FOREWORD BY VICE PRESIDENT (R&D AND COMMERCIALISATION)
No university in this world can succeed without focusing on research and development (R&D). A university is supposed to be the place that creates new knowledge, disseminates knowledge and applies the knowledge for the benefit of mankind. R&D is vital for this role of a university. In a globalised world today, national boundary has become less significant in terms of flow of information, goods and people. As a country, we are in competition with the rest of the world to create more value from human and other resources that we have. The increase in such value cannot come about without R&D. Universities being the frontrunners in R&D in this country have a very important role to play and UTAR is determined to play the role well.
Realising the importance of encouraging research activities among its academics, UTAR has, since its establishment as a university in 2002, at the institutional level put in place the necessary framework to encourage research, such as the introduction of the UTAR Research Fund, research policies and guidelines, the UTAR Global Research Network with International Collaborative Partners from universities internationally and locally, the establishment of research centres focusing on several niche areas and the signing of numerous MOUs with local industry partners and renowned international universities to encourage research collaborations. Trainings to improve and enhance research skills and other necessary competencies of UTAR academics are also conducted regularly. A strong research culture has been cultivated and enhanced in UTAR.
In the past one year UTAR has strengthened the pursuing of certain key milestones as set in the UTAR 10-year Strategic Plan (2013 – 2022). Several initiatives that have been set up since 2013 have begun to gather momentum. It is with pleasure that I present to you the following achievements as of 31 December 2015:
- RM866,520 was awarded to 2 programmes of 10 projects in the UTAR Strategic Research Fund (UTARSRF);
- 135 active and 82 student participants completed the UTAR Undergraduate Research Scheme (URS);
- 5 active UTAR Post-Doctoral Research Scholarship (PRS) scholars;
- The UTAR Research Publication Scheme (RPS) amounting RM689,487 was awarded to researchers in recognition of 291 of their high quality publications in cited journals;
- RM240,843 funding was utilised to support page charge for 188 international journal papers published by researchers via the Financial Support for Journal Paper Publication Scheme (FSJPP).
In year 2015, the University approved a budget allocation of RM23,550 for the Document Delivery Service which facilitates for UTAR academic staffs to obtain journal articles requiring purchase.
The UTARRF Top-up scheme is another initiative established in year 2015 to motivate UTAR researchers to actively apply and secure external research grants. It allows an external R&D grant recipient to top-up on the funding categories approved in his external grant.
The UTAR Research Scholarship (RSS) and Project Research Assistantship (PRA) schemes were further enhanced to allow for the top-up of monthly stipend/salary and the offer of Tuition Fee Scholarship from UTAR Education Foundation. It is envisioned that the improvements will help to ensure the successful completion of research projects, attract the best research brains to UTAR, as well as recruit more postgraduate students by research mode for UTAR.
R&D projects, research funding, collaborations in R&D, University research centres, consultancies and awards represent the research portfolio of a university and it is therefore important for it to be documented. This R&D Annual Report is the University's attempt to do so in a formal manner and it hope to give a comprehensive picture of R&D in UTAR to our stakeholders including the industry, governmental agencies, international and local partners, current and prospective students and other interested parties. UTAR will continually strive towards R&D Excellence.
Prof. Dr. Lee Sze Wei
Vice President (R&D and Commercialisation)