USP 11th Excellence Research Awards recognises outstanding academic achievement


Over 100 researchers, comprising academic staff and students, at The University of the South Pacific were recognised for their significant achievements and contributions to the university’s research outcomes for 2022 and 2023.

Hosted at the USP Laucala Campus’ Japan ICT Lecture Theatre, the 11th Research Excellence Awards is a beacon of recognition and inspiration, reflecting the dedication and innovation within the university’s academic community.

In 2022 and 2023, 90% of USP’s publications were ranked A, and 10% ranked A*. USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Gurmeet Singh said, “From 2020-2024, 86% of our publications are in Q1 and Q2 journals (Q1 is occupied by the top 25% of journals; Q2 is occupied by journals in the 25 to 50% group)”.

During 2023, USP researchers contributed to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and managed 154 publications for SDG 14 – Life Below Water; 129 publications for SDG 13 – Climate Action; 120 publications for SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, among others.

Professor Singh further elaborated that between 2020 and 2024, USP’s top clusters by scholarly output include Tourism, Fisheries, Disasters, Industry and Multi-Agent Systems.

“70% of our A & A* publications are from the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS), School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP) and the School of Business and Management (SBM),” Professor Singh added.

The university also acknowledged the achievement of three academic staff: Professor Maurizio Cirrincione, (former) Head of the School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP), Professor Surendra Prasad, the current Head of the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS) and Professor Ahmed Rafiuddin, named by Stanford University in the World’s Top 2% Scientists list for 2023.

USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia emphasised, “The road to research excellence requires diligence, commitment, ambition and countless sacrifices”.

Professor Ahluwalia stressed, “With our quality research expertise in this room, USP is adequately positioned to contribute positively to that exciting future. It is evident that academic institutions are a critical catalyst in advancing sustainable development goals”.

“Our university has always been an innovator, bringing together our commitment to equitable access and excellence and driving positive change. Despite the challenges facing the higher education sector and a rapidly changing global environment, we will continue to work collaboratively to magnify our positive impact through bold programs, research and creative activities and strategic initiatives dedicated to sustainability, equity and global excellence and engagement. These directions will require leadership, capability and courage to pursue and achieve the right balance,” he added.

As the premier university of the region, USP is charged with the duty to provide leadership in innovation through research and educational initiatives by providing direction and coordination to regional development for the Blue Pacific.





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