Annual research Report

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Annual Research Report

  1. Introduction

University Research Committee (URC) is pleased to present the annual research report  for the academic Year 2014-15 in the 2nd  year of its operation. A’Sharqiyah University started its operation in 2011 and after a yearlong foundation studies the students started enrolling in the colleges from 2012. Since then ASU started recruiting research active faculties who can contribute towards research. In its strategic Plan 2014-2020, ASU has considered Research and Innovation as one of the important strategic priorities. The strategic Objective is  ‘ To contribute to knowledge and innovation through applied research and scholarship in select priority areas’. 2014-15 was crucial for research activities at ASU in the sense that various policies and procedures for triggering research activities got approved during this period. Year 2014-15 showed that a gradual improvement in the overall research activities  at ASU as a result of implementation of various  policies related to research. Under various schemes a total of 12400 OMR has been expended/approved towards various research activities during 2014-15.

  1. Research Policies and Procedures

In order to trigger the research activities at ASU, URC has put in place, its first priority, to develop policies, procedures and regulations governing all research activities at ASU. Accordingly URC has framed various policies which are approved by Academic Board.

2.1 Policies Approved by Academic Board:

  1. Policy on ASU internal research grant – ASU Faculty Seed Fund for Research ( ASU-FSFR)
  2. Policy on Conference Support Funding (CSF)
  3. Policy on Short Term Research Visit Overseas for Collaborative Research for ASU Faculties
  4. Policy, Rules and Regulations for operation and utilization of the Research Funds
  5. Policy on transfer of Research project – Policy on change of Principal Investigator/ Faculty mentor.

2.2 Policies Approved by URC and submitted to AB

  1. Policies and Procedures for recruiting project staff.
  2. General Policy on attending conferences
  3. Policy on research ethics and bio ethics
  1. Research Funding/Grants:

During 2014-15 ASU has increased the number of project proposal submissions and number of projects awarded.

  • External Funding:

3.1.1    Open Research Grant and Industrial Project

  • Currently ASU has one Open research Grant funded by TRC. (Approved Budget: 20300 OMR). Title: ‘’ Early school leaving in public schools at A’shariqyah region in the sultanate of oman : An empirical investigation of reasons and suggested solutions:Leavers prespectives

PI: Khalid Hutaibat, Dept of Accounting and Finance, COBA

  • One Project has been submitted to TRC.
  • One project has been submitted to PDO and Industrial innovation center which is put on hold.

3.1.2.     FURAP 

  • 2 FURAP projects under call 2 have been completed during 2014-‘15
  • 16 project proposals have been submitted under Call 3, out of which 5 projects got approved.
  • Total Budget pooled: 11890 OMR

3.1.3.  International Collaborative Research Projects

  • 1 project in collaboration with Technical University of Cartagena , Spain funded by SINICA foundation, Spain is currently running.

Title: ‘Sensing Motors and reactions:  Experiments and modelling for Artificial Proprioception based on conducting polymers’

Co PI : Dr. Yahya Ismail. Dept. of Basic Science, CAS

  • 2 projects under GCC – EU joint FP 7 research program have been submitted.
  • Internal Funding:
  • ASU-Faculty Seed Fund for Research (ASU-FSFR):   4 projects got approved,    Total budget approved:  8000

 

Name of the Researcher Title of the proposal Approved budget Start date End date
Dr. Hakikullah Shah Ferrocenyl Di-ynes and Poly-ynes Synthesis, Characterization, Electrochemistry and X-ray Crystallography 2000 OR June 2015 May 2017
Dr. Faruk Luqmanul Hakkim In vitro evidence of Omani frankincense derived oil as a potential breast cancer drug. 2000 Or June 2015 May 2017
Dr. Ali Asgar Extraction and encapsulation of large cardamom essential oil using Guar gum and whey protein isolatesFaculty left ASU and is open for change of PI 2000 OR

June  2015

 

May 2017
Dr. Hamid Amin Bakshi In vitro validation of folk lore claims of Omani Olea Europian L. Leaves (olive tree) against cancel cell lines.  2000 OR Yet to be started  

Details of Internal research grants approved

  1. Scholarly Activities:

4.1       Awards and Recognition

Two of our faculty members received best paper award for their presentation at the international conferences.

