UM DEV2 Study Tour


UM Study Tour

27 – 28 March 2019

Asia – Europe Institute, University of Malaya
Institute of Research Management & Services (IPPP), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Building Social Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions in Lao PDR and Malaysia (BRECIL)

Executive Summary

Research Governance is the framework or process which comprises the standard and principles that apply to all research to protect the rights and safety of those involved ensuring the highest standard practice in research. It covers from scientific quality and standards of ethics to all related management aspects like the setting up, conduct, reporting and progression of research activities.

The UM study tour was conducted to provide an overview of research governance in the university. We shared the current research landscape in Malaysia, research facilitation in UM which includes upskilling and development of researchers, practices/ protocols and procedures in place, commercialization and translation of research. We envisaged that sharing sessions outlined in the program will facilitate the formulation, enhancement and incorporation of relevant elements of research governance at UM into the participants’ respective universities.

Session 1: Skills and Development of Researchers

This session provided information on the role and function of the Academic Enhancement and Leadership Development Centre (ADeC) as one stop centre dedicated to nurturing the holistic development and well-being of UM’s academic staff as transformational academic and institutional leaders in the Malaysian and global higher education spheres. Skills and development of researchers are carried out through training, conferences and symposium related to core activities of an academic throughout his/her career.

Session 2: Facilitating Researchers through Support Services

This session provided information on how Research Cluster provides platform in achieving research excellence for the betterment of the society. Roles of Research Cluster are as follows;

I. Strengthen niche and thrust areas
ii. Think tank for strategising research direction and policies.
iii. Foster impact-oriented interdisciplinary research
iv. Establish collaborative research with national and international academic institutions, public and private agencies, and industries.
v. Empower UM researchers in achieving research excellence

Session 3: Upskilling of Researchers

This session provided an insight on the research data management process and current practices, protocols and procedures in managing research projects, funding, processes and evaluation/monitoring activities in University of Malaya. Center of Research Grant Management (PPGP) is a one-stop centre for management of all research grant (from pre- award to post award) in UM. Meanwhile, Research Data Management Unit is responsible in ensuring the efficiency of research data collection and accessibility of the data. This is important for analysis of UM’s research achievement and reporting to respective assessment/ accreditation bodies in Malaysia. Further, this unit is also responsible for the regular maintenance and integration of various research systems in UM.

Session 4: Commercialization & Translation of Research

This session highlighted UM linkages with industries and communities. The University of Malaya Centre of Innovation and Commercialization (UMCIC) is UM’s Central Technology Transfer and Commercialization Unit. Its main function is the commercialization of UM innovations, services and technology resulting from research activities of the university while providing support and facilitation for both staff and students as well as industry and public stakeholders. The focus of UMCIC is on activities relating to intellectual property, innovation, technopreneurship, technology transfer, licensing, and business development for the university.

UM Community & Sustainability Centre (UMCares) signifies UM’s commitment to community engagement through research and expertise within the UM campus for possible solutions. Community engagement in UM helps the needs of target communities through skills development, alternative income opportunities, community spirit-building and sustainable options for day to day living.

Session 5: Opportunity: Promotion & Visibility

The Centre for Research Services play an important role in providing research support services e.g.; involved and organized exhibitions, assist in journal management, and provide central facilities, poster printing services and management of animal lab. The centre also provide training for editors (UM journal) and researchers (to increase their visibility).

Session 6: Visit Tour to Research Centre and Faculty of Languages and Linguistics

Delegates were given opportunity to visit Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC) and Faculty of Languages & Linguistics, University of Malaya. SWRC is one of the research centres that receives an endowment fund from industry partner (Employees Provident Fund (EPF) of Malaysia) to help formulate policies to promote better social security and improve old age financial protection. Visit to SWRC has given the opportunity to participants to learn about the management of a research centre at the university level as well its strategy to attract and strengthen industry partnerships and collaborations. Meanwhile, visit to Faculty of Languages & Linguistics provided information on the challenges faced by social science-based researchers at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics from the bottom-up perspectives

Outcome of the Study Tour

Participant’s Observation and Lesson Learned from the Study Tour

National University of Laos (NUOL)

The delegates got to learn about research impact, grant application process, monitoring system & commercialization activities in University of Malaya. The delegates recognised the importance of a good research grant management system and looked forward for further training and support from Partner Countries Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). NUOL plans to strengthen their research office by training relevant human resources in research management and development of IT system.

