History of Kathmandu University Research, Development and Consultancy:
Prof. Inge Johansen, President- NTNU, Trondheim, Norway in his letter to the Vice Chancellor Prof. Suresh Raj Sharma of Kathmandu University on 20/06/1996 wrote:
“KU is now in a situation of rapid development where more and more functions have to be taken care of. It concerns the problems that belong to several of the Schools and can therefore not be put under any of the Dean’s responsibilities. There is also so many details and routines in them that it is not wise to use the capacity of the Vice Chancellor or the Registrar on running them directly”
Prof. Johansen was closely observing the R & D at Kathmandu University besides supporting Kathmandu University from infrastructure development to capacity building of its faculty members, especially in the field of Engineering.
On the other hand, highly professional faculty members at the School of Management offering MBA programme already started demanding incentives for the consultancy work.
Kathmandu University, School of Management (KUSOM) decided on the remuneration policy for faculty members involved in consultancies at its school as per the meeting held on 16 August 1993 based on following three principles:
- Certain percentage of the remuneration of faculty members and staff’s involved in RDC activities during the office hours should be paid to KU.
- Minimum workload of faculty members working at the school should be defined.
- RDC work should not in any way affect the minimum load assigned to faculty members as defined above in academic programme of the school.
A meeting of Executive Council was held on 1 September 1994 with focus on the purpose, process and methods for promoting RDC at KU. Terms and conditions for obtaining fees in consultancy services were worked out.
Dr. Inge Johansen on 20th June 1996 over a meeting held in Dhulikhel proposed the need of a new administrative and development unit at KU with the name the Research Development and Consultancy Unit.
- The Research Development and Consultancy Unit (RDC-U) was established at KU in the year 1997 to promote RDC activities among the faculty.
- The activities to be promoted included internally funded research by KU faculty members as well as externally funded RDC activities.
- A handbook was developed by Dr. Paul Drinkwater, visiting faculty from Australia at KU, in the year 1997.
After almost 7 years, on 30th September 2001 an Advisory Group to the RDC-Unit was established with Dr. Torger Lode as Chairman. On 20th June 2003 (2060/3/6 BS) RDC unit was officially converted into RDC Committee with the sole maxim of promoting research in each School of Kathmandu University. An Advisory Group to the RDC-U was established with Dr. Torger Lode as Chairman as follows:
- Professor Torger Lode, RDC-U Chairman
- Prof. Dinesh Prasad Chapagain, SOM
- Mr. Suresh Bhakta Shrestha, SOE
- Mr. B.R. Kandel, N.T.C,
- Associate Professor Subodh Sharma, SOS Member Secretary
- Dr. Sharad Onta, KUMS.
The work group had specific recommendations regarding the role of the RDC Unit submitted to the Chief Administrative Officer.
The RDC Committee Office, after Dr. Torger was headed as Chairman by Prof. Dr. Sitaram Adhikary and as a Member Secretary by Dr. Subodh Sharma, appointed for a period from June 2003 to August 2005 and the Deans of Six School of Kathmandu University were the members of the Committee. Arati Raymajhi KC was appointed as Secretary to the Member Secretary.
Seven Research Challenges and Opportunities were identified for Kathmandu University over a meeting of the RDC-U as follows:
- Not a single application submitted for funding till autumn 2001. However, some initiation in pushing this has been taken by Dr. Subodh Sharma, stated Chairman of RDC-U in the year 2001. He added, now further initiation should be explored since faculties are being activated through other activities.
- Faculty members at the Dhulikhel campus are consistently proposing and securing externally funded R&D projects. An improved process in obtaining and execution of such projects should be recommended.
- Some faculty and many students are involved in consultancy services without ethical conduct of research activity. Some rules must be worked out, which gives some income for KU from faculty/students consulting activities as well as an incentive for the individual faculty member.
Donors expect organizations like KU to actively approach them with pertinent proposals. An improved process for working with donors should be recommended.
- The quality of research performed by KU students for thesis is not meeting the basic requirements and standards. There is a need to develop a process, which will ensure satisfactory quality of the projects where students are directly involved.
- Many organisations/individuals are approaching KU for Master by research and Doctoral studies. A need is felt to form an Advisory group of experts in Nepal in consultation with relevant organisations (such as NARC) as core faculty for promoting Masters and Ph. D. by research at KU.
- KU has no Research Development and Consultancy Management Policy Document. KU – RDC Management Policy document with Policy Statement, Objectives, Remuneration Guidelines, Administrative Procedure, Consultancy and Research Costing Model and Costing of space provided by the university should be immediately produced.
A Research, Development and Consultancy Management- Policy Document and Guidelines of Kathmandu University Nepal was finalized by the Research, Development, and Consultancy Committee Secretariat Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre in 2006, following discussion at the Policy Coordination Committee (PCC) on 17th May 2006, and submitted officially for approval to the Executive Council Meeting on dated the 4th August 2006 addressed to the Chairman, RDC.
Following professionals contributed in preparing this report:
- Suresh Raj Sharma, Vice Chancellor
- Sitaram Adhikary, Registrar
- Bhadra Man Tuladhar, Dean School of Arts
- Kedar Nath Shrestha, Dean School of Education
- Bhola Thapa, Acting Dean School of Engineering
- Subash KC, Dean School of Management
- N. B. Rana, Dean KUMS
- Pushpa Raj Adhikary, Dean School of Science
- Mukunda Prasad Uadhaya, Chief Management Services Division
The Policy Document was compiled and edited by: Dr. Subodh Sharma, Member Secretary RDC and Arati Raymajhi KC, Office Secretary RDC , with Special acknowledgement to: Roald Skoelv, Oslo University College, Norway.
Where do we stand now?
Nine years later, RDC was renamed as Office of the Research Development and Consultancy with a Director, Manager and a Finance Officer. Director was nominated through a decision of Executive Council and Professor Subodh Sharma was appointed in this position. Mr Biraj Pradhan was appointed as Manager-RDC and Ms Sarina Shrestha was internally transferred to the Office of RDC as Finance Officer- Projects.
ERC: Ethical Review Committee: Proposed
Chairman: Registrar, Kathmandu University
Member Secretary: Director, RDC/KU
- One legal expert
- One representative of non-governmental voluntary agency
- One representative from NHRC (Nepal Health Research Council)
- One person from the community
- One representative from government
RDC-C: Research Development and Consultancy Committee: Proposed
Chairman- Director, RDI
Member Secretary- Manager, RDI
Member 1: Chief Administrative Officer, KU
Member 1: Physical Facilities Manager, KU
Member 1: Human Resource, Manager, KU
Member 1: Principal Investigators of any two externally funded projects
Member 1: Director of a research/training centers at KU