In an era defined by the breakneck pace of technological advancement, staying ahead of the curve has never been more vital. Summit University, Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria, has wholeheartedly embraced the transformative potential of grantsmanship and Industry 4.0 skills.
With resolute support from its governing council, the university recently concluded a dynamic seven-week capacity development programme.
This intensive endeavor, conducted under the auspices of the Artificial Intelligence for Females in STEM (AI4FS), Artificial Intelligence for Women in Aquaculture (AI4WA) projects, and Bioethanol Project united 50 eager participants, encompassing both university staff and selected students.
From July 17th to August 30th, 2023, the campus thrummed with enthusiasm as 22 women and 28 men immersed themselves in this profound journey of cultivating grantsmanship skills. The primary objective was to nurture these skills and impart 21st-century competencies within the university community, aligning with Summit University’s vision of becoming a research-intensive institution.
The odyssey began with a focus on foundational skills during the commencement week. Participants honed the art of crafting compelling abstracts and developed the acumen to establish SMART objectives, laying a robust foundation for the weeks ahead.
Week two marked a captivating exploration of business proposal writing. From constructing persuasive pitch decks to crafting concise executive summaries and conducting thorough industry analyses, participants left no stone unturned. They ventured into the intricate realms of detailing company descriptions, scrutinizing market dynamics, dissecting the economics of business, devising comprehensive schedules, and mastering financial projections.
Serendipitously, several participants promptly applied their freshly acquired abstract writing skills by presenting their research publications at the prestigious KU8 conference. This event, organized by eight universities in Kwara State (KU8), Nigeria, convened at the University of Ilorin campus. Additionally, they collaborated on a proposal for the Spencer Research Grant, with a focused emphasis on education. This showcased their preparedness to embark on meaningful research journeys and underscored the development of essential grantsmanship skills.
Weeks five and six ushered in an exploration of available grant proposals. Participants meticulously scoured resources, compiling a comprehensive list, thereby further honing their grantsmanship expertise. Simultaneously, a dedicated UI/UX training equipped them with the knowledge and tools required to create individualized landing pages, augmenting their digital presence online.
During the programme’s climactic final week, participants delved deep into the realms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Twins. Dr. Segun Popoola of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Manchester, under the staff exchange project funded by the European Union Grant, titled “Rural Environmental Monitoring via Ultra Wide-ARea NetworKs And DistriButed Federated LEarning (REMARKABLE). The facilitator adeptly guided them through concepts like Deep Learning and Machine Learning. The journey culminated in a hands-on practical session in Python programming using Spyder.
As the seven-week odyssey drew to a close, participants emerged profoundly transformed. Armed with newfound skills encompassing CV writing, rebuttal form composition, grant writing, UI/UX Skills and abstract development, they departed with an unwavering commitment to apply these competencies in their academic and professional pursuits. Their collective aspiration to create opportunities for themselves and actively contribute to the nation’s progress stands as a testament to the enduring impact of Summit University’s visionary capacity development initiative in Offa, Kwara State.