Research New

The College of Science at Bahir Dar University has conducted a national conference on organization, management and use of statistical data. The conference aimed to assist researchers and other interested individuals on using statistical data appropriately. Opened in 2009, the Department of Statistics in the College of Science has a principal objective of training competent individual that could help improve the condition of statistical data organization in Ethiopia, said the Dean of the College of Science, Dr Essey Kebede. “The conference is instrumental in creating an opportunity of connecting researchers with statisticians.” BDU’s Vice President for Research and Community Service, Dr Tesfaye Shiferaw.

On the event, Professor Temesgen Zewotre, a scholar from University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, has presented his research work on the use, outcomes and challenges of statistics.
Other paper on the use of statistics education in developing countries was presented by a scholar from the same university.
Representative’s board members of the Ethiopian Statistics Association, scholars from University of Kwazulu Natal of South Africa, BDU’s top management and representatives of the Statistics Bureau of the Amhara National Regional State have attended the conference

Bahir Dar University Institute of Technology is going to hold International conference on “Science and Technology towards the development of East Africa” from May 17 to May 18, 2013.

According to Director of School of Civil and Water Resources Engineering and Chief Organizer of the conference, Dr. Seifu Admassu, the objective of the conference is to provide a single platform for researchers, stakeholders and policy makers to discuss on the role and contribution of Sciences and Technology to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Eastern Africa Region.

The presence of Ministry of Science and Technology's Technology Transfer and Development Directorate Director Teshome Hailemariam and Associate Professor and Chair at the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary (Canada) Dr.Getachew Assefa will give enormous boost to the conference.

The conference will also be graced by International Researchers and Academicians from Canada, USA, South Africa, Tanzania and Sudan.

Also Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Mines and Energy, 10 domestic Universities delegates and GIZ representatives and Industry leaders will be present during the conference.

Detail news about the conference will be published soon.

In an event that was organized on April 5, 2014, Bahir Dar University honored scores of staff who excelled in research and publication. The objective of the event was to stimulate academic staff to engage in research and help them contribute their part in realizing the vision of the University, a vision of becoming one of the premier research universities in Africa by 2025. Over 70 people attended the event.

During the event, the president of the University, Dr Baylie Damtie, awarded certificates of recognition to nine colleges and faculties for their good work in publishing, and to 32 academic staff who published from 3 to 11 articles in prestigious journals in just one year.

Three top researchers were awarded a special offer, an equivalent of a gold medal. The offer was to choose and visit a prominent African University or a research institution of international standing in the researcher’s own field. They are expected to visit it for one week and return with lessons learned that will practically be applied here in the University. Dr Baylie promised to maintain this tradition of honor every year.

After an introduction by Dr Tesfaye Shiferaw, vice president for Research and Community Services, about the concept of a research university, Dr Melaku Wale, research director of the University, presented a summary of journal articles published by academic staff during the last one year. A total of 270 journal articles were published by 119 authors in 170 journals that were published around the world. According to his report, the number of research activities, staff engaged in research and amount of budget allocated for research has steadily increased over the past three years (2011 to present).

After the award ceremony, a panel of senior researchers (Dr Mulugeta Kibret, Dr Tadesse Amsalu, Dr Enyew Adgo and Mr Worku Yaze) convened and discussed on the following issues. Dr Baylie posed the questions to the panel members turn by turn. Panelists responded to each question their own way.

1.What motivates academic staff to do research?

Responses: Themes be identified, declare research is a responsibility of every staff member, doing research improves one’s career, solves problems of the society, results can be used for teaching. For a student, the purpose of research may be a desire to get a degree or a desire to solve societal problems.

2.How do you increase the number of quality research? Quality research underpins our status in research in Africa.

Responses: constantly upgrade research skill (staff and students), supply inputs (labs, offices, etc.) have research agenda in place which any group picks as required, seek funds, create conducive environment for research, promote networking and linkages, revise themes constantly, devise incentive or motivation mechanisms, inherent instinct for research is important, eliminate bureaucracy in research finance administration, launch honorarium schemes to free staff obsessed with solving meager incomes. Meager incomes prevent staff from exploiting their potential. Groups that write projects and win research funds must be officially recognized.

High impact factors of publications may be achieved if we use international standard research equipment and procedures. Joint researches may help us bypass the requirement for sophisticated equipment because we can get them from the partnerships. High impact factor journals accept manuscripts that are conducted using state-of-the-art technology and equipment.

We may have to subscribe for journals that demand subscription. Local journals must be improved. We are not even able to access our own journals because we publish them in journals that are not ours. We need to publish research results in proceedings for easy access locally and otherwise.

