Postgraduate students in the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sports (HPERS) have undergone a day’s seminar on the topic: “the postgraduate journey and how to write a winning proposal for research grant”.
The workshop, which took place on Tuesday, 16th March, 2021, at the National Sports College Conference Room and HPERS Library, sought to capacitate attendees to appreciate the elements to consider before, during, and after postgraduate education; share experiences on postgraduate education and; understand and write an acceptable project proposal.
The Head of HPERS Department, Dr. Ernest Yeboah Acheampong, divulged that “this workshop is part of our strategic or operational plan to take the MPhil Programme to a different dimension. Thus, we need to let our students have the feel of what they are going to face out there because this is to also expose them to several things. That is the rationale behind the postgraduate journey and how to write a winning proposal for research grant”.
Dr. Ernest Yeboah Acheampong
Dr. Acheampong indicated that Lecturers in the HPERS Department had been teaching the postgraduate students over the years but this is time to also add that aspect of the needed international experience to eradicate any doubts on what HPERS Lecturers had given the students and to complement what had been taught already.
“Having someone who has secured a grant of over 200,000 euros is quite encouraging and motivating. It is in the right direction to bring such a person right down from Norway to come and also support our students to have a feel of how to write a winning proposal. This is basically to help the students to understand that there is more ahead of them and that our Department is trying to expose them to most of the things we do here for the community as well as beyond Ghana. This will help them to see that they can have a real sense of belonging and then help them to get new knowledge that can also help them to chart their future careers,” he stated.
Dr. Acheampong expressed optimism in using the seminar to address many challenges students face when working on their thesis. “This may be the first of its kind in the Department where we have brought somebody from outside to help students know the real things out there as well as learn new things and then acquire new skills on writing a winning proposal. This can win them grants to be able to undertake projects to the benefit of the community.”
The facilitator, Dr. Michael Atakora, who is a Research Fellow at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and also an alumnus of HPERS, urged the students to create networks.
Dr. Michael Atakora
“I am here because of a network. You cannot just sit in your University and say that I am doing a postgraduate programme; I finish, I present my thesis and then that ends it. No! Take the opportunity, save money, travel to attend seminars, conferences and academic programmes connected to what you are researching into or connected to what you are doing and by so doing, you will meet a lot of people.
“I know there are a lot of challenges as postgraduate students but all these challenges are still fighting against us because there are certain questions we didn’t ask about ourselves before we entered into the postgraduate programme. There are questions before, questions during and questions after postgraduate.
“When you take a postgraduate programme, it should reflect in your current job that you are doing, that is if you are working. It should improve your communication, organisation, analysis and approach to issues but if you finish your postgraduate and you still talk like you are now beginning the University, then you just take the certificate all the time and admire it for the sake of upgrading. That, unfortunately, is the mentality of most students who take postgraduate programmes in Ghana, especially students that I have met,” he said.