Newton Mobility Grant Awards 2016

Funded by


Professor Mércio Pereira Gomes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Professor Jeremy Richard Brotton, Queen Mary, University of London

The Anthropology and History of Discovery: A Comparative Exploration – Building capacity and promoting knowledge exchange amongst researchers, students and indigenous communities in Brazil.

NG160049                                           One-Year                                                            £9,998

Historical accounts of the first European exploration and discovery of Brazil and its indigenous Brazilian communities have usually been written from the perspective of the Anglo-American academy. There has been little attempt to engage with and incorporate the specific historical and ethnographic dimensions of the region under consideration. This project proposes a systematic revision of this approach, by bringing together a respected scholar from the UK specializing in the European Renaissance in the age of discovery (Brotton) and a leading Brazilian anthropologist (Gomes). Connected by their respective interests in cultural exchange, they will conduct a series of dialogues and exchanges between the UK and Brazil to reinterpret the founding story of Brazil, its place in English accounts of the ‘age of discovery’, the importance of Brazil in early European comparative ethnography, and the role played by this founding moment in current debates about Brazil’s place in the modern global economy. This project, which builds capacity and knowledge exchange between Brazil and the UK, has measurable benefits to the research community and postgraduate students in Brazil that arise from the direct skills transfer provided in workshops by Brotton introducing students to key texts in the history of discovery. In addition, social and welfare benefits to members of some of Brazil's indigenous communities - particularly those from the Alto Xingu - will arise from connecting them as active agents in the research project, reversing the convention that positions them as subjects, and drawing attention to the status of indigenous culture within the early colonial history of Brazil.

Professor Fabio Akcelrud Durao, State University of Campinas

Professor Suman Gupta, Open University

Entrepreneurial Literary Research: Brazilian and British Literature Markets – A programme of knowledge exchange, skills transfer and networking

NG160076                                           One-Year                                                            £10,000

This project opens new directions of knowledge-exchange, skills-transfer and networking in literary studies between Brazil and Britain. Research visits and 2 workshops will focus on Entrepreneurial Literary Research: i.e. exploring literary research in relation to publishing, media and culture, entertainment, and heritage industries, so as to develop advanced-level pedagogic programmes (with a strong employability agenda) and undertake scoping exercises for possible business opportunities in the two contexts. Knowledge-exchange and skills-transfer are centred because such research is currently more systematically pursued in Anglophone than in Lusophone academic contexts. Networking between academics and industry professionals will be facilitated, and initial steps taken towards engaging Brazilian postgraduate and early-career researchers/students. A publicly-accessible manual and a published paper are key outcomes. It is envisaged that an up-scaled project in this area will follow, and the applicants’ long-term vision is of establishing a centre of Entrepreneurial Literary Research.

Dr Lucia Maria Costa, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Dr Antonia Noussia, London South Bank University

Urban Agriculture, Landscape Justice, and Migrants Inclusion: Practices from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and London, UK

NG160134                                           One-Year                                                            £9,860

Pressures of urban development and the need for alternative ways of food production place urban agriculture high on the environmental and political agenda in cities. Urban agriculture is central to contemporary discussions on how landscapes can address human needs. In addition to health and environmental benefits, urban agriculture also contributes to community development, social inclusion, knowledge transfer and educational opportunities.

This proposal aims to investigate different experiences in urban agriculture in Rio de Janeiro and London, addressing how people have fair access to the benefits deriving from their landscapes. More specifically, the study explores the ways that urban agriculture can contribute to the inclusion of migrants in cities in terms of providing employment and also social opportunities, as well as assessing the landscape transformations that these experiences might bring. From this comparative study we seek to identify innovative approaches for food production in cities that can be shared and expanded.

Dr Paulo Nassar, University of São Paulo

Dr Beatriz Garcia, University of Liverpool

Brazil's Urban Brand Images and Cultural Narratives in the Wake of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

NG160133                                           One-Year                                                            £9,980

This project aims to assess the impact of mediated cultural representations on the "brand" of Brazil and its two main cities (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) in the wake of the 2016 Olympic Games. The project will open an opportunity for long-term collaboration between the UK’s leading researcher on mega-event cultural impacts and Olympic cultural policy-making, and a team of Brazil’s leading international public relations and narratives researchers. This collaboration will enable transfer of knowledge between both countries and researchers by an exchange of different perspectives on the same subject matter: the brand images created by the representations of Brazil and its urban centres related to the Olympic Games. These images will be analysed with a focus on the official communication of the Games, but will also include a view on how these official narratives trickle down into the media and the sponsors' discourse at a local (cities), national (Brazil) and international levels.

Dr Renato Moraes, Universidade de São Paulo

Dr Crispin Richard Coombs, Loughborough University

Understanding Organisational Agility to advance economic development: The Role of Information Technology (IT) Capability

NG160090                                           One-Year                                                            £6,917

The marked increase in environmental volatility due to uncertainty in global financial markets, changing consumer demands, and new digital innovations has meant firms in Brazil need to review their ability to respond to change. This study will reveal how culture, people and processes combine to achieve IT capability and how this superior IT capability may achieve organisational agility. This new collaborative study will transfer knowledge and research skills in organisational agility and benefits realisation to develop the research capability of Dr. Moraes, his colleagues at USP, and academic researchers in other Brazilian Universities. The study will provide a new theoretical model of IT enabled organisational agility contextualised for application in developed and developing countries. Organisational agility is a key business imperative for organisations. IT capability is widely considered to be an enabler of organisational agility. However, it is the combination of culture, people and processes as well as IT that enable firms to achieve agility. This exploratory study will study how and why culture, people and processes combine to achieve superior IT capability for firms; and whether superior IT capability enhances organisational agility. The findings of this study will enable practitioners to transform IT investments, advancing the economic development of firms and the wider economy in Brazil and the UK.

