An empirical study of project funds on research and innovation: a situational analysis of National Science and Technology Council.

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Sinyama, H Busiku
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The University of Zambia
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of NSTC project funds on the promotion of research and development in Zambia. Methodology: The study employed a descriptive research design using a mixed research approach from which qualitative and quantitative data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire. A total sample size of 21 respondents from the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and 66 researchers and stakeholders selected from the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, Zambia Agriculture Research Institution (ZARI), National Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), National Business Technology Centre (NTBC) and Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) was used in this study on which simple purposive and random sampling procedure was applied. The data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0, using the Chi-Square Pearson Correlation coefficient to determine the relationship between variables). On the other hand qualitative data was analyzed thematic analysis which the themes in text was analyzed by the meaning of words and sentence structure. Findings: It was revealed from that there was significant but not perfect relationship between NSTC researching funding and improving research activities in higher learning institutions, as derived from the chi square test whose results showed a P-value of 0.000 and a Pearson’s correlation coefficient value of 0.435**. This clearly indicated that NSTC researching funding improved research activities in higher learning institutions in Zambia to a moderate or lesser extent. It was also found that NSTC funded projects have indirectly influenced the wellbeing of the people in the community through producing innovation in research, assists in disseminating and applying some modern technologies in improved products and processes in communities. NSTC funded projects further helped policy makers to come up with some policies that supports and improves the lives of people, as well as contributing to the development of poor people in the country. Recommendations: The NSTC must formulate plans to provide a simplified process of accessing the funds and encourage people to participate in Research and Development activities carried out; it also needed to monitor and follow up the uptake of the research projects into the communities to those funded by the institution. The NSTC together with stakeholders must consider reviewing science policy in order to improve coordination in the science sector; and incorporation of promotion department in the grants process, review and streamline the legal framework in science sector.
Research grants. , Research--Finance. , Universities and colleges--Research--Finance.