Notre Dame International welcomed two fellows from African universities as part of the IREX University Administration Sponsorship Program. IREX is an international development organization based in Washington, DC, that helps build research management capacity of African administrators and faculty. On February 19, 2023, Angela Itegboje and Titilayo Olaposi arrived on campus as part of the new fellowship program.
Fellows met with faculty and staff from NDI, Notre Dame Research, the IDEA Center, Keough School’s Pulte Institute, Kellogg Institute, and McKenna Center, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, the Pamoja Initiative, the Graduate School, and the Berthiaume Institute for Precision Health.
“Hosting the IREX UASP fellowship has been a great experience. Notre Dame has played an active role in enabling research leadership to thrive in sub-Saharan Africa by allowing a bidirectional exchange and acquisition of knowledge and skill by showcasing the best global practices in innovation and research management as well as commercialization of the intellectual products of research,” says Jackie Oluoch-Aridi, Director of Notre Dame in Nairobi.
Jonathan Noble, senior assistant provost for internationalization at Notre Dame, also spoke of the partnership, saying, “We are extremely grateful for the enthusiastic engagement and sharing by numerous colleagues across campus. We trust this exchange will catalyze more opportunities for administrative and scholarly exchange with research institutions in the African continent.”
Since arriving in February, Itegboje and Olaposi, who are both IREX UASP Research Management Fellows from Nigeria, have met with leaders all across campus to compare their institutions’ practices with Notre Dame’s research ecosystem, and are each responsible for proposing plans to improve their own institution’s performance, using a template provided by IREX.
Olaposi, principal research fellow at the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria says, “Most of my research focuses on technological entrepreneurship and innovation management. Coming here, I have been very impressed. The people are very friendly and always willing to share knowledge. We have touched different centers, institutes and offices and it is very helpful to me because I have become an administrator, even as a researcher.”
“The knowledge I have gained here is very useful to me to oversee research management within my own university. I have learned so much regarding grants, management, proposal development and assessment, and communication,” she concludes.
Itegboje, assistant registrar and research administrator in the Research Management Office at the University of Lagos, Nigeria adds, “Notre Dame is an environment that is open to learning and our visit has been both fruitful and informative. I am focusing on innovation, technology, and commercialization and have already gained so much knowledge on how to make the best use of research to impact and serve societal needs.”
IREX, a global development and education organization working in over 100 countries around the world, contacted NDI in fall 2022, seeking a partnership wherein Notre Dame would host African university leaders under the UASP (University Administration Support Program) Research Management Fellowships. UASP builds the research management capacity of African administrators and faculty to design and lead related reforms at their institutions following the program.
Learn more about Notre Dame International’s commitment to supporting faculty research through its global network and strategic partnerships.