The University of Liberia is pleased to announce that it has attracted a research grant of US$397,570.00 (Three Hundred and Ninety-Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy United States Dollars) from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDGF) to conduct research on “Climate Variability, Livelihood and Adaptive Capacities in Rural Liberia.”  The research grant is based on a joint proposal developed by two outstanding researchers from the University of Liberia, Dr. Lester Zomatic Tenny, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics and Dean of the A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration) and Dr. Moses Moroe Zinnah, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development and Vice President for Academic Affairs), in collaboration with a Liberian scholar, Dr. S. Annette Waterspoon, Dr. Phil., Assistant Professor of Development Sociology and International Social Work at the Fredensau Adventist University in Germany.

The research will address the following key research questions: What are the key agriculture-based livelihood activities? How is climate change affecting rural people’s livelihoods? How are people coping with these climatic variations to sustain livelihoods? What essential aspects of the social system need to be sustained (that cannot be systematically degraded) for people to meet their livelihood needs (Adaptive Capacity) in the face of exposure to climate threats and vulnerabilities? The study will adopt a multidisciplinary approach. It embraces a multi and mixed-method design of both qualitative and quantitative research strategies.

The duration of the research project is three (3) years. Over the period of the study, the three researchers will mentor and support the academic development of 5 Liberian students (4 Master students and 1 Ph.D. candidate).

In his inaugural speech on 28th November 2019 when he was inducted into office as the 15th President of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. promised to place emphasis on research and mandated his academic staff and students to get more involved in research. He noted that “research drives innovation”, and that many of the challenges we face today can be resolved through research. This research grant awarded to Assoc. Prof. Tenny and Prof. Zinnah is a giant step toward fulfilling the mandate of President Nelson.

This competitive international research grant will elevate and place the University of Liberia amongst top notch universities around the world in terms of research.