Dr. Louay Labban, Nutrition Faculty, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, CAS  has won one of the 3 top presentations at the 2nd International conference on Geriatrics & Gerontology , held in Toronto, Canada , 24-26th of August 2015. The topic of his presentation was for “Principles of prevention and management of sarcopenia among elderly “.

Mrs. Thuraya Said Alharthy, Chemistry Faculty, Dept. of Basic Science,  CAS has won the  best oral presentation award for her presentation  entitled “Supported  ZnO nanostructures: Synthesis and possible implantation in water treatment plants” at Conference on Nanotechnology for Water Treatment and Solar Energy Applications held in Muscat, Oman on the 15 – 16 of December 2015.

Prof. Nabil Sultan, Dean of COBA has submitted a track proposal on “Corruption or Collaboration: The Implications of Cultural Practices for Global Business and Management” to the 2016 EURAM Conference which will be held in June 2016 in Paris. He will serve as the corresponding organizer and chief instigator of the track.

Dr. Yahya Ismail, Head, Dept. of Basic Sciences & Chair of URC has been selected to the international advisory board of CIMTEC, a European body established in 1960s for International Conferences on Materials and Technologies. His focus will be on Symposium H ‘ Electroactive Polymers and Shape Memory Polymers’ of  International Conference  on Smart and Multifunctional Materials, Devices, Structures of CITEC 2016 onwards.

Dr. Louay Labban, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, CAS has selected as Editorial board member of ‘Journal of  Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders & Control JDMDC’ as an A’Sharqiyah University academic representative.

Dr. Muhammad Luqman, Chemistry faculty has been selected as a member of editorial board of Journal of Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology, by Avens Publishing Group.

Prof. Sam Wamuziri continues in his role as Chairman of the Editorial Board and Honorary editor of a UK based international Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and law.

Prof. Falah Al Ani, Professor of Biology is continuing his role as a member of editorial board of Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences.

4.2 International collaborations and Visits

ASU’s policy to promote international collaboration in research has helped two of our faculties to visit prestigious universities abroad.
Dr. Muhammad Changez, Chemistry faculty at the dept. of Basic Sciences visited Department of Chemistry  at   University of Tennessee, USA during August and initiated fundamental research for development of non-conventional sources of energy materials and drug delivery based on homopolymers focusing its applications in nanotechnology.

Dr.Hakikullah Shah, Chemistry Faculty visited Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Bath, UK during july –Aug 2015 to work on the project on Ferrocenyl Di-ynes and Poly-yne materials. These visits are partly funded by ASU through various research schemes.

  1. Detailed research output

Details of the research output are given below.

S.No Description COBA CoE CAS
  Number of Research Faculties holding a PhD degree 8 4 14
1 Number of Journal publications* 3     (0.375) 0 14            (1.0)
2 Number of Conference presentations* 5     (0.625) 2        (0.5) 12        (0.857)
3 Research projects –Open Research Grant* 1     (0.125) 0 0
4

Research projects –FURAP*

(Total Submitted: 16)

0 1        (0.25) 2 completed4 approved     (0.428)
5 International Research Collaborations- Funded Projects 1 with Spain –running2 submitted  under GCC-EU FP7 program
6 Collaborative Research Visit abroad 2 – one UK and One USA
           

*Publication per faculty is shown in brackets.
Publication Statistics: The data shown below are based on  research output per faculty for the academic year 2014-15.

Trends in the Research Output

 

  1. Research Themes on Focus

A’Sharqiyah University (ASU) has qualified international team of academicians in the area of Innovation management, Chemical sciences/Advanced materials/Polymers, Food science and Human nutrition, Environmental science and Engineering, Electrical and Communication Engineering, Civil engineering, Construction   Project management, and Leadership and enterprise.

Broad research themes proposed to focus are:

  1. Materials and Energy
  2. Public Health and Wellbeing
  3. Entrepreneurship and Innovation

 

  1. Future action Plan:
  1. Infra structure Development- Common Research Lab/ Lab Space for Faculties having ORGs/ establishing Central Instrumentation Facility

The ASU has multidisciplinary and internationally recognized research team to carry out successful and innovative work.   As the University is in its very initial stage in research and development, establishment of basic infrastructure for carrying out experimental work is of prime importance. In this regards providing laboratory space and instruments for research active faculties need to be addressed when the university moves to  new campus, existing laboratories in the present campus can be used for establishing basic and specialized research labs, without the much investment in building research labs.

