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Championing Research through MyRA
Developed in 2006 and introduced in 2009 by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Malaysia Research Assessment (MyRA) is a comprehensive system designed to assess all local higher education institutions’ (HEIs) research capacity and performance. MyRA measures excellence by assessing the distance between one HEI from the profile (benchmark) that is defined as ‘excellent’ for a research university in our country. MyRA’s first objective was to meet the Malaysian Research University (MRU) plan and identify five universities in Malaysia deserving of the MRU status.
The critical areas of measurement in MyRA comprise several sections, with each section carrying marks. The breakdown of marks are as follows:
- General information, quantity and quality of researchers: 22,
- Quantity and quality of research: 30
- Number of postgraduate learners: 15,
- Innovations and intellectual property: 10,
- Professional services and gifts: 7,
- Networking and linkages: 13, and
- Services: 3.
Funding, principal investigator or research project leader and publications are some of the main performance indicators in MyRA.
The benchmark for each indicator was initially set using case analysis for world-class research universities. Benchmarks are determined based on figures that can be achieved over five years and drive towards research excellence in national HEIs. MOE expects all academic staff serving locally to have outputs, activities, and markers of esteem. The Ministry has especially high expectations for senior staff with professor or associate professor status.
Every year, all universities are required to attempt MyRA self-assessment using the web-based system that takes input data of each criterion and computes the marks obtained, which shows the RU qualification indicator. The MyRA assessment is based on three key aspects: input, process, and output.
At OUM, the Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) manages and organises data collection and self-audit for this purpose. The annual MyRA process starts with collecting the required data and evidence in January and February. CRI currently compiles all submitted data and supporting evidence for verification processes. All verified data will be keyed into the e-MyRA system for implementation of the internal audit session. CRI then submits the verified self-assessment summary report, internal audit report, the master list, and evidence for all sections to complete the assessment processes. This year, all documents are due for submission to the Department of Higher Education by 29 April.
2021 Best Research Project and Best Principal Investigator
OUM is honouring the best internally funded research project that has achieved the highest level of progress and delivered significant performance outcomes over the past 12 months. The awards are intended to serve as an incentive for researchers to focus on producing quality research outcomes and innovative ideas, as well as establishing future research directions, collaboration and timely completion in the execution of research projects. The awards are based on CRI recommendations of the most meritorious research project completed in the year assessed.
For 2021, the award for the Best Research Project goes to the project on “Sustainability in ODL Education: Canvassing the Right Market Segmentation and Effective Advertising Strategy for OUM”.
Completed within the approved time in June 2021, this project was led by principal investigator (PI) Dr Mohd Nazri Mohd Noor. His team members included Yanty Roslinda Harun, Zulaika Zakariah, Assoc Prof Dr Norsiah Aminudin, and Azlina Abdul Aziz. The Best Principal Investigator award was then given to Dr Mohd Nazri for his leadership role in the project. The research outputs included ODL advertising and segmentation model, four publications, and two postgraduate learners. Further, every member of the research project will receive a congratulatory notification and token for their achievement.
Projects are given points based on their novelty and impact factor of the research conducted. The criteria for the award are based on these primary factors: quality of the progress report, quality of the final report, quality of the project outcomes, contribution in establishing future research directions, contribution in fostering research collaboration, and application of the project’s output. CRI shortlists a final awardees list and subsequently awards grade points based on the evaluation report.
Congratulations to all the winners for their outstanding contribution to the research project and OUM!
By Aisyah Nik Yahya, Centre for Research and Innovation