Nura Umar Kura (PhD)

My R4i Experience: NURA UMAR KURA (PhD)

From Federal University Dutse

On the first day of R4i, my colleagues and I were teasing each other, wondering what could an Innov8 Hub programme teach a university professor for up to two weeks? On the plus side, at least we will go home with our DTA. But then we were in for a big surprise, changing the way I look at everything. For the first time in many years, I found myself speechless. In fact, by day three I had an out of body experience into the world of endless imaginations full of hope.

For one to understand the change and total shift paradigm I underwent, you need to step a little back and analyse the dark side I come from. In 2015, I left a lucrative job and came to Nigeria as an academic; then came COVID-19 and after it, multiple long and extended strikes that crippled the entire academic system of the country, rendering us depressed, wondering if we are in the right business. During this period, not less than twelve of my close friends left the country for greener pastures. Thus, this program came at a time when I was at the brink of losing all hope. From the last quarter of 2023 to January 2024, I had submitted more than a handful applications to various organisations and institutions outside the country to secure jobs. At the midst of that came this program, reprogramming my entire mindset and wondering how things could have been if only I was here before. If only I was here before my PhD, by now how many people would I have influenced? If only I was here right before the beginning of my academic career, I wonder how many innovations would have been in circulation; both local and worldwide? If only, I was here some five years back, my Post graduate and undergraduate students would have patented many life-changing researches.

The Research for Impact initiative did not only teach me how to be an innovator (from nursing an idea which originated from crazy thinking to a prototype, down to packaging and getting the right business partners) but it also changed the way I look at everything. Now, for every academic journal I open to read, all I see is Value-driven research, how many people would benefit from it? How much money would come out of this? The most important part of this programme is how it helped me to answer a very vital question in my life; WHO AM I? AND WHAT IS MY PURPOSE? Thanks to this program, my hopes and spirit are high. Thanks to this training, my mood has never been better, and I have no iota of doubt that there is no better place to be.

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