Interdisciplinary Graduate Education & Research in Animal Biotechnology & Coral Reef Fisheries to Achieve Indonesia Food Security (ANBIOCORE) is a USAID SHERA-funded Center for Collaborative Research (CCR). ANBIOCORE is led by Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB). ANBIOCORE works on a strategic collaborative engagement in animal (livestock and fisheries) biotechnology for sustainable food production through innovative research and high-quality education. Madura University (UNIRA) is an ANBIOCORE affiliate institution which works in the livestock research cluster.
As a small private university in Indonesia, UNIRA faced challenges in conducting research and publishing. The12 lecturers in the Faculty of Agriculture found that while they wished to conduct more research and publish at the national or international level, their time was consumed by teaching, the university had limited funding for research, and they had limited knowledge, as well as access to resources, on how to write quality academic papers.
Dr. Ir. Riszqina, M.P., UNIRA Chancellor, learned about ANBIOCORE and the SHERA program when she began to participate in seminars and conferences with Universitas Brawijaya’s Faculty of Animal Husbandry, an ANBIOCORE affiliate. There she networked with Prof. Suyadi from Universitas Brawijaya and learned about the CCR’s work on Madura cattle, which is researching how to preserve Madura cattle by establishing artificial insemination techniques as well as reproduction analysis. UNIRA was especially interested in this work due to the significance of the cattle on their island, the only place in the world they are found and where they hold a very strong connection with Madurese culture. Knowing that UNIRA is the only university on Madura that offers Animal Production Studies and has researched Madura cattle, Prof. Suyadi invited UNIRA to join ANBIOCORE and in January 2019, UNIRA officially partnered with the CCR as an affiliate university.
Since joining ANBIOCORE, UNIRA has sent its researchers out to participate in trainings on academic writing and has encouraged them to conduct research and submit their work to as many journal publications as possible. UNIRA has seen a significant increase in the interest level of its researchers and lecturers, with noted excitement for the research on Madura cattle. While working on a joint research project with Universitas Brawijaya, UNIRA’s lecturers have had the opportunity to exchange knowledge on how to write scientific papers that meet international journal and conference standards. "After we collaborated with researchers from Brawijaya University through ANBIOCORE, our research could go into wider publications and has been submitted for presentation at international conferences," said Dr. Riszqina. It has also allowed UNIRA to broaden its network, such as with a potential collaboration with the Center for Artificial Insemination, Singosari, Malang, which would give it access to new resources and facilities.
In the one year since UNIRA became an ANBIOCORE affiliate, 12 UNIRA lecturers submitted 11 publications in collaboration with other ANBIOCORE researchers. Of that number, one study entitled, "Development Potentiation of Beef Cattle Business and Alternative Strategies of Beef Cattle in Pamekasan" was accepted and published in the Journal of Physics IOP Science in mid-2019. This was a huge achievement for UNIRA. Research collaboration and partnerships, as well as the amount of research submitted to prestigious journal publications at national and international level, are crucial in helping the university achieve international accreditation. However, it was quite a challenge for this study to finally be published. While the study had been conducted in 2017 and presented at conferences by its author, Dr. Riszqina, he struggled with achieving the next step of publication. UNIRA joined ANBIOCORE in 2019, Dr. Riszqina had an opportunity to work with other researchers from Brawijaya University to polish the manuscript. “It took almost a year since I presented my research in 2018 until my study was accepted and published in the Journal of Physics. I would say that after joining ANBIOCORE, my institution has learned many things, particularly on how to conduct good research,” Dr. Riszqina noted.
ANBIOCORE has positively impacted UNIRA by improving the institution’s research quality and enriching its researchers’ knowledge base. Lecturers and researchers in the Faculty of Agriculture have had more opportunities to exchange knowledge with other affiliate researchers and have participated in several ANBIOCORE trainings. Besides collaborating with Brawijaya University in conducting research on Madura cattle, UNIRA also has broadened its networks, such as with its collaboration with Center of Artificial Insemination, Malang and Fish Quarantine Standards Test Center, Quality Control and Safety of Fishery Products. “By collaborating with Brawijaya University and ANBIOCORE, my institution is now being recognized widely,” Dr. Riszqina remarked.