Assessing University Research Governance Practices and Structures in Developing Countries: The Nigerian Universities' Experience

Okonji, P.E ; Okiki, O.C ; Idowu, I.A ; Alo, B.I (2018)

Journal Articles


While most universities in the developed world, by tradition, have research offices to handle research management, structures for the efficient coordination and strong governance of research are nascent within many Sub-Saharan African universities. In this paper we look at the organizational structures, policies and functions of research offices for supporting faculty research as well as their management operations in 5 selected Nigerian universities. The authors interviewed 20 participants from 5 selected federal universities in Nigeria. Five directors of the research offices and 15 research administrators participated. Findings identified existing infrastructure for research management, the challenges facing newly created research offices in Nigerian universities, and strategies employed by research offices to tackle identified problems. Findings also showed how policies, practices, institutional structures and support models for research governance are shifting to align with international best practices. Recommendations suggested by participants for developing effective research management practices are discussed.