In a bid to promote and sustain high quality research, the Senate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has approved the recognition of outstanding Doctoral theses produced in the institution.

The Senate’s decision is a local initiative to reward outstanding theses, having recently won the Nigerian Universities Doctoral Theses Award Scheme, organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Shedding more light on the award, the Dean Postgraduate School; Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, disclosed that NUC had requested Universities in the country to submit three of their best Ph.D Theses in various areas of specialization, for assessment.

Professor Enikuomehin stated that the University then selected and submitted the three theses after conducting an internal assessment in the field of agriculture in the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, out of which the thesis titled, “Genetic Variation, Correlation Studies and Multi-Locational Performance of Lowland NERICA Rice” (2011), written by Ogunbayo Ayoni, of the Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Technology, won the award.

“What NUC did was to bring the entries from all the Universities altogether and bring in Professors from different Universities to assess them. Experts were brought in to evaluate these submissions and we were fortunate that the thesis from here was adjudged the best in agriculture”, he noted.

He disclosed that this was not the first time the University will be winning the award because about four years ago, a lecturer in the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), also bagged the award.

The Dean added that the Senate’s decision to accord recognition to such an award would be on an annual basis, using standard selection benchmarks that border on contribution to knowledge, focus, innovation and or novelty, relevance to the Nigerian economy and development, good command of language, minimal grammatical errors, tidiness and orderly presentation of findings.

“For us, it would help us fit into our desire to becoming a world-class University. That is very relevant to our immediate constituency and the constituency we represent on a larger scale. I see it as helping us to showcase more, the outcome of our postgraduate research and it would also help an average postgraduate student to have that sense of purpose that there is something to look up to, especially, if there is a prize to win”, he added.

Professor Enikuomehin was optimistic that with the award, postgraduate students and their supervisors would be better motivated by contributing more in solving societal problems.

“For us in this University, this award really confirms the fact that we deserve to be the Centre of Excellence in Agriculture, because the theses for 2011 – in the whole of Nigeria – was won by us. Coincidentally, there was no award for 2012 because nobody qualified. So, that is a challenge for us to look back, take a cue from what had been the positive side of the 2011 award and replicate that for subsequent theses”, he stated.