UENR Organises Workshop on Mentoring and the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Planner for Staff

The University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani has organized a workshop on Mentoring and the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Planner for Staff. The Workshop was attended by a hundred and twenty (120) staff made of up Senior Members (Teaching and Administrative), Senior Staff and some Research Assistants. The workshop was organized by the Quality Assurance and Planning Unit under the auspice of the Office of the Pro Vice-chancellor as part of the Institutional Strengthening Programme (ISP) of the University. The workshop was funded by the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) Implementation Fund.

The main objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of young researchers and lecturers in planning and executing their research towards career progression. Specifically, the workshop introduced to the participants the concept of mentoring and how its relevance to career development. Furthermore, it also introduced participants to the RDF Planner- an important career management tool for researchers and administrators.

Mentoring of Early Career Researchers and Professionals

Speaking at the workshop, Professor Daniel Obeng-Ofori (Vice Chancellor, Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre) told the participants that for effective management and productivity of institutions, it is necessary for young researchers and professionals to be properly mentored by experienced staff. Professor Obeng-Ofori stressed that mentoring is key to both institutional and individual career development. He implored that UENR implemented its mentoring policy so that early career staff could be mentored adequately to become successful in their professions. Participants were given copies of UENR’s mentoring policy and the RDF Planner to serve as reference materials.

The RDF Planner and Career Development

Dr. Simon Abugre (Senior Lecturer, Dean of the School of Natural Resources and ISP Coordinator) took the participants through the important roles of the RDF Planner to young researchers and professionals. He emphasized the need for career management among young researchers/professional. He indicated that for young researchers to progress in their careers, it is important that they apply the four (4) main domains of the RDF Planner namely: (1) Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities; (2) Personal Effectiveness (3) Research Governance and Organization and (4) Engagement, Influence and Impact as well as the sub-domain and the descriptors. He encouraged the participants to reflect on their weaknesses and work towards improving them using the RDF planner.

Outlining the importance of the RDF Planner and how to operationalize the subdomains and descriptors , Dr. (Mrs) Mercy Afua Derkyi (Lecturer, Acting Head, Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies, 3CGS and RDF Coordinator) told participants that the RDF Planner is necessary for guiding researchers and professionals in their research activities and encouraged them to be more productive. She charged participants to always try to translate the various domains, subdomains, and descriptors into a yearly action plan. This, she said, will help them track progress in achieving set targets.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor and CIRCLE Champion, Professor Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong encouraged participants to strive to build their capacities as researchers and professionals. He shared his mentoring experiences and how he was well prepared to grow up as a researcher through formal and informal mentoring from experienced researchers. He indicated that the capacity building workshop series is going to be sustained to offer staff the platform to build their capacity.