  1. Increasing the Research Output

Research activities at ASU need to be encouraged and catalyzed through strengthening the interdisciplinary/inter college collaborations across the campus, as well as through providing adequate research facilities. Apart from these, work load reductions and establishing incentives and recognition for research active faculties are needed to encourage research activities at the campus. This can contribute towards winning the research grants. At least one ORG per college and three FURAP per college need to be achieved. The target is to increase the Journal Publication to at least 0.6 per faculty in each college and conference presentations   to 0. 7 per faculty in each college.

  1. Consultancy, Industrial Collaboration and Outreach

ASU has qualified international team of academicians in the area of Innovation management, Chemical /materials sciences, food science and nutrition, environmental science and engineering, electrical and communication engineering and civil engineering. Various departments at ASU will soon be equipped with modern analytical and research facilities/ instruments to design and standardize the materials for various industrial products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, petrochemicals etc. Coming year should lay the foundation of getting involved in consultancy activities by strengthening the industrial linkage and outreach.

  1. International Collaborations and Seminars

Faculties need to be directed to initiate and establish international research collaborations. At least one international collaboration per college and one collaboration per faculty per college at the individual level need to be achieved. ASU faculties need to be get involved in the initiative of European Union through Horizon 2020 program. Creating a research culture is inevitable for the advancement of research. To begin with all colleges need to activate the faculty seminars. Monthly seminar series need to be launched at the college level and one seminar per semester at the URC level need to be achieved. One national/international seminar need to be organized at the university levels after shifting to new campus.

  1. Research Gate Statistics

ASU has 23 members registered in the Research Gate and has a total RG score of 203.37.  Research Gate impact (RGI) of ASU is yet to be appeared in the website.

A comparison of RG statistics of Higher Education Institutions in Oman is presented in Annexure 1. List of registered faculties having higher RGI are listed in Annexure 2.

  1. Citations and h-index

ASU has the potential to produce high quality research and publications in high impact journals as some of the faculties are widely cited by various high impact journals. Prof. Nabil Sultan, Dean of College of Business Administration has a total citation of 1058 with an h-index of 6, Dr. Changez, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, College of Applied Sciences has an h- index of 13 with a citation of 766 and Dr. Yahya Ismail, Head, Dept. of Basic Science has an h– index of 9 with a total citations of 334.

  1. Concluding Remarks:

Taking its Vision, Mission and Strategic priorities and the initiative taken to strengthen the research in to account, ASU has the potential to expand as one of a leading research universities in the country provided a cordial atmosphere to conduct research is established along with implementing strict measures for faculty appointment and promotion. This is inevitable as this will strengthen the foundation of research and fuel our ecosystem of innovation.

Dr. Yahya Ahmed Ismail
Chair, University Research Committee


Annexure-1

Research Gate Statistics

Comparison of RG statistics of Higher Education Institutions in Oman

HEI Registered Members RGI RG Score
Sultan Qaboos University 2239 5332.58 11390.98
University of Nizwa 193 56.45 1250.2
German University of Technology, Oman 81 16.4 333.25
Higher College of Technology 123 15.64 155.79
Sohar University 136 10.01 444.98
Dhofar University 244 9.46 628.2
A’Sharqiyah University 23  Yet to appear 203.37

2- Annexure

RG Impact of ASU faculties 

Name of Faculty College /Dept. RGI
Dr. Muhammad Changej CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 170.86
Dr. Yahya Ahmed Ismail CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 69.58
Dr. Muhammad Luqman CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 49.18
Dr. Falah Alani CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 26.54
Dr. Faruk Lukmanul Hakkim CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 23. 99
Dr. Hakikullah Shah CAS/Dept. of Basic Science 20.87
Dr. Louay Labban CAS/Dept.of Food Science and Human Nutrition 16.19
Prof. Nabil Sultan COBA 15. 39