Research at AU

Ajman University attracts top-tier faculty talent who are fully supported in their efforts to conduct high-quality research.

One of Ajman University’s key strategic goals is to enhance the quality, relevance and impact of research and intellectual contribution by faculty and students. AU’s commitment to research, scholarship, innovation and creative activity is reflected by providing appropriate physical, fiscal and human resources. 

Research Policies
  1. AU considers research among the most important responsibilities of its faculty members. It encourages, facilitates, and supports research activities in all disciplines.
  2. All AU faculty members are expected and encouraged to conduct research and engage in scholarship as well as publish and share their findings.
  3. Faculty members can conduct academic or practice-oriented research in their area(s) of specialization and participate in multi-disciplinary research. They can also conduct pedagogic research.
  4. Each faculty member is expected to publish at least one peer-reviewed research paper per academic year in a journal of high impact factor or high-quality category (such as A*, A, B, and C) or proceedings of prestigious research conferences. Such classification will be made by the CRC of each college and approved by the DGSR.
  5. The research performance of faculty will be a key factor in their annual evaluation as well as for their promotion to a higher rank.
  6. College Deans, in coordination with the DGSR, are responsible for developing and implementing a concrete research plan and a strategy aligned with AU strategic plan. In coordination with the CRCs, they shall define research objectives for their college and KPIs for measuring the achievement of these objectives.
  7. Each college shall specify and get approved its research budget. Once the research budget has been officially approved for each college, it shall be transferred to the account of DGSR. The DGSR shall provide the funding for all approved research projects, based on the recommendations of the CRC and the Council for Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR), and approval of the Dean of GSR and VCAA (as applicable). The funding for approved research projects for each college shall be provided from the allocated research budget for each college. The DGSR may also utilize its own budget to promote research at AU.
  8. The DGSR shall provide grants for research projects on college-wide competitive basis in accordance with its policies for internal research funding.
  9. AU shall support and facilitate Collaborative Research conducted in cooperation with public and private institutions and industry.
  10. The University, through the DGSR, shall provide assistance to faculty members for obtaining research grants from external sources.
  11. Researchers shall follow the highest ethical standards in all aspects of their research work. They shall also abide by the applicable confidential requirements.
  12. Researchers shall abide by the University policies on Intellectual Property Rights.
  13. In some special cases, the teaching load of an outstanding researcher may be reduced with the approval of the College Dean and the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA).
  14. The College Deans shall submit an annual report on research accomplishments to the DGSR and the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (OIPR). They shall also submit to DGSR a plan regarding proposed research projects for the next academic year.
  15. A Research Ethics Committee (REC) shall be formed under the DGSR to ensure that research work involving human or animal objects follows specified national and international standards and guidelines.
  16. Outstanding researchers will be recognized and rewarded by the University.
  17. AU will not tolerate research misconduct including fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in carrying out research or publishing its results.
Research Procedures:
  1. The DGSR, in collaboration with College Research Committees, will take all necessary actions to promote research at AU including internally- and externally-funded research. These actions include development and implementation of procedures for internally-funded research projects, mechanisms for projects evaluation and payment of compensation to researchers for externally-funded projects, establishing and maintaining contacts with external funding sources, spreading awareness among all faculty members about research funding opportunities, providing administrative support to faculty members for obtaining external funds, and continual follow-up of research projects, etc.
  2. The DGSR shall form a Research Ethics Committee (REC), at the University level, with well-defined role and objectives.
  3. The DGSR shall develop a systematic procedure for rewarding outstanding researchers at AU on a yearly basis.
  4. Each College Dean, in consultation with the College Research Committee (CRC), will submit research projects planned for the following academic year and accordingly propose the required research budget.
  5. The DGSR will hold workshops/seminars to spread awareness about research policies and procedures as well as funded research opportunities.
  6. All support departments including HR and Finance shall be made aware of the new policies, especially those involving Research Assistants. They shall also be directed to provide full support for promoting research at the University.

