A US-funded ‘biostatistical consulting centre’ which will help improve the quality of research papers by Pakistani scientists and students was inaugurated at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) on Saturday.
Addressing a ceremony at the UVAS syndicate room marking the end of a three-week research camp, US Consulate General Economics Officer Frank P Talluto said that the US government was helping Pakistan improve its education capacity through a science and technology cooperation programme. He said the US government had allocated $350,000 for research projects in Pakistan this year.
Talluto said that that the programme would help strengthen academic and institutional linkages between the two countries. He urged the participants to come up with ideas for new research projects that the two countries could work on together.
“The United States takes pride in funding efforts like the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences’ biostatistical consulting lab and research camp, as we recognise that analytical research combined with cutting edge technology will bear fruit in today’s globalised world. Making these investments in human capital will lead to new and innovative solutions for the future challenges we face,” said Talluto, according to a press release from the US Consulate General in Lahore.
The biostatistical consulting centre is equipped with 20 computers and state of the art data analysis software to develop research plans, analyse data, and draft manuscripts for publication, said the press release. More than half of the research camp participants are expected to submit first drafts of their research papers for publication shortly after the programme, it added.
The science and technology cooperation programme spans over 40 US universities and institutions with about 40 public and private science and technology institutions in Pakistan. The US and Pakistan have jointly contributed over $30 million to science and technology cooperation since 2005, said the US Consulate General.
Dr Hafeez Anwar Ahmad of Jackson State University, who led the three-week research camp, said that they had discussed experimental designs, data collection and analysis methodologies, statistical software training, results interpretation, manuscript development and grant writing. He said that seven research papers had been prepared for publication in international journals. He said the objective of the project was to train faculty members as well as PhD students to apply statistical methodologies to their research. Dr Ahmad is also identifying researchers and graduate students for further US-funded training at JSU.
UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof Talat Naseer Pasha said that the project would help young researchers overcome statistical deficiencies in interpretation of research results.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.