Experience sharing tours are necessary (abroad and local). Higher university officials should know the potential of their own staffs.

3.Does input matter? Why do we not see research progressing in fields where hard facilities are not a prerequisite (example mathematics)?

Responses: Even in Africa, Ethiopian Universities are not in the list of research universities. Systems for ranking research universities vary. Ranking also considers availability of inputs and material resources, without which ranks significantly fall and you are not going to be in the list. Incentive schemes, skill upgrading, joint projects are all important.

Your papers are like your children who you love most. Some academic staff tend to be attracted to projects that offer economic benefits. The danger here is the allegation that these may be donor driven, which may be contrary to your best interest.

Our journals seriously suffer from substandard English language.

4.Take your field of study as an example and state where you stand in terms of research (taking Africa as baseline)?

Responses: no benchmark as of now, not even local ones surveyed, a homework for us. Hard data are required, but nevertheless, we see other high profile universities in Africa such as Mekerere, Kenyatta, Stellenbosch, etc. To be a contender, we need to choose the criteria because criteria vary. Criteria may include, among others, number and quality of papers. To publish in prestigious journals, we need to work in partnership with other advanced institutions (universities) around the world who have sophisticated infrastructure. We can benefit from those resources until ours are in place.

Conclusions (panelists):

Internalize the concept of research, establish systems for monitoring and evaluation, improve finance process (open LC?), promote synergy and eliminate duplication of effort, promote interfaculty and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Today’s forum must be accessible to the lowermost structure too; it should not be restricted to a small segment of the University community.

Issues raised today should be resolved right away and we should never raise them next time we meet (issues such as facility, financial hurdles).

Today’s event was stimulating. Many of us have changed sides in favor of our university. The top leadership should focus on creating partnerships, not on routine activities.

Promote sense of accountability and competitiveness.

Honorarium frees staff off from the bondage of survival.

What stage does the university find it itself now?

Finally Dr Baylie suggested the following issues:

Today’s congregation was fruitful. The proceedings should be posted in the website for others to access it.
We will organize a similar forum for Postgraduate programs and also for Research centers
English language issue will be solved soon. We have established contact with Oklahoma and we will soon have an expatriate staff in place who will be stationed in the new building.
Data analysis will also be considered. SPSS alone should not be the one we have to use
The Deans are expected to lead the research but today many are not here
How to establish partnerships. We will sponsor our staff to do oral presentations in genuine conferences around the globe and at the same time expect them to establish partnerships. This is one strategy we shall adopt in the near future. Beware of gamblers such as the ones we see in West Africa or elsewhere. We also send teams of researchers and leaders to establish chosen partnerships (such as the one we did in Norway this past week). Please upload your CVs in the website which helps attract potential partners. The University administration also shall launch partnerships.
Research fund utilization. As to the university administration, we really want to settle financial transactions by results rather than vouchers and receipts. We shall move towards that as far as we can go.
We shall improve our website, our gateway to the world.
Just 119 of our 1500 academic staff published papers this past year. In terms of percentage it is low. However, if they are the finest possible, they will be enough. We do not expect everybody to excel. Just a few individuals can make it.
Therefore, we need to overcome the challenge of basic needs of our staff, i.e., ensuring family survival and maintenance/subsistence. We need to provide them housing first and provide other necessities step by step.
At this juncture, we want to reiterate the devotion of the University management to promote the research.

By Melaku Wale(PhD)

The office of vice president for research and community services has presented the current status of research Centers with regard to research and community service activities on 21st May, 2015.
Dr Tesfaye Shiferaw, vice president for Research and Community Services, has mentioned that the major aim of the presentation is to create awareness among BDU community about research centers, to help the university management and staff to know about the activities of research centers, to integrate the activities research centers with academic units.
Dr Tesfaye has said that in 2014/15 academic year about 21 conferences have been carried out to publicize the major research and community service activities by different academic units and research centers. 
On the occasion four research institutions have presented their respective research and community service activities accomplished in 2014/15 to the participants of the workshop.

The participants of the workshop have reflected their views towards the presentations, commented and posed questions to the presenters. 
The presenters, on their part, have further emphasized on the concerns and questions of the participants and have given brief explanations.
Dr Bayile Damtie, president of BDU, has commented on the research and community service activities of the university and emphasized on the objectives of the workshop. 
The president has pointed out that the efforts of research centers in the university have shown a significant improvement in identifying the problems of the community and providing scientific solutions. 
Dr Bayile has urged the research centers and academic units to collaborate for bringing research results that can practically satisfy the interests of communities at the grassroots.
He has further stressed that focusing on adaptation of technology and innovation that help solve the existing community problems is a crucial issue that research centers need to be concerned in addition to innovation.