Participants at the just ended two-week training course for PhD students in West Africa have been urged to impart positively the knowledge and skills acquired to contribute to research excellence on the Continent.
The course, organised by the University of Ghana Pan-African Doctoral Academy (PADA), was to complement research done by the universities and enhance the knowledge of PhD students in writing effective and efficient research papers.
The 100 participants were from Ghana, South Africa, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Togo.
Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, the Acting Coordinator, PADA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the participants were taken through topics in managing the PhD process, innovative thinking in research, teaching and learning, qualitative research methodology and use of Nvivo for analysis.
The rest are data analysis using ‘R’, academic writing and communication research results, presentation skills, quantitative research techniques use of SPSS and career development for emerging scholars.
Dr Agyemang said the course was introduced because of the realization that many PhD students found it difficult to sail through their programmes due to lack of basic knowledge in research modules.
“For us at PADA we think PhD is not about the certificates or being called a Phd holder or Doctor, but it is about training scholars to carry out cutting-edge research to support the development of the country,” he said.
He said most academic institutions were having ageing workforce and that a lot of research faculties who may have retired were still teaching because of the absence of people with the impactful and research-driven knowledge to teach.
Dr Agyemang said since 2015, PADA had trained over 1,500 PhD students from 25 institutions in almost all the West African countries, adding that its Doctoral schools offered targeted courses on specialized topics taught by global faculty who effectively combined lecturers with interactive and practical sessions.
“Over the years, the course has been impactful and phenomenal because the participants have been able to fit in for retired or the ageing workforce in the academic institutions,” he said.
Professor Emeritus Addae-Mensah, a facilitator, said the expectation for the programme was to build the capacity of participants not only to do their research well but be equipped with how to gather data and write better policy briefs.
He urged Ghanaian students to take advantage of the opportunity and acquire knowledge in research works.
Nana Ama Anning Oppong-Duah, a third-year PhD student, expressed satisfaction about the course and said: “It was well put together, very comprehensive and useful for me because I am in the data collection writing stage, and I am hopeful that my thesis will come out perfectly because of the lessons I received”.