FUTA, OAU, FUT-MINNA get highest number of approved proposals in N5.1b TETFund research grants

The universities with the most accepted proposals for research grants from the N5.1 billion Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) include Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, and Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT-MINNA).

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

They are among the 185 research proposals that were approved for funding under the National Research Fund (NRF) 2023 grant cycle by the TETFund.

According to information obtained, TETFund received 4,287 applications nationwide.

Kn a meeting with heads of institutions in Abuja, the agency’s executive secretary, Sonny Echono, made this statement and mentioned a number of other schools whose proposals had also been accepted.

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.”

In order to support innovative research that addresses topics pertinent to the needs of the country’s society, including power and energy, health, security, agriculture, employment, and wealth creation, the TETFund established the National Research Fund (NRF) grant.

Additionally, according to a statement from Abdulmumin Oniyangi, Acting Director of Public Affairs at the TETFund, the development is a continuation of efforts to support research and development for technological and economic advancement.

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.

Applying the hydro-biogeochemical framework to create a national rural water quality assurance plan for sustainable water quality management in Nigeria is one of the approved works under SETI. Other approved works include creating and utilising doubled haploid maize lines for increased yield and resistance to armyworms, developing an intelligent multi-chamber evaporative cooling preservative system for the post-harvest storage of specific fruits in Nigeria, and creating electric vehicles with unique tracking features.

The cross-cutting thematic group’s projects include using plastic waste and scrap tyres as aggregate conductive material for renewable energy storage systems, developing suitable technology for producing aluminium alloy sacrificial anodes for use in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, developing a low-cost, programmable electroporation system, and researching the use of pulsed electric fields for cancer treatment and wound healing.

Digital financial inclusion, rural households’ consumption structures and well-being in Nigeria, equity and inclusion initiatives including providing students with vision impairments with access to library resources in online learning environments at Nigerian universities, and stress inoculation therapy as a means of reducing post-traumatic stress disorder among frontline army personnel are approved under the humanities and social sciences categories.