The federal government has approved over N4.73bn for the award of 219 research grants to successful participants under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) National Research Fund (NRF) program for the 2021 grant cycle .

A statement from TETFund’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Abdulmumin Oniyangi, says the approval followed a report by the TETFund National Research Fund Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (NRFS&MC) which recommended funding for the 219 research proposals after a rigorous evaluation exercise that began with the receipt of 4,810 Concept Notes from potential applicants in November 2021.

A breakdown of the approval indicates that the sum of N3,066,156,844.61 was approved for Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) thematic group, N806,381,998.00 for Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) while Cross Cutting (CC) received N864, 242,509.60, with individual grants ranging from N4.5 million to over N41 million.

Some of the approved research work designed to enhance national development includes the molecular epidemiology of recurrent cholera outbreaks in Nigeria and the preclinical evaluation of indigenous medicinal plants for their management.

Others are effective high-yield phenotyping and artificial pollination to improve performance in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) with autonomous drones and investigation of Nigerian medicinal plants as sources of lead compounds for the development of chemotherapeutic interventions for the uterine fibroid and the production of cartridges made of hydrocarbon for wastewater treatment from textiles and tanneries in Nigeria: ″Emerging technology for sustainable water purification using biomass residues; all under the thematic group Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI).

Projects in the cross-cutting thematic group include the design and manufacture of an efficient solar energy storage system for electricity generation in rural communities; Adaptation of Conventional Septic Tanks to Biodigesters for Sustainable Energy Generation and Viable Economy for Domestic Use in Nigeria and Development of Polymer Soilcrete Blocks and Pozzolanic Cement Concrete for Integrated and Sustainable Mass Housing in Nigeria, among others.

Approved in Social Sciences are Development and evaluation of a phytoestrogenic transdermal nanogel for the management of symptoms of menopause and associated diseases; Manufacture and characterization of new series of glass from rice hull minerals and bismuth tin for its application in protection against radiation and green path for the production of barite towards the decarbonization of the mining sector in Nigeria, among others.

The National Research Fund (NRF) grant was introduced to encourage cutting-edge research that explores research areas relevant to the social needs of Nigeria, such as power and energy, health, security, agriculture, job and wealth creation, etc.

Written by Daniel Adejo; Edited by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Julian Osamoto and Adeniyi Bakare