IN A BID to improve research output, the Office for Research and Development will be reopened as a separate entity from Academic Affairs next semester, the Rector has announced.

“The unit will be responsible for the effective planning and implementation of research and development policies and programs of the University,” Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said in his keynote speech during the biennial Research Recognition Awards last Aug. 29 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

Dagohoy said the move would encourage “a dynamic research environment among faculty members [and] provide more opportunities for publication and paper presentations here and abroad.”

“[It will provide] the necessary direction to researchers [in] tracking down their progress, making follow-ups, assessing their needs, and supervising the activities of the research units of the University,” he said.

The office was previously headed by Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III before it was merged with the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs in 2010.

Clarita Carillo, vice rector for academic affairs and research, said the goal of UST is to become a “research-oriented university.”

“[Research productivity] is already the yardstick by which we measure the universities not only in the Philippines,” Carillo told the Varsitarian. “This is actually an international standard.”

She said time and mindset were two factors that caused low research productivity in UST in the past years.

“For researchers, [their work] is constantly doing readings and preparing for scientific forums,” Carillo said. “There are some who are not ready to do that.”

Carillo recalled the speech of the former rector, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., last March, in which he chided faculty members for failing to live up to the “publish or perish” rule.

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“Very few of our faculty members publish anything,” De la Rosa said in his address. “In fact, I deplore the lack of initiative among our faculty to write commentaries in newspapers that often unfairly criticize the University.”

The administration now allows the conversion of at least 12 units of teaching load into a research load, to entice faculty members to do research. The regular 24-unit load of a faculty member will now be divided into 12 units for teaching and 12 units for research, Carillo said.

Faculty members who obtain external funding for research will be granted more than 12 units for research, depending on the magnitude of the project.

“We want to [produce output] so that next time, [funding agencies] will again grant us funding for more projects,” Carillo said.

Last month’s Research Recognition Awards covered research published in international publications from 2008 to 2010, as well as those that got awards from different institutions. Cez Mariela Teresa G. Verzosa

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