 

The Deanship of Graduate Studies and Research provides financial support to faculty members in terms of Internal Research Grants (IRGs) to conduct their research. The Policies and Procedures adopted for granting  internal research grants are as follows:

Policies:

  1. AU will provide funds to support research projects in all colleges on a competitive basis.
  2. All faculty members are eligible to apply for internal research funds either on individual basis or by forming research groups and teams, including interdisciplinary teams.
  3. Priority for allocation of funds will be given to proposals with potential publications in journals of high impact factors or high-quality category (such as A*, A, B, and C) or proceedings of prestigious research conferences as recommended by CRCs and approved by the Deanship of Graduate Studies and Research. Preference will also be given to projects that are likely to receive external funds in the near future.
  4. Projects focusing on important research areas for the Emirate of Ajman, UAE and the Arab region will also have high priority.
  5. The competition for the award of funds will be held at least once and at most twice per academic year by the DGSR.
  6. No financial compensation will be provided to faculty members from internal research funds. However, compensation can be provided to students and others working on the funded project as Research Assistants.
  7. The research funds may be utilized for the purchase of components, parts, software or other resources needed for successful completion of the project, as approved by the DGSR.
  8. AU shall provide sufficient budget to the DGSR to cater to the needs of high-quality research projects in all colleges.
  9. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research shall have the authority to approve funding for research projects with an upper limit of AED 50,000 per project. The funds will be granted only for projects recommended by the CRCs and the CGSR. The maximum duration for completion of such projects shall be 12 months.
  10. For research projects with funding requirement exceeding AED 50,000, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research shall submit a request for funding approval to the VCAA provided that the project has been recommended by the CGSR.
  11. Funding for research projects with maximum funding requirement of AED 15,000 can be directly approved by the College Deans upon the recommendation of the CRCs. Such projects do not require the approval of the DGSR. The funding for such projects shall be provided by the DGSR upon the recommendation of the College Dean. This funding will be provided from the approved research budget of the college requesting the grant.
  12. The DGSR will monitor the progress of funded research projects through CRCs headed by the Members of CGSR in their respective colleges.

Procedures:

  1. The DGSR, with input from all members of the CGSR, will develop and maintain a complete mechanism for competitive award of research funds on an annual basis or at most twice yearly.
  2. Once the mechanism has been established, the DGSR will announce the deadline and procedure for applying for internal research funds.
  3. The DGSR will follow the specified procedure for evaluation of all submitted proposals. The evaluations will be done college-wide by the CRCs.
  4. Final approvals will be communicated to the Principal Investigator, Head of the Department, and the College Dean by the DGSR.
  5. The maximum fund for a research project awarded by DGSR is limited to AED 50,000. For projects seeking higher funding amounts, approval of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) will be sought.
  6. The Principal Investigator will coordinate with the concerned CRC for utilization of approved funds in accordance with specified procedures.
  7. The Principal Investigator will be responsible for submitting progress report(s) as well as the final report to the DGSR. The Principal Investigator will also be responsible for closing all accounts related to the internally-funded research project at the completion of the project.
  8. For research projects with research budget of up to AED 15,000, project evaluation will be carried out by the College Research Committee and the award will be granted by the College Dean for purchase of components, parts, materials, etc. as well as payment to Undergraduate Research Assistants. The College Research Committee shall monitor the progress of all projects awarded by the College Dean.

Policies:

  1. All faculty members are encouraged to seek external research funds. Such grants shall be recognized in the annual assessment of faculty members.
  2. AU will facilitate the process of obtaining research funds from external agencies or other sources through the DGSR and other offices.
  3. The DGSR will establish and develop ties with various national, regional, and international funding agencies and organizations.
  4. The DGSR will inform faculty members about forthcoming research grant opportunities and their deadlines. It will also provide administrative support to interested faculty members to apply for the research grants in accordance with University rules and regulations as well as the requirements of the corresponding funding agency.
  5. For externally-funded projects, the researchers are eligible to include, if permitted by the funding agency, compensation for their time and effort spent during weekends and in the evenings of working days. The compensation amount can then be included in the proposed budget submitted to the DGSR.
  6. The researcher(s) can get release time of 3 credit hours in their teaching load per semester, for one academic year, by paying the University, through an external research grant, an amount corresponding to the teaching load, as determined by the University. This amount shall be based on the ratio of required release time and the full-time teaching load per semester year for the concerned faculty member.
  7. AU has the right to receive compensation to cover direct and indirect expenses related to the project. Such expenses include, but not limited to, the overhead cost for its human resources and facilities. As such, the University can add overhead charges up to maximum 20% of the project budget proposed by the Principal Investigator. This amount will be added in the proposed budget and the final budget will be then submitted to the funding agency.
  8. The DGSR will be responsible for signing the agreement in accordance with all relevant University policies including intellectual property rights.
  9. The DGSR shall maintain close links with all relevant centers in AU in order to provide opportunities for faculty members to obtain externally-funded research projects.

