The long overdue research grant

Yesterday the list of UiTM’s internal research grant recipients was finally announced. This grant is the last hope if you can get a grant at all. In academic circle in Malaysia there are so many grants available (so I keep hearing !) to fund your research. So many avenues ( so I was told) to get support for your research to get off the ground. There are funds from e-science, FRGS, sime darby, felda, mohe, pnb, akept, RU grant(for research university) and the list goes on. Of course there are so many, but none is for me. There is always something not up to standards, out of our priority areas or too many applications and yours will be KIVed. That kind of shit that really makes me want to forget about it all. This particular research took more than three years to get the fund; and you are talking about easy money. Funding a research agenda is the last item on the list of any organization; even in the academic institution, ok maybe not directly chop off your guts but they will come out with all sort of choosing criteria to pick the one isn’t yours. The exercise is even more true during the economic crisis when the budget is heavily compromised.

I presented the same research for an FRGS boss from UKM some time ago. He finally came to evaluate my proposal after so many years. So you know when the materials are so old you kinda forget the details. I was blasted for that and for so many errors in the proposal. OK I admitted the mistakes but you know the whole experience made me sick to the stomach. The fact that you were like having to sell an old tattered sweater with holes everywhere for a price was unimaginable. Never mind that, I should learn from my mistakes. Having failed to impress that prof, I went for this last resort saviour called Dana Kecemerlangan UiTM (UiTM Fund For Excellence ). This fund is supported internally by UiTM staff—all staff contribute some portion of their salary to the fund every month. I feel so guilty for taking it ; like borrowing money from your poor colleague. The fund is meant for small budget research but it also include for some poor guy who could not get it somewhere else like me. But I am very grateful; I feel like UiTm is even more closer to my heart than I could possibly imagine.
I started with UiTM some 19 years ago (but I feel like it was yesterday!). At that time it was still ITM (an institute without a university status) and sadly was regarded as the second class place of study! ….everybody wanted to go to a university and not an institute like ITM. But for me from the start I felt so proud being with ITM. I was there during my pre-university workshop and regarded the life and living in ITM as so happening! So after I finished my masters degree I chose to be back here; and have been with UiTM ever since. There were some frustrations and deep disappointment here and there but I persevered and waded through the high tide until today. I was denied some things but being given the others; so plus and minus I am doing okay. Nothing is easy; like a Malay proverb : yang pipih tak datang melayang, yang bulat tak datang bergolek (not all things will come flying or rolling into your lap), so I learnt long time ago.
So now they gave me another chance to prove myself worthy of my words. It means so much to me; I would not let anybody down.
The grant worth RM48,000. ( not that much eh, maybe not for you,but for me it worth millions)

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