Islamabad: There is a grave need for moving away from the metrics that emphasize on the quantity of research papers produced towards the weight of one quality paper, which either solves or contributes meaningfully to solving a problem, being far better than the weight of dozens of papers which do not develop a body of knowledge.

This was stated by Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Tariq Banuri while expressing his views as a keynote speaker of a national conference entitled, “Meeting of the Minds” organized by the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) on the premises of the National Institute for Finance and Banking (NIBAF).

The conference, held under the leadership of Rector, Prof. Shaheen Sardar Ali, brought together early career researchers/academics who have undergone training at NAHE under the National Faculty Development Program (NFDP) and placed at HEIs through the IPFP fellowship.

These IPFP Fellows received a Start-Up Research Grant (SRGP) for a research project at the institution of placement of up to one million rupees. Upon completion of the project, NAHE encouraged them to reflect their research findings in a poster and provided them training on poster making, which was offered by Dr Rahman Shah Zaib Saleem from LUMS. Panel members (senior academics) from HEIs in the country evaluated these posters and received a three-minute presentation by IPFP Fellows explaining their research and poster after which authors of the five top-ranked posters were announced.

A total of 65 IPFP fellows submitted their posters for evaluation. A conference book containing the posters will be published as well and it will contribute towards the dissemination of this work not only among the limited NAHE Fellows but also to a wider audience in the higher education sector.

In his speech titled “Academic Rigging,” Chairman HEC strongly encouraged the faculty members and IPFP fellows to study the literature and stay up-to-date with knowledge and transfer it to the students effectively.

Addressing the conference, Executive Director HEC Dr Shaista Sohail stressed the need for promoting research that contributes to strengthening the economy of Pakistan by building high-quality exportable products. She thanked all the panellists and congratulated the best five presenters.

This was the first time in the history of HEC that a research conference was held to follow up with grant awardees, wherein well-reputed academics from across the country evaluated the output produced as a result of HEC-funded research. As many as 21 panellists shared their valuable feedback to the IPFP fellows.

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