The Faculty Development Fund

Our faculty are breaking new ground in their fields. The Faculty Development and Research Fund supports their professional development and research to ensure Ashesi remains at the forefront of African research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The Fund can be used to support a wide range of activities, including:

  • Internal faculty research grants
  • Cross-disciplinary research
  • Access to research journals and other scholarship resources
  • Faculty Ph.D. enrollment
  • Stipends and training for research assistants and faculty interns
  • Conference and training opportunities
  • The Archer-Cornfield Fellowship, a full-time, year-long fellowship for visiting lecturers in computer science and engineering at Ashesi

Here are four examples showcasing the great work of Ashesi faculty in their fields. Your investment in Ashesi faculty can help make more projects like this happen.

Associate Professor co-organizes first Ghana Design Thinking Conference
Dr. Gordon Adomdza is the lead faculty member of the Ashesi Design Lab (D:Lab), an initiative that harnesses Design Thinking and Design Making to assist students, faculty and corporations spur innovation in business, society, and policymaking. 

Gordon and the D:Lab co-organized an inaugural design thinking conference in Ghana. “The focus of the conference was to unearth local design thinking applications and also to expose the practice to a wider audience,” says Gordon. “Design Thinking is blowing through top business schools, companies and other budding organizations across the world, including Ashesi, so what we wanted to do was to bring together people who are doing design thinking work in Ghana to share and learn from one another.”

Helping bring diversity to robotics
For the first time ever, an all-woman committee organized the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, helping to raise the visibility of women in the industry. Ashesi’s Head of Computer Science, Dr. Ayorkor Korsah, was one of the 50 women who helped organize the historic conference.

While there, Ayorkor shared insights into getting more women in the field, and the future of robotics. “Robotics is a vast field and requires a variety of expertise, and this can be overwhelming to those trying to enter it,” said Ayorkor. “You should start by getting an overview of the field, which can be done by taking an introductory course at a university or by simply reading about it. Then, depending on your interest and background, begin an in-depth exploration of some aspect of robotics such as sensing, controls, planning, cognition, human-robot interaction, or vision.”

At the Ghana Investment Summit 2017, Ayorkor received the Dream Makers Award in celebration of her philanthropic contributions to the field of robotics. Since co-founding the African Robotic Network at Ashesi in 2012, Ayorkor and her team have highlighted, enhanced, and provided support to several institutions and individuals working on robotics-related areas in Africa.

Lecturer authors chapter on national branding
In 2009, the Ghanaian government launched the Brand Ghana Initiative as part of an effort to boost Ghana’s image globally. In the years following, however, the initiative has yet to gain the widespread traction needed to be impactful. In the recent release Positioning Ghana: Challenges and Innovations, Anthony Ebow Spio, a senior lecturer in Ashesi’s Business Administration Department, co-authored a chapter that aims to provide direction on how Ghana can more effectively build and implement the branding initiative.

According to Anthony, “branding Ghana is about mobilizing Ghanaians to create a unique, strong and favorable identity that makes Ghana an attractive place for people to invest or visit or make Ghanaian products and human capital the preferred choice both locally and internationally.” At Ashesi, Anthony Spio’s students learn to create these unique, strong and favorable identities in their Strategic Branding and New Product Development classes.

Anthony is currently taking a leave of absence to pursue a Ph.D. at Oxford Brooks University, UK, funded by Ashesi University Foundation. His studies center on the development of entrepreneurial competencies in women entrepreneurs in Ghana.

Investigating how startups in Ghana can facilitate the adoption of services and products
Assistant Professor Dr. Sena Agbodjah Agyepong is conducting a study analyzing how startups in Ghana can facilitate the adoption of their products and services in the market.

If startups are to survive and grow, their innovations must be adopted by society. Diffusion of innovation is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread. Because the model generally accepted by educators and entrepreneurs, Rogers’ innovation diffusion model, was derived in North America, the model may not prove as relevant in Ghana. Therefore, the study also aims to conclude whether Roger’s innovation diffusion model applies to Ghana or not and propose a model for Ghana if it does not.

The study will contribute to the literature on the documentation of the diffusion of innovation for the products and services introduced by startups in Ghana.

Ashesi faculty are doing amazing work. Click here to learn about more impactful faculty projects.


Your contribution to the Faculty Development and Research Fund will help faculty thrive in their careers, contribute to their fields, and enrich the classroom experience for Ashesi students. Thank you.

In order to support the growth of Ashesi’s fundraising capacity, 5% of all donor-restricted gifts are unrestricted and used to support administrative and fundraising expenses at Ashesi University Foundation.

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