Postgraduate research students often experience various problems during the course of their programmes which hamper the timely completion of the MPhil/PhD and full doctoral (PhD) programmes. However, there is limited documented information on these barriers among Nigerian postgraduate students in Nigeria. This study was conducted to assess the barriers to research and training needs of these students at the University of Ibadan. A cross sectional survey of 137 MPhil/PhD and PhD students was carried out using a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire to obtain data from respondents in the various faculties of the university. Data were analysed and presented in tables and percentages using SPSS version 15. Majority of the students (67%) were full doctoral students and 54% were in the biomedical and public health faculties. Reported barriers to postgraduate research were: lack of funding (61%), irregular electricity supply (51%), and lack of access to research materials (56%). Others included lack of reward/recognition for outstanding research (29%), non-functional laboratories (19%), university bureaucracy (18%) and inadequate support for research collaborations (18%). In terms of accessing research funding, the identified barriers included lack of information (46%) and inadequate mentoring (35%). Only 20% had obtained international research grants for their research projects. Ninety-one percent of the respondents required training on proposal development (90%), seeking funding (86.0%), and evaluation of interventions (83.0%). Research students at the University of Ibadan face numerous obstacles, which hinder their ability to successfully conduct research. Appropriate courses and training workshops should be organised to address the identified barriers. Additionally, financial and infrastructural support should be provided for postgraduate research.
Key words: Postgraduate students, research, barriers, funding.
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