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Research funding opportunities and challenges: A survey of academic staff members in Nigerian tertiary institutions

Ebikabowei Emmanuel Baro (University Library, Federal University Otuoke, Yenagoa, Nigeria)
Gabriel Ejiobi Bosah (Library Division, Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City, Nigeria)
Ifeyinwa Calista Obi (Department of Library and Information Science, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Nigeria)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which academic staff members in tertiary institutions in Nigeria access research grants, and to bring to light the factors that hinder their effort to accessing research grants.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was designed using the SurveyMonkey software to collect the qualitative data from academic staff in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Findings

The study revealed that only a few number of academic staff members in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria have received research grants. The study also revealed that a large number of research works carried out by academic staff are funded by themselves from the meager salary they receive. It also emerged that Tertiary Education Trust Fund is the highest funding body that academic staff have received research grants from. Different research funding agencies/organizations both local and international that support studies in Nigeria were also mentioned to create awareness for others to utilize. Politics in the selection of research proposals, inadequate publicity/advertisement for research grants applications and lack of knowledge about funding agencies/organizations were identified as the most mentioned hindrances to accessing research grants in Nigeria.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is the low response rate obtained, considering the number of tertiary institutions in Nigeria which does not permit generalization. The low response rate suggests that responding to an online questionnaire is not high on the agenda of academic staff members in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, and this is a major challenge for researchers undertaking evidence-based research considering the number of institutions.

Practical/implications

The findings will provide academic staff with important data and insight into the various local and international research funding agencies/organizations that support research in Nigeria.

Social/implications

Academic staff members receiving research grants will enable them find a solution to societal problems through evidence-based research. The findings of this study will inform other academic staff of the various research funding agencies/organizations that support research in Nigeria. This will create awareness for them to access such grants.

Originality/value

The work is an original research work conducted by the researchers. The findings will add to the body of knowledge on the area of research funding in Nigeria.

Keywords

Citation

Baro, E.E., Bosah, G.E. and Obi, I.C. (2017), "Research funding opportunities and challenges: A survey of academic staff members in Nigerian tertiary institutions", The Bottom Line, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 47-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-07-2016-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited