Coordination and management of research at RMU

The University recognises the important role of research activity as an intrinsic element and criterion of productivity in academia.  It further believes in a structured approach to the management of research activities and in that direction has in its organisational structure a Research and Consultancy Department.  The Department is the research repository of the University and monitors research activity in the institution to ensure compatibility with the University’s goals, vision and mission of excellence and productivity.

To that end, and for the appropriate coordination and management of research at the RMU, the University establishment has roles for the following persons and entities to work in collaboration with the Research Department:

  • Research Committee (RMU-RECOM)
  • Editorial Board of the RMU academic journal
  • Business Development Officers
  • Consultants
  • Faculty/Departmental Research Committees (F/DRC)
  • Research fellows and associates

 

 Research fund 

The University operates a research fund, the components of which include:

-        A budgeted contribution from the University

-        A component of the University’s share of Marine Consult[3] profits

-        Research grants from Government, NGOs or IGOs

-        Research grants from industry and other benefactors

 

 Procedure for research support from RMU 

The University encourages its academic staff to undertake research and publish using which ever acceptable academic peer-reviewed forum is available to them. 

However, where academic staff/researchers intend to solicit the support of the University in carrying out their research, they must submit a research proposal to RMU-RECOM, through the Research and Consultancy Department.  The proposal must at a minimum contain the following:

-        Name of researcher(s)

-        Faculty and department of the researcher(s)

-        Statement of research question

-        Relevance/significance of the research

-        Proposed methodology and methods

-        Timeline for the completion of the research.

-        Resource needs

-        Proposes strategies for analysis and dissemination of findings

-        Estimated cost of the research

-        Other intended/targeted sponsors

 

The RMU-RECOM will decide on approving or denying institutional support for the research.  The criteria to be used in arriving at the decision will include (but not necessarily be limited to):

-        The relevance of the research to the University’s goals and vision

-        The contribution of the research to the maritime community

-        The clarity and researchability of the question/topic

-        The demonstrated capacity of the researcher(s) to carry out the research

-        The ability of the University to support the research in financial and/or infrastructural terms

 

The RMU-RECOM has the mandate of inviting co-opted members to objectively evaluate the proposal, where the subject matter of the proposal lies outside the competence of the standing committee members.

In the event that, for valid reasons (e.g. for pump-priming activities), a complete proposal cannot be made ready, researchers may present a letter of intent (pre-proposal), for the attention of RMU-RECOM, through the Research and Consultancy Department.  Such a letter should at a minimum contain the following elements

-        Name of researcher(s)

-        Faculty and department of the researcher(s)

-        Statement of research question

-        Relevance/significance of the research

-        Proposed methodology and methods

-        Estimated cost of the research (supported by budget proposal indicating costs of items such as travel, accommodation, personal costs, research costs, etc.)[4]

 

All research articles generated by academic staff and intended for publishing in the RMU peer-reviewed journal must be approved by the Journal Editorial Board.  Submissions should be made in accordance with the Journal Guidelines to Authors.  Only submissions approved by the Editorial Board and appropriately peer-reviewed will be published.  Criteria for accepting for publishing include:

-        Relevance of research topic with respect to journal focus and goals

-        The academic rigour of the research

-        Value of research findings to the maritime community

-        The clarity of presentation

-        Freedom from plagiarism

-        Conformity to Journal Guide to Authors especially with respect to appropriate referencing

 

 Disbursement of funds for research 

The allocation of funds in support of research indicated in submitted proposals shall be on a competitive basis.  Where a proposal for research is approved, funds for carrying out the research will be disbursed as follows:

Stage 1:  20% of total budgeted costs at inception of research

Stage 2:  30% of total budgeted costs on the presentation of an initial progress report

Stage 3:  30% of total budgeted costs on the presentation of a second progress report

Stage 4:  A final 20% on completion and presentation of final report

Progression reports shall be submitted in written form and also as presentations before the RMU-RECOM. 

For each stage, no more than 20% of the disbursement for that stage is to be paid as personal costs.  Time sheets in support of man-hours are to be presented with each progress report[5].

 

 Institutional research performance indicators 

The university’s progress in attaining its vision with respect to research and knowledge transfer will be measured by the following:

-        The number of research-active faculty and students in each department

-        The rate of post-graduate student attraction, progression and completion

-        The number and financial value of external research grants received

-        Collaborative relationships established with other research centres (local and international)

-        Collaborative relationships established with industry (local and international)

-        Percentage of University budget allocated to research

-        Total value of RMU-funded research

-        Number and quality of faculty publications

-        Awards for research and knowledge contribution

-        Citations of faculty publications

-        Rate, patterns and timing of applications for research awards

-        Amount of successful applications for research awards

-        Mentions in the public press

-        Number of completed research seminars

-        Evidence of cross-disciplinary research

-        Evidence of impact of research on pedagogy

-        Evidence of staff progression linked to research activity

 

 

This policy document is to be revised periodically to ensure that research at the RMU continues to be coordinated and managed in line with the university’s Quality Management Policy. Proposals for amendments to this policy should be submitted to the RMU-RECOM, through the Research and Consultancy Department for consideration.



[3] Marine Consult is an independent limited liability corporate entity, of which the RMU is a shareholder.

[4] The associated form is available from the Research Department

[5] Time Sheets as per the relevant Research Quality Form