Souphanouvong University (SU)

Through the knowledge gained from the study tour, SU has identified issues and gaps pertaining to research governance in their institutions. The issues are as follows;

I. Structure of research office - no policy on the research management centre and research excellence centre.
ii. Lack of research experience
Iii. Poor IT system
iv. Lack of funding

It is hope with the involvement of Assoc. Prof. Vixay Chansavang, President of Souphanouvong University in the study tour, things that have been learned could be translated into practice in SU. In future, SU hopes to further learn on research ethic and the relevant standard from the Partner Countries Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)

Associate Professor Dr. Hariharan commented, in general UM have a good research governance system based on the following;

i. Good initiative towards research eg: top-down initiative
ii. Collaboration with other cooperation, companies & NGOs
iii. Focusing on impact and solid output. Measure effectiveness of the research
iv. Commercialization: working in tandem with successful companies
v. The blueprint and planning for research is being implemented.

University of Gothenburg

Dr. Nataliya Berbyuk- Lindström commented that in general, UM have various system, policy and facilities in placed to support research.

University of Groningen (GRON)

Prof. Dr. Jan Folkert Deinum commented that visit was very useful and he got better understanding of the context of research at University of Malaya. He further explained there are two main remarks about research governance at UM;

i. Too focus on quantitative results. It is necessary and relevant to have international peer reviewed audits per research domain, to discuss with international peers the quality of the research and how the research could be improved.
ii. Through the report and presentations, it showed that in UM research governance seems to be seen as a top down organisational issue.
In the upcoming study tour in GRON, they will portray the example from the bottom up level - How researchers are supported to do their research through good governance.


This study tour was indeed a stepping stone for Partner Countries Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in developing and enhancing research governance at their respective institutions. In addition, the discussion session has also provided positive input to further enhance research governance at University of Malaya. We hope the tour series also serves as a medium for leading European Universities to plan for the upcoming study tour at University of Groningen.

Appendix 1: List of Participants

University of Groningen

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Prof. Dr, Ronald Holzhacker Coordinator Faculty of Spatial Science, University of Groningen, Netherlands Project Coordinator, (GRON) & Program Leader DEV2
2 Dr. Jan Folkert Deinum Senior Educational Advisor and Researcher at the University of Groningen Project member, DEV2

University of Gothenburg

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Dr. Nataliya Berbyuk-Lindström Assistant Prof. at the Department of Applied Information Technology Project member

Souphanouvong University (SU)

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Assoc. Prof. Vixay Chansavang President Project Manager
2 Ms. Bounthieng Vongsouangtham Deputy Director Office of International Relations Project Coordinator (SU)
3 Dr. Soulideth Keoboualaphet Dean, Faculty of Languages Consultant of TOT
4 Mr. Thongkham Hungsavath Director Office of International Relations TOT
5 Ms. Somchay Makesavanh Head, Foreign Expert-Volunteer & Student Management Division TOT
6 Dr. Bounmy Keohavong Director Office of Research & Academic Service Office Consultant of Research Governance
7 Mr. Vikate Phannalath Head, QA Unit Research Governance
8 Ms. Sisouly Phommaseng Head, Research DIvision Research Governance

National University of Laos (NUOL)

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Dr. Latsanyphone Soulignavong Acting Director of the Academic Division Project Coordinator (NUOL)
2 Dr. Sithixay Xayavong Acting Director of Research Office Committee member
3 Mr. Khamphanh Sithavong Deputy Director of IT Center IT Team
4 Mr. Sousavanh Anoxay Deputy Director of Research Division Research Governance Team
5 Mr. Bouageune Souvannasy Postgraduate Division Research Governance Team
6 Mr. Sisaath Kaopaseuth Acting Deputy Director of Academic Division Research Governance Team
7 Mr. Onsee Khamphouvong Post graduate and Research Unit TOT Team
8 Ms. Manivone Phongsa Post graduate and Research Unit Finance

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hariharan N Krishnasamy Assoc. Prof., School of Languages, Civilization & Philosophy (SLCP) Project Coordinator, UUM
2 Project Coordinator, UUM Assistant Vice Chancellor, UUM College of Arts and Sciences (UUM CAS) Project member
3 Professor Dr. Huda Haji Ibrahim Director, Academy of Golf National (AGN) Project member

University of Malaya

NoNamePositionProject Position
1 Prof Dr. Azirah Hashim Executive-Director, Asia-Europe Institute & Director Centre for ASEAN Regionalism, University of Malaya Principal Coordinator, BRECIL
2 Mr. Yee Chee Leong Project Manager, BRECIL Project Manager, BRECIL
3 Prof. Dr. Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim Dean, Health & Well-Being Research Cluster Lead, DEV2
4 Dr. David Yoong Soon Chye Deputy Dean (Research & Development), Faculty of Languages & Linguistic Project member, DEV2
5 Chang Lee Wei Research Officer, Centre for Research Services (PPP) Project member, DEV2
6 Ms. Nuratiqah Mohamad Norpi Research Officer, Research Cluster Office Project member, DEV2
7 Marsha Prema Priya Research Assistant, Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) Finance officer, Project member, DEV2
8 Zahadin Omar Research Assistant, Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) Project member, DEV2
9 Xia Menghu Research Assistant, Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) Project member