Procedures:


  1. The DGSR will develop detailed criteria regarding externally-funded projects. Such criteria will ensure that the individual faculty member or a research group seeking external funds has the necessary expertise and access to required facilities and resources to undertake the project and successfully complete it. It will also ensure that the project under consideration is consistent with the mission and goals of the University and has secured the approval of the Research Ethics Committee (REC), if so required.
  2. The DGSR will prepare appropriate documents and proposal approval forms and provide them to all College Research Committees along with procedures for proposal submission and its evaluation.
  3. Accepted proposals will be subsequently completed by the researcher or research group in all aspects taking into account the specific requirements of the funding agency and following the financial guidelines of the DGSR. The DGSR, after adding the overhead charges in the proposed budget and carrying out final internal review, will submit the proposal to funding agency prior to the specified deadline.
  4. The DGSR will initiate and contribute in negotiations between the Principal Investigator and the funding agency.
  5. Upon award of external funding for proposed project, the DGSR will inform the Principal Investigator, the Head of the Department, College Dean, and all concerned departments.
  6. A University Research Account (URA) shall be established for all externally-funded research projects. For each project, a separate sub-account will be opened. The sub-accounts will be managed by the DGSR in cooperation with the Principal Investigator (PI) for each project.
  7. The DGSR will ensure that the project is started on time and funds are readily available to the Principal Investigator as and when required in accordance with the pre-defined timeline.
  8. The DGSR, through the relevant CRC, will monitor the progress of the project comparing it with the specified targets defined in the project proposal.
    At the completion of the project, the Principal Investigator will submit the final report to the DGSR that shall be forwarded to the funding agency.

The Research Travel Grants (RTG) are awarded to support high-quality research collaboration and knowledge exchange between the Ajman University (AU) and international institutions of good repute. Using these grants, full time faculty at the AU can apply for funding to support short-term research visits to another institute (e.g. research university of high ranking, research center or a research organization) and undertake collaborative research activity with clear and well defined outcomes. 

Guidelines:

  1. Funding shall cover airfare (economic class), visa cost (as applicable) and accommodation cost only.
  2. The standard award will not exceed 15,000 AED.
  3. Applicants are reminded that visa application processes for some countries may take up to 3-4 months and should consider this when determining travel dates.
  4. Travel dates must be selected carefully in close consultation with the Head of Department and the College Dean. The applicants must ensure that this visit must not affects his/her teaching and/or any other responsibility within the college.
  5. Travel must be completed in the academic year for which the RTG is awarded.
  6. RTG is quite competitive and research funds will be awarded based on uniform evaluation criteria.
  7. Evaluation criteria will consider, among other factors, the following:
    1. Quality of research proposal/project
    2. Nature of the work undertaken during the visit
    3. Justification of visit
    4. Expected outcomes, e.g. potential of subsequently submitting external research grant proposal within a year of the visit, or expected publications in Scopus-indexed or prestigious journals
    5. Track record of the applicant and host in relation to proposed research work
    6. The likelihood of the establishment or significant strengthening of a genuine and ongoing international linkage as an outcome of this RTG
  8. Any full time faculty member, Lecturer and above, who has completed at least one year of service at AU is eligible to apply.
  9. A detailed report must be submitted within one month of the visit to DGSR.
  10. A maximum of 10 applications will be supported.

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