• To establish the University's research priorities and direct staff attention to areas of high potential for further development.
  • To advise on the allocation of research funds and other related resources.
  • To seek funding from external sources in line with the priorities identified for University submissions for major external funding.
  • To determine mechanisms for disseminating information on research matters to university staff and the wider community.
  • To consider and recommend the support of applications for payment for conferences and other meetings.
  • To co-opt members as appropriate and to establish such other sub-committees as may be deemed necessary.

The IRI's board of management is made up of:

Chairman : Tan Sri Dato’ Emeritus Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Honorary Director of Institute for Research and Innovation

Secretary : Dr. Andy Liew Teik Kooi, Registrar cum Director of Quality Assurance & External Relations, WOU

Members :

  • Dato’ Wong Siew Hai, Chairman, Malaysian-American Electronics Industry
  • Dato’ Dr. R. Ratnalingam
  • Professor Dato' Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & International Affairs), USM
  • Datin Dr. Kam Suan Pheng
  • Professor Madhulika Kaushik, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), WOU
  • Professor Santhiram R. Raman, Dean, School of Education, Languages & Communications, WOU
  • Assoc Prof Dr. Wendy Bong Chin Wei, Dean, School of Science & Technology, WOU

Teaching and research play complementary roles in a university. In recognition of this, in 2007 , the Senate of WOU established the Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI), and a board of management, reporting to the Senate, to supervise it.

After analysing the needs and capabilities of WOU and the needs of the nation and state for a knowledge economy, WOU identified several focal areas of research as follows:-

School of Science and Technology

  • Electronics
  • IT
  • Engineering

School of Education, Languages and Communications

  • Curriculum Design and Development
  • Pedagogy

School of Business and Administration

  • Northern Corridor Studies
  • Emerging Business in Green Technology: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Behavioural Economics and Corporate Finance
  • Development Policy and Programmes of Northern Corridor:  Implementation, Issues and Perspective 

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Social Psychology
  • Ethnic relations, identity and national integration
  • Lifelong learning culture and critical success factors for distance learning

The IRI's terms of reference are:

  • To develop and review as needed the University's policy for research and development, and to patent research outcomes of commercial value.
  • To receive, screen and approve applications from staff for research funds.
  • To determine the infrastructure required to support research and development activities of the University.

Research Projects

1. A Study on the Determinants of LMS Use amongst Students in ODL Institutions - The Case of WOU (Project Leader: Dr. Ng Peng Long)

2. Application of Mobile Learning in Manufacturing Process and Machine Maintenance (Project Leader: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

3. Supra-THz Superconducting Mixers for the ALMA Telescope (Project Leader: Dr. Magdalene Goh Wan Ching)

4. VCL Conceptualization and Implementation to promote Resource Sharing and Green Computing in ODL Environment (Project Leader: Mr. Chandarasageran Natarajan)

5. Applying social constructionist theory of learning to improve student learning experience – elgg (Project Leader: Dr. Tung Lai Cheng)

6. Broadening Access to OER through Effective Searching of Material (Project Leader: Mr. Ishan Sudeera Abeywardena)

7. Setting-up a WOU Institutional Repository using WEKO (Project Leader: Pn. Kamsiah Binti Mohd Ali)

8. A Study on Cost-effectiveness and Feasibility of using Tablets for Student Learning in WOU (Project Leader: Prof. Santhiram R. Raman)

9. Characterizing Key Features of Student Isolation in Distance Education (Project Leader: Dr. S. Vighnarajah P.K. Selvarajah)

10. Mobile-learning in ODL Environment (Project Leader: Mr. Vincent Chung Seng Hung)

11. Investigating the online forum moderation techniques and feedback types for tutor-marked assignments (Project Leader: Dr. S. Nagarajan)

12. Designing and Developing a Question Bank - A Pilot (Project Leader: Prof. Madhulika Kaushik)

13. Information seeking behaviour of WOU ODL students to support learning and research activities (Project Leader: Pn. Kamsiah Binti Mohd Ali)

14. A Soft Computing Modelling for Clustering (Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wendy Bong Chin Wei)

15. Transformation by Applying Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Manufacturing Process and Machine Maintenance (Project Leader: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

16. Scalable Network Memory Virtualization Framework for Memory Resource Sharing in Cloud Environments (Project Leader: Mr. Chandarasageran Natarajan)