Dr Jacqueline de Souza Gomes, Universidade Federal Fluminense

Professor Susan Kelly, University of Exeter

Transfer of Expertise in Sociology of Diagnosis to Understand and Manage Rare and Emerging Diseases in Brazil

NG160091                                           One-Year                                                            £9,985

Diagnosis is fundamental for the health and well-being of people yet the sociology of diagnosis remains an area of research currently unexplored in Brazil. This project provides a timely opportunity to address a pressing need and to deepen the knowledge of both subjects from a careful analysis of their diagnostic routes and their therapeutic itineraries. It is hoped that this project will lead to a better understanding of the factors that enable higher quality of life for people with rare and emerging diseases. The project will: transfer knowledge of sociology of diagnosis; strengthen the relevant research capacity of Brazilian and British colleagues; and establish collaboration between Brazilian and British researchers. We aim to improve early diagnosis and quality of life for people with rare and emerging diseases, and better understand social costs, impacts and consequences of diagnosis in rare and emerging diseases, especially for patients and families.

We will hold a training workshop in the sociology of diagnosis and identify rare disease case studies in the Brazilian context. We will then conduct:

a) theoretical analysis of the applicability of the sociology of diagnosis to rare and emerging diseases

b) study of Brazilian national health policy/system, focusing on the National Policy of Care for People with Rare Diseases

c) study of practices, costs and consequences of diagnosis for the quality of life for people with rare diseases and people affected by the emerging disease Zika.

Dr Dalson Figueiredo Federal, University of Pernambuco

Dr Nicole Janz, University of Cambridge

Fostering Transparency in Government Institutions and Higher Education: A Research and Teaching Initiative

NG160153                                           One-Year                                                            £9,792

This project aims to foster transparency in Brazilian government institutions and in scholarly research. Research findings resulting from data that is not publicly accessible are not credible. Similarly, governments withholding administrative data should not be trusted. Brazil currently faces these challenges: (1) its government lacks transparency in the dissemination of administrative data, particularly on corruption; (2) the majority of Brazilian social scientists do not provide access to their data. We argue that the lack of government and research transparency are connected, and can be tackled in Brazil by implementing changes that have worked to lessen these issues in the UK. We propose to conduct a novel study on corruption in Brazil and make the data publicly accessible. We will also conduct transparency workshops for researchers and civil servants. The project will strengthen research skills and transparency norms that can contribute to innovation, development, and ultimately social welfare.

Dr Daiane Neutzling, University of Fortaleza

Dr Vikas Kumar, University of the West of England

Relational Coordination Mechanisms for Sustainable Food Supply Chains: The Role of Farmer Cooperatives in Brazil

NG160177                                           One-Year                                                            £9,850

Brazil has observed a period of rapid growth in the last decade and has emerged as the sixth largest economy in the world, having overtaken the UK. Enjoying a vigorous growth of agricultural GDP, Brazil is also today the world’s largest producer and exporter of a wide range of agricultural products. While this growth has brought many socio-economic benefits, it’s come with a downside of significant environmental impacts. This has put immense pressure on farmers to adopt food supply chain practices that conform to the three pillars of sustainability. Consumers are also keen to trace the origin of food they want to consume, hence it becomes crucial to develop mechanisms to ensure trust and establish a secure marketing channel between producers, sellers and consumers. Short food supply chains have emerged as an alternative and hence local organic food production in this context can help Brazilian farmers. This project therefore aims to investigate the role of farmer cooperatives in the promotion of sustainable organic food supply chains in Brazil and transfer best practices from the UK.


Dr Ngee Thai Yap, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Professor Jane Elizabeth Setter, University of Reading

Fellowship for research and training: Intonation in Malay and in Malaysia. A research and training project to support the development of analytical skills in intonation among academics in Malaysia and to investigate the intonation patterns of Bahasa Melayu. 

NG160107                                           One-Year                                                            £9,049

Intonation, sometimes described as 'the melody of speech', contributes to the listener’s ability to correctly select items from the mental lexicon, manage conversational turn-taking, detect and indicate hierarchical relationships in conversations, decide where emphasis has been placed, and understand speakers’ emotional states. It is essential that linguistic descriptions of intonation in languages exist, and that academics have the expertise to undertake research to document the intonation patterns in their languages. This expertise is currently lacking in Malaysia. This project has three main aims: 1) to support the development of analytical skills in intonation among academics in Malaysia; 2) to train them in the intonation of English, a well-documented language, as a framework for describing intonation in other languages; and 3) to initiate a full-scale investigation of the intonation patterns of Bahasa Melayu with a view to publishing research in this area, thus contributing to what we know about intonation in languages around the world. This project benefits areas such as speech and language therapy and inter-cultural communication in Malaysia, a multilingual and multicultural country. Better services for those with speech and language deficits and better understanding of cultural and linguistic differences will help advance economic development.

Dr Bonaventure Boniface, University Malaysia Sabah

Dr Jane Chang, University of Westminster

Effective Entrepreneurship