CMS organises academic retreat for PhD/Mphil graduates 

By Patience Gbeze, GNA 

Aburi (E/R), April 4, GNA – The Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), University of Ghana, Legon has organised an academic retreat for nine PhD and MPhil students to sharpen their skills in academic writing. 

The four-day academic retreat is in collaboration with the Resilience Against Climate Change-Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy (REACH-STR) Project, funded by the European Union and being implemented through International Water Management Institute (IWMI).  

The project is to support the government’s efforts in addressing climate vulnerability and social transformation issues affecting the Northern sector of the country through research and policy interventions. 

Professor Mary Boatemaa Setrana, the Director of CMS, said the aim of the retreat was to build capacity of the students in writing academically. 

“Some of the students are writing their thesis while others too are writing manuscripts from their thesis. So, we come together to train them on how to turn their thesis into publishable articles or into blogs or policy briefs to speak to wider context,” she added. 

She, therefore, urged the students to make maximum use of the opportunity to enable them to complete their work on time. 

Dr Charity Osei-Amponsah, the REACH-STR Project Coordinator at IWMI, said the project was looking at climate vulnerability challenges in North East, Upper West and the Savannah regions of Ghana. 

She said the northern sector was targeted because of the persistent challenges of climate change and vulnerability, low soil and draughts, leading to over depend on rain fell agriculture as livelihoods. 

“There are lots of socio-cultural and economic issues, including high households, poverty, one season for rainfall agriculture, climate vulnerability, which need urgent interventions at all levels”. 

Dr Osei-Amponsah noted that the EU’s support was to assist students to understand the issues on the ground and help provide interventions in those areas. 

“Focus on the future, using technological transformation, especially in the agricultural sector – what is changing and how will you plan- integrate all your findings into policy briefs to inform government’s intervention. 

“You can have blogs or journal articles and have clear idea that you want to push and make follow ups to see how you are doing,” she added. 

She announced that the project, which began in 2019, would come to an end on January 31, 2025, and emphasised the need for the students to push the agenda to finish their work by December this year at the latest. 

Dr Edward Asiedu, Development Economist/Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana Business School, said:  ”Writing a paper is an art and a learning curve, which demands dedication to reading a lot of books”. 

“Every topic you pick, there are very big people to cite,” he said and advised the students to structure their topics and writing from the beginning to make writing easier. 

Dr Asiedu noted that reviews would make them relevant in the market and urged them to take time off to enable them do quality work to make the University and the CMS proud. 

Dr Frank Ayisi, a Migration Expert, took the students through interactive presentation on academic writing and Peer Reviewed Articles. 

He also encouraged them to be persistent in whatever they do and learn to overcome problems as soon as possible to enable them to concentrate on their work. 

“Put in enough efforts to succeed at the end because people will only focus on your end results,” he said. 

Mr Emmanuel Yakass, an MPhil student, was grateful to the REACH-STR project and the Centre for choosing them to participate in. 

He pledged their resolve to do their part to justify their inclusion and help achieve the project’s common goals.