Results for 2017 Student Research Paper Competition Announced
The research paper competition was held in 21 subjects, including Arts and Design, an area that was just introduced this year. For the first time ever, international students are among the competition’s winners.
A total of 1,155 papers were submitted, with 123 papers taking first, second, and third places in the respective subjects. Moreover, 103 papers won other awards.
As for international participants, Umesi Love Ugonna took the first place in Public Administration subject area for his paper ‘Еffect of Maternal Micronutrients Supplementation on Infant Mortality in Nigeria’, while Kofi Aduo-Adjei and Owusu Richmond became runners-up in Sociology with their paper ‘Analysis of Socioeconomic Differences in the Quality of ANC Services Provided in 60 Low and Middle Income Countries’. All three are students of the HSE Master’s programme in ‘Population and Development’.
Five of the competition’s concentrations – Business Informatics, Computer Science, Media Communications, Political Science, and Mathematics – were open, meaning that not only HSE students could participate. This year, around 100 students from other universities took part in the competition.
Those winners and award winners studying on state-financed/HSE-financed places will receive additional points for their research achievements. Furthermore, these points will probably have a decisive impact on how their increased state scholarships are assigned. According to a resolution of the HSE Academic Council, the overall number of points was increased considerably this year: 20 points for first place; 16 for second; 14 for third. Award winners each receive points. In contrast, the winners for 2016 got around half the amount of points, while award winners did not receive any points.
In early March 2018, the extramural school ‘ACADEMICUS MODUS’ will be held for the winners at Voronovo Study Centre, where they will have an opportunity to attend courses on academic skills development.
I strongly believe that promotion of maternal healthcare is crucial in creating an enabling environment for the success of women and children. As Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, once said: ‘When women thrive, all society benefits and succeeding generation are given a better start in life’. So, my colleague and I decided to undertake an investigative study to gauge the quality of antenatal care services rendered to women and infants.
In selecting the topic “Analysis of socioeconomic differences in the quality of ANC services provided in 60 low and middle income countries (LMICs)”, the main factor was data availability. We used the Demographic and Household Survey datasets provided by Measured DHS for our estimations. To ensure comparability across countries we had to spend approximately two months on data cleaning, data structuring, preliminary and confirmatory data analysis. However, due to the complexity of data handling, we had to receive statistical coaching and support from some colleagues in and outside Russia. In addition, lectures on population economics, statistics and statistical packages from Professors Vasily Anikin, Vladimir Kozlov, Dagmara Celik Katreniak and Aleksey Oshchepkov were useful for the research output.
Our paper makes a strong policy recommendation to target women with low socioeconomic status with ANC services in order to avert the high prevalence of maternal and child mortality. It further advocates for a concerted effort and pragmatic policy action to reach women who do not receive the required number of ANC services before delivery, in order to deal with all pregnancy-related complications.
It would be great to get this paper published in a Scopus journal of a higher ranking as well as co-operate with other faculty members in research as I aim to pursue a career in academia.
Umesi Love Ugonna
My research supervisor Assistant Proferssor Vladimir Kozlov encouraged me to participate in the contest. I decided to research infant mortality in Nigeria because currently infant mortality rate there is 69 deaths per 1,000 live births and obviously needs to be reduced. Seeing that child’s health largely depends on maternal behavior, I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the behaviors that affect the baby –from foetus to age one, with a major indicator being the intake of micronutrients.
The recommendations of The World Health Organization (WHO) advise pregnant women from developing countries to supplement their diets with iron. Also, lactating mothers should take vitamin A supplements. This is mostly because meals in the developing countries are mainly cereal based and need to be supplemented to make up for lost nutrients, especially for expectant mothers in order to prevent small birth size, anemia, iron deficiency, and to improve the nutrients in the breast milk.
I work as a Statistician with National Population Commission of Nigeria, an agency tasked with collecting, analyzing and disseminating population/ demographic data. The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey is one of the activities carried out by the Commission to provide demographic health indicators for the country. I wanted to do a deeper analysis of the survey, by zooming in on a particular subject, so as to see a clearer picture of what happens in the country, and to draw comparisons amongst the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria, and by some socio-economic factors.
I received great assistance from my research supervisor. Professor Kozlov was always ready with reviews and corrections on what should be done and how to better present them. Also my Statistical Analysis and Packages lecturer Assistant Professor Dagmara Celik Katreniak was very helpful in teaching me the relevant statistical skills for data analysis and interpretation. It’s been a learning process for me and a fulfilling one at that. I have come to better appreciate data - how to read, analyze, and interpret them, and how to present results for relevant policy making. Writing this research paper has made me a better researcher and I’m grateful for the experience.
My research interests generally lie in Maternal and Child health, Demography, Population Health, Epidemiology, and Statistical Analysis. I hope to conduct different research that will provide results for evidence based implementation of intervention programs that will lead to sustainable development in the health of the populace, education and improve general well-being, especially in the developing regions and most specifically in Nigeria.
The full list of the winners and awardees is available on the competition website.