RESQ-COVID-19: UUM’S COMMITMENT TO ASSISTING THE GOVERNMENT IN CONFRONTING THE PANDEMIC

VC resQUUM ONLINE: The offering of the Covid-19 Pandemic Research Funding (ResQ-COVID-19) grant to the academics proves Universiti Utara Malaysia's (UUM) commitment to helping the community and nation in confronting the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato' Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani said the grant offered was one of its kind as UUM would like to convey to the nation its commitment of assisting the government particularly in addressing the issues of unemployment and food security during the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to him, the research produced by these selected researchers was not solely to meet the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the fellow academics and that of the university, but rather as contribution to the community in the form of applied research.

"I do not want the researchers of this university to overlook the community. They need to make sure that the studies done are aimed at developing the community and the country.

"Collaborate with the industry to make it easier to obtain research grants, as such devise ways to ensure that the research done is of value and would attract the industry and in one fell swoop help raise the UUM brand," he said at the Presentation of the COVID-19 Pandemic Research Grant (ResQ -COVID-19).

Six researchers were selected to receive the ResQ-COVID-19 grant amounting MYR110,800. Presentation of the grant was officiated by the Vice-Chancellor at the Senate Room.

The Vice-Chancellor expressed his confidence that UUM researchers could still be innovative and produce high quality research studies even though some were still working from home.

The Vice-Chancellor also expressed hope that UUM academics in particular would be able to provide applied and practical inputs to help the Government and the Kedah state government to develop Malaysia post-COVID-19.

He said UUM became the first university to offer the research grant at the time when Movement Control Order (CPP) was implemented beginning 18 March.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Research and Innovation Management Centre (RIMC), Prof. Dr. Nor Aziah Abd Manaf said the outbreak of COVID-19 had affected many sectors including the economic and social sectors.

According to her, RIMC received in total 45 proposals, but only six showed the potential to help through applied research on the means to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

The six researchers who successfully obtained the ResQ-COVID-19 grant were Dr. Risyawati Mohamed Ismail of STML; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shahrul Azmi b Mohd. Yusof and Mdm. Nor Farzana Abd Ghani from the School of Computing; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rozita Abdul Mutalib and Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Azlizan Talib from School of Government and Mr. Muhammad Ridhuan Bos Abdullah of School of Economics, Finance and Banking.