SOAS University of London

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Trying to be better partners: practical perspectives on navigating the tensions


Date: 17 September 2020Time: 12:00 PM

Finishes: 17 September 2020Time: 1:30 PM

Venue: Room: Online event

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

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Trying to be better partners: practical perspectives on navigating the tensions

International research and funding governance: how to navigate the tensions

SOAS and Oxford have been coordinating a series on Research for Development over the past year that has focused on exploring ethical and practical challenges around development-oriented research. In recent times the series has also begun to examine the implications of undertaking research in the age of Covid. In our final session of the series we aim to reflect on the lessons learned throughout the series and hear about some of the practical challenges of establishing and sustaining equitable partnerships from researchers and research managers working in development research.

The session aims to summarise some of the key findings from the series so far and will focus on the following three questions:

  • In what way has the funding landscape changed over the past 5 years and to what end has it dis/en-abled collaborative partnerships between the UK and the Global South? Speakers will provide personal reflections on how they built trust with their partners whilst navigating the practical tensions of applying for funding and undertaking the research e.g. financial, language, and cultural barriers.
  • How can Institutional policies and procedures prevent or promote positive partnerships? Can we build more direct/systematic communication paths between funders and research institutions/researchers in order to overcome unintended consequences of institutional policies?
  • What more could be done to support researchers/institutions to become better partners and utilise these insights/reflections to develop a roadmap for future collective action?

Event structure

12:00 - Introductions

12:05 - Reflections of the series so far, Dr Alex Lewis, Dr Romina Istratii, Dr Maru Mormina

See Dr Istratii's slides "Trying to be better partners: Key insights from an internal GCRF Strategy review at SOAS, University of London".

Experience of partnerships building

12:20 - Prof Emma Crewe, SOAS

See the draft policy by Richard Axelby, Emma Crewe, Jas Kaur and Bethel Worku-Dix briefing on partnerships, which explains the GRNPP project experience of managing international research coalitions.

12:30 - Emily Graham, Due Diligence Manager at Research Services, University of Oxford

12:40 - Prof Jo Boyden, former Director of Young Lives, University of Oxford

12:50 - Dr Alex Lewis, Reflections on funders/institutional constraints to working in the Global South

13:00 - 13:30 Group discussion on what more could be done


Please register on Eventbrite

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