AS UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) transitions into a research university as part of its Vision 2015, the university offers ample opportunities for research and innovation for its students and academic staff through collaborations with top-tier universities around the world.
According to a statement, UBD will showcase its research opportunities and scholarships for prospective students in the upcoming UBD Open Day 2015 on February 14-15 in an all-day event held at the Chancellor Hall.
The UBD Open Day will also showcase available undergraduate and postgraduate courses for individuals wishing to pursue higher education in UBD.
UBD’s research direction is defined by five research thrusts: biodiversity; energy; food security or agrotechnology; Asian Studies; and Islamic Banking and Finance. To foster optimal environment for quality research, the university offers scholarships for research, with state-of-the-art research facilities on campus and opportunities to collaborate with top international universities.
UBD offers scholarship funding for students wishing to undertake research in postgraduate studies. The postgraduate research may be undertaken in UBD, or study abroad under the supervision of a UBD lecturer. Two such prestigious research scholarships are the Chancellor’s Scholar Award and the Graduate Research Scholarship.
The Chancellor’s Scholar Award is a prestigious scholarship awarded annually by UBD to the country’s most gifted and talented youths with an interest and passion in pursuing a career in academia. The scholars will receive education at first class universities worldwide reading for either a Masters and/or Doctorate degree. Scholars of high calibre will be nurtured with personal development programmes, mentorship, as well as placements with academics at UBD and overseas institutions.
The Graduate Research Scholarship was introduced in 2010 to facilitate and promote research degrees and thus further develop the university into a research-intensive university, and also to expand and enhance the quality of graduate programmes and graduates. Since its commencement in 2010, the Graduate Research Scholarship (GRS) program continues to yield results with research works from the different Faculties and Schools of Universiti Brunei Darussalam being featured and published in various renowned academic forums.
A PhD Graduate Research Scholar, Jones Odei Mensah, from the School of Business and Economics (SBE) recently had his research published in the coveted, “Handbook of Asian Finance: REITs, Trading, and Fund, 2014”, which analyses financial markets and trends in wealth management.
UBD’s state-of-the-art facilities has attracted renowned university scholars from all over the world to collaborate on research at its state-of-the-art research facilities. One of UBD’s best known research centre is the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER).
IBER functions as the focal agency within UBD for the systematic organisation and enhancement of biodiversity and environmental knowledge through research, education and outreach programmes, with special emphasis on its Kuala Belalong Fields Study Centre (KBFSC) research facility in the heart of the pristine rainforest of Temburong District. IBER has hosted professors from its partner universities, including University of Bristol and Kagawa University, to conduct research in its rich and diverse study grounds. Last year, a KBFSC research on “Collaborative Energy Conservation in a Microgrid” won the Best Paper Award at the prestigious Buildsys 2014 Award in the United States.
UBD students have also built milestones through research in UBD recently, with their invention of the first hydrogen-powered car in Brunei dubbed “Nakhoda”. The clean energy powered car is due to compete in the Shell Eco-Marathon Competition in Manila, Philippines, after making through its preliminary rounds last year.
The award-winning UBD|IBM Centre has also become a technological hub for Regional Climate Modelling and Impacts on Rainforests, Renewable Energy, Crops & Flooding. The research centre was established in partnership with multinational technology and IT consulting corporation, International Business Machines (IBM). UBD | IBMCentre received international recognition for its energy research on “Algorithms for Upgrading the Resolution of Aggregate Energy Meter Data” through an award by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the largest educational and scientific computing society in the world.
UBD’s partnership with IBM Research has made Brunei the first nation in the world to have a national-scale high-resolution, integrated natural resources models, which can be accessed by ordinary people and workers via tablet and smart phone interfaces. The UBD|IBM partnership has allowed for great research opportunities for UBD academics and students to access all IBM labs. To support research, the Centre also boasts the first Blue Gene/P Supercomputer in the Asean region, installed in UBD and actively used by UBD | IBM Centre researchers.
To produce top quality research, UBD’s academic staff and students have enjoyed fruitful collaborations with leading experts in top-tiered universities around the world. As UBD partners with top universities in six continents, the university opens doors students to work, collaborate and learn from UBD’s global partners.
UBD researcher, Dr Gianluca Polgar from Faculty of Science, and his team of international researchers also recently published their study on the adaptation of mudskippers from water to land in a prestigious science journal Nature Communications. The journal ranked third in the subject category Multidisciplinary Sciences, with an impact factor of 10.742, according to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition.