More than 75 senior and earlier-career researchers from universities around the world will take part in ASAP\’s new Global Colleagues flagship project – a response which well exceeded organizers\’ expectations.
The project is designed to promote international collaboration among poverty researchers and help earlier-career faculty working at less well-resourced universities become better integrated into global networks and develop their own research agendas. It matches established senior researchers at relatively well resourced universities in North and South countries one-to-one with earlier career researchers, typically in other countries.
\”We received a great number of applications which – and this is particularly encouraging – are very diverse,\” said Robert Lepenies, who is a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy and serves as Chair of the Global Colleagues Steering Committee.
\”We received notes of interest from very young scholars, as well as scholars already more fully engaged in teaching and research,\” Lepenies said. \”There is an enormous variety in terms of geographic location, and topics represented. We are sure this will make for an excellent first cohort. Further, the multiple disciplinary perspectives on poverty that earlier-career scholars contribute also presents a learning opportunity for ASAP as an organization. We\’re looking forward to watching how the partnerships will develop.\”
Senior researchers from Africa, South Asia, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere were to begin meeting with earlier-career colleagues, who are dispersed across a similar geographic range, in late spring 2015. Senior colleagues will offer advice on research plans and assistance in networking among international researchers with similar interests. Earlier career researchers, many of whom are located in provincial cities, will share insights on their contexts, local development challenges and their own research ideas. Significant benefits are expected to flow for both researchers in each pairing.
Mom Bishwakarma, a PhD researcher in Sociology at the University of Sydney who was raised in Nepal, said he was pleased to be asked to share his own insights as a member of the Global Colleagues Steering Committee. He sees strong potential in the project.
\”The Global Colleagues initiative will be effective in strengthening networking among colleagues, information sharing, selection of research priorities in the global South, enhancing the skills of junior colleagues and helping them explore resource opportunities,\” he said. \”This will be an essential project in the days to come.\”
Colleagues will be matched for an initial one-year period. Shared research interests are given emphasis in colleague pairings, and where possible and most appropriate, pairings are made across international boundaries.
Lepenies is planning to administer pre- and post-participation surveys to Colleagues as part of a research study to determine the project\’s impact, especially in terms of helping earlier-career researchers advance their research aims.