UG-PADA Hosts 2nd International Research/Mentorship Conference
The University of Ghana Pan-African Doctoral Academy (UG-PADA) in collaboration with Carnegie Scholars Network (CSN) has organised its 2nd International Research and Mentorship Conference for Doctoral Students on the theme: ‘Quality Research and Mentoring: Keys to Sustainable and Inclusive Development’.
The 2-day event began with an address on the theme for the conference by the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo. In her presentation, Prof. Amfo commended the efforts of the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) for supporting the University faculty and graduate student development for many years. She also announced the signing of the new grant of $1m for Building a New Generation of African Academics (BANGA) III which will focus on promoting timely completion of PhD studies through thesis completion grants to PhD students and systematic mentorship by senior faculty.
BANGA III will also support PADA to deliver doctoral schools aimed at enhancing knowledge, skill base and general scholarships to PhD candidates. It will also enhance faculty research by providing funds in the seed and research grants to early career faculty and senior faculty respectively.
Prof. Amfo was particularly happy about the positive prospects of the research grants. She stated, “As a University, and with the support of CCNY, we seek to build a critical mass of a new generation of academics at the University who are engaging in cutting edge research and contributing more effectively to global knowledge generation”.
The Keynote Speaker, Professor David Dodoo-Arhin, who is a Carneige Scholar noted that “The critical role of mentoring inexperienced faculty and colleagues for professional and career success has often been overlooked; a gap that is being closed by initiatives such as Next Generation of Academics in Africa Project, Building a New Generation of African Academics project, the University of Ghana Carnegie Scholars Network, the Pan-African Doctoral Academy and the Office of Research Innovation and Development”.
Prof. Dodoo-Arhin emphasized that the effective academic mentoring and guidance strategies provided by these projects would propel beneficiaries to excellence in their research areas. He further recommended the institutionalization of academic mentoring in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive development from quality research.
Mr. Eric Tweneboah Kodua of National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), read an address on behalf of the Industry Special Guest of Honor, Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampah, Director General, NDPC. In the address, Mr. Kodua extended a collaborative invitation to CSN to partner with National Development Commission (NDC) of the NDPC to cement the relationship between academia and industry by sharing ideas and supporting developmental reforms with evidence based research.
Two invited guests made contributory remarks on the conference theme. Prof. Robert Darko Osei, Dean, School of Graduate Studies (SGS), reiterated the importance of mentorship as part of the research experience. He mentioned that under his leadership, the SGS will strengthen its relationship with PADA in order to enhance the quality of research by graduate students.
Prof. Justice Bawole, Dean, University of Ghana Business School, advised PhD candidates to show commitment to their studies, allow themselves to be mentored and take advantage of local conferences especially, which come their way in the course of their studies.
The CSN honoured the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Amfo, Prof. Dodoo-Arhin and Prof. Abu Sulley Yaya with citations and vacation packages for Prof. Dodoo-Arhin and Prof. Yaya, as distinguished Carnegie Scholars who have been promoted to the professorial rank.
In her concluding remarks, Dr. Jemima Asabea Anderson, Director, PADA, encouraged PhD candidates without mentors to identify one. She also expressed appreciation to the Organizing Committee for a well organized conference.
Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, initiator and founding Director, PADA, was extolled by the various speakers for her immense contribution to PhD education at the University.
There were plenary sessions during the conference on thesis writing and other mentorship related topics.