatic stress disorder, among frontline army personnel using stress inoculation therapy, among others.

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