Staff of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) have paid a visit to the University of Sheffield (UoS), UK on an Erasmus+ staff mobility programme. The ORID team comprised Research Development Officers, Assistant Registrar, Accounting and research support staff from the Pre and Post Award unit. The visit took place from 14th – 18th November 2022.


The Erasmus+ mobility programme is funded by the European Union (EU) and is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Ghana spanning a duration of 3 years i.e 1st August 2020 – 31st July 2023. The staff mobility component of the programme aims to enable the development of shared understanding and directly support professional development and capacity building at ORID.


Opportunities for professional administrative staff to visit and interact with counterparts in partner institutions have been valuable for harnessing research networks, and for knowledge exchange. This recent visit follows a visit by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, (RID) Professor Felix A. Asante in October 2022 where he met with his counterpart, Professor Sue Hartley who leads UoS’s Research Excellence Framework, research income and impact, innovation, and commercialization.


The visits take place at an important time, when the Universities of Ghana and Sheffield are collaborating on research across a range of disciplines, including Public Health and Biomedical Science.


The ORID team was hosted by the Research Services (RS) unit, which supports UoS’s research agenda. The unit has a strong focus on Researcher Development, and actively promotes career progression of doctoral and post-doctoral candidates.


Central to their researcher development agenda is the concept to “Provide Power to People”, with active support to the University Research Staff Association where ideas originate in a diverse and inclusive environment. A significant component of the support provided is centered on wellbeing, with targeted assistance to care for the health and general wellbeing of researchers.


The programme for the visit entailed a series of presentations and interactive discussions on improving the quality of research grant applications to ensure competitive advantage. Other presentations covered the UoS approach to research ethics, contracts and assessing the impact of research. In respect of commercialization, UoS’s engagement with industry is significant; and on the basis of research outcomes, viable commercial partnerships have been established, resulting in significant gains accruing to UoS.

A tour of historic and modern buildings on campus included a church converted to lecture halls and the Engineering Faculty where industrial labs formed the blueprint for industry partnerships. The team observed

makerspaces and technology hubs with artificial intelligence and robotics tools being developed. A vibrant student union building serves as a multifunctional space for studying and networking.


On the last day of the visit, the team toured the traditional English village of Bakewell, where the famous Bakewell tart originates. The road trip to Bakewell was across the countryside, with vast tracks of agricultural fields. The productive use of land and associated benefits for the environment was evident.


The visit achieved much more than was expected, and insights from Sheffield will be useful for ORID, in supporting UG’s research objectives.


The team is grateful to the University of Sheffield, and the European Union for the opportunity to learn and share knowledge in fulfillment of the objectives of the Erasmus+ mobility programme.

                                                                                                                                     Firth Hall, University of Sheffield