MSU – LUANAR INNOVATION SCHOLARS PROGRAMME

By | July 28, 2016

MSU – LUANAR INNOVATION SCHOLARS PROGRAMME

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Introduction

The Innovation Scholar Program (ISP), an innovative, 12-month faculty and administrator development program, will serve as a catalyst to advance the overarching objective of LUANAR’s Innovation Hub to support food system innovation that supports food security, and develop the current and next generation of entrepreneurial scientists in Malawi and the region. The program is modelled after Michigan State University’s (MSU)—a successful, field-tested faculty development program— targeted for innovation and contextual challenges. The core values include the following: participatory, learner-centered, contextualized, and evaluative. In the context of LUANAR, an administrator’s track has been added to the design of the program that is intended to develop the necessary enabling institutional environment. This addition allows for creation of a robust innovation culture.
The LUANAR Innovation Scholar Program has two tracks:

  • Faculty Track
  • Academic leadership Track

This document is the LUANAR Academic leadership Innovation Scholar application. The academic leadership track of the Innovation Scholars Program is intended to equip academic policy and decision makers with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to create and sustain a culture of innovation in the academic institutions that they manage.

Justification

The Innovation Scholars Program proposes to produce innovative scholars, which begs the question, what is scholarly innovation? Generally, innovation is the juxtaposition or remixing of old and new ideas to create a better process, product, service, or situation. Scholarly innovation, then, would be the juxtaposition or remixing of old and new academic methods, philosophies, personnel, and contexts to create better ways of teaching, learning, researching, and serving that result in better processes, products, services, or situations. Innovative scholarship differs from other research in that it is intentionally transformative, intending to address human need or advance human systems.
Innovative scholarship addresses national problems by creating breakthrough outputs in the form of new process and products that have measurable impact on human systems. These require certain knowledge, skills and attitudes. Innovative scholars need deep scientific understanding of their discipline but also a deep understanding of the innovation process and the context to which innovation will be applied.
Innovation scholars understand the process of human advance. They have a deep understanding of how ideas become catalysts for change. For that reason, innovation scholars must possess certain skills, such as the ability to map challenges in stakeholder contexts, excellence in research and communication, as well as the ability to move ideas into practical applications that can change systems, whether they be social, natural, or technological. These skills must be accompanied by an attitude that is creative, open-minded, collaborative, passionate, accommodative, motivated, and willing to take risks. In many academic circles these attributes must be cultivated. The Innovation Scholars Program is designed specifically to cultivate these attributes.
Finally because programs are only as effective as the institutions that house them, it is incumbent upon the program to pursue an institutional environment that will be supportive of and conducive to the intended goals of the program. For that reason, the programme includes an administrator’s track in order to lay the groundwork for developing an institutional culture that understands the importance of and supports innovation in research.
Noteworthy, the ISP links to LUANAR’s strategic plan and goals, which recognizes that competitiveness, prosperity and economic development in the 21stcentury will be based on technology, knowledge and innovation. Pillar 2 of the strategic plan describes how LUANAR can achieve this through research and outreach activities. The strategic plan further emphasizes the need to establish and support science and technology innovation centres of excellence; and the Innovation hub is an example of such centres. In addition, this programme comes at an opportune time when LUANAR is introducing a BSc in Agriculture Innovation Programme. It is envisaged that the knowledge gained through this programme can significantly contribute to enhancing the BSc in Agriculture Innovation Programme.

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Objectives

The objective of the LUANAR Innovation Scholars program is to equip LUANAR faculty and administrative personnel with the capacity to innovate through enhancement of the knowledge, skills, and qualities required to advance LUANAR towards their institutional Strategic Goals. Specifically, the FACULTY Scholar will be able to:

  • implement new and innovative processes for facilitating student learning
  • design, develop and conduct high quality innovative research that can address current food system challenges
  • improve engagement with the private and public sector
  • communicate the nature and importance of their scientific work to diverse audiences

Specifically, the ADMINISTRATOR Scholar will be able to:

  • understand the nature of innovation and the research around institutionally conducive practices for innovation
  • identify institutional barriers to innovation in teaching, research, and outreach
  • develop innovation research management knowledge and skills such as:
    • Planning, design and organization of agricultural innovation research
    • Human resource management and incentive structures to reward innovation research
    • Research-extension-farmer linkages
    • Public-private partnerships
    • Intellectual property management, technology transfer, and commercialization
  • develop recommendations to facilitate organizational change within LUANAR their specific sections toward an institutional culture of innovation
  • Develop an institutional plan for the sustainability of the innovation scholars program.

Eligibility for Application for Faculty

The following shall be the eligibility criteria for ISP faculty:

  • Full-time LUANAR faculty member
  • No less than 5 years before retirement
  • Applicants should have a Masters or PhD degree.
  • Ideally, applicants will be considered provided there is an assurance that the applicant will be available to complete the program within the stipulated period and be available to apply the learned knowledge and skills at least within a year following completion of the Scholarship.
  • Recommendation from the immediate supervisor (e.g. Head of Department or Dean)
See also  Helmut-Schmidt-Programmes (Masters Scholarship) 2018.

Required Application Materials for Faculty

As part of the application process, the applicant must submit the following materials:

  • Current curriculum vitae;
  • A signed application letter and completed application form
  • A statement (2 pg max) from the applicant that describes
    • Your understanding of food system innovation
    • The nature and feasibility of the proposed innovation in research, teaching, or outreach and potential contribution to Malawi food system
    • How the proposed innovative project will advance the mission and goals of their academic department
    • How you would benefit from participating in the program
    • Your availability to complete program requirements as described under eligibility, expectations, and communications.
  • A letter expressing strong support from the Head of Department (for faculty) OR the Dean of faculty (for HODs). The letter should affirm:
    • The candidate’s interest in Innovative Scholarship
    • The candidate’s strengths as an innovator in research, teaching, or outreach
    • The candidate’s ability to complete the program and how they would benefit from it.
    • The department will support the successful candidate with sufficient time and resources including consideration for work load to allow the candidate to engage fully and fulfil the required Scholarship responsibilities

    Eligibility for Application for Administrators

    The following shall be the eligibility criteria for ISP faculty:

    • By virtue of their office all administrators are eligible to apply; these include the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University Registrar, Assistant Registrars, Deans, Centre Directors, Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Finance.
    • Applicants should have a minimum of a BSc degree
    • Assurance that the candidate will be available to complete the programme within the stipulated period and be available to apply the learned knowledge and skills in their administrative position at least within a year following completion
    • Recommendation from the immediate supervisor (e.g. Head of Section, UR, DVC or VC)

    Required Application Materials for Administrators

    As part of the application process, the applicant must submit the following materials:

      • The applicant’s current curriculum vitae
      • A signed application letter and completed application form
      • A statement (2pg max) from the applicant that describes
        • Your understanding of food system innovation
        • The nature and feasibility of proposed institutional innovation that will increase support for innovative research, teaching, and outreach at LUANAR and its potential contribution to LUANAR strategic plan
        • How you would benefit from participating in the program
        • How the proposed innovative project will advance the mission and goals of the administrative section, be supported by the university management, and benefit LUANAR
        • Your availability to complete program requirements as described under eligibility, expectations, and communications.
      • A letter expressing strong support from your direct supervisor and the University Registrar. The letter should affirm:
        • The candidate’s interest in innovative planning, management, and leadership.
        • The candidate’s strengths as an innovative administrator
        • The candidate’s ability to complete the program and how they would benefit from it.
        • The administrative section will support the successful candidate with sufficient time and resources including consideration for work load to allow the candidate to engage fully and fulfill the required Scholarship responsibilities

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