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. 

The research strategy seeks to:

  1. Nurture a culture of research across all disciplines and at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
  2. Identify research areas of significance for academic colleges, the university, and community at large. These shall include some relevant research areas identified in UAE Vision 2021, Ajman Vision 2021, and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
  3. Increase AU’s national, regional, and international ranking in research and scholarship by hiring, retaining, and rewarding outstanding research-active faculty.
  4. Improve the research infrastructure and funding mechanisms at AU to promote research across all disciplines.
  5. Enhance cooperative research through research collaboration, strategic partnerships, and engagement with industry, business, and government organizations.
  6. Provide a sufficient budget for internally-funding research grants for faculty, their professional development and performance enhancement. Also, improve the number and quality of externally-funded research grants.
  7. Recruit outstanding graduate students through scholarships and awards from internal as well as external sources.
  8. Enhance the quality of existing graduate programs and introduce new graduate programs reflecting global trends and catering to local and regional market needs.
  9. Encourage and support organization of research conferences and research competitions.
  10. Provide concrete incentives (financial and non-financial) for faculty members to conduct high-quality and high-impact research.
Sponsored Graduate Students

The Deanship of Graduate Studies and Research provides a tuition fee waiver and monthly stipend to two outstanding graduate students for each graduate program offered by Ajman University. These students, called Sponsored Graduate Students, also work as part-time research assistants. Financial support for their own research projects is also provided.

COLLEGE RESEARCH COMMITTEE (CRC)

A College Research Committee (CRC) has been formed in each college. Each College Dean is responsible for the composition of the CRC of her/his college. It shall have at least one member from each department in the college. The purpose of CRC is to take all necessary actions to promote research in the college 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. The CRC shall encourage and support all research activities in the college.

The CRCs shall be responsible for implementing the policies and procedures of the DGSR and CGSR in their respective colleges, evaluation of submitted research proposals, making recommendations to the DGSR to fund the selected research projects, and reviewing the progress and final reports of funded projects. The CRC, under the guidance of the College Dean, shall develop strategic research plan and policy for the college including the research objectives and KPIs. The CRC of each college is responsible for developing clearly formulated and measurable research criteria against which faculty members will be assessed.

Heads of CRCs

  • Dr. Mohammad Khoshnevisan       College of Business Administration
  • Dr. Sam Thomas    College of Dentistry
  • Dr. Mohd. Elmagzoub Eltahir    College of Education & Basic Sciences
  • Dr. Fadi Jaber    College of Engineering
  • Dr. Maha Abdulmageed Attia    College of Mass Communication and Humanities
  • Dr. Moyad Shehwan    College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Rao Bin Rais    College of Information Technology
  • Dr. Najlaa Flayyih     College of Law
RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE (REC)

A Research Ethics Committee (REC) has been formed under the DGSR to ensure that research work involving human or animal objects follows specified University guidelines. The guidelines and procedures developed by REC are in accordance with all applicable national and international standards. These policies and guidelines have been approved by AU’s Council for Academic Affairs (CfAA). The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research shall appoint the Head of REC with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA).

All research work conducted at AU that requires ethical approval of the research project must obtain a Certificate of Ethical Clearance (CEC) from the REC before initiating the project. This requirement is applicable to both funded and non-funded projects.

  • Dr. Elshaimaa Arafa (Chairperson)     College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Raghad Hashim    College of Dentistry
  • Dr. Shubi Thomas    College of Dentistry
  • Dr. Sanah Hasan    College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Mohammad Waseemul Islam    College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Suzan Mahmoud    College of Law
  • Dr. Afraa Salah    College of Dentistry
RESEARCH CONFERENCES COMMITTEE (RCC)

The main task of RCC is to review and make recommendations concerning participation of faculty members in academic conferences for the purpose of presenting a research paper. The role and functioning of the RCC shall be in accordance with the “Policy on Research Conferences”.

  • Dr. Kamran Arshad (Chairperson)    Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Prof. Zeinelabidin Rizk    Deputy Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
  • Dr. Rao Bin Rais    College of Information Technology
  • Dr. Sam Thomas    College of Dentistry
  • Dr. Mohammad Khoshnevisan    College of Business Administration
  • Dr. Moyad Shehwan    College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Dr. Maha Abdulmageed Attia    College of Mass Communication and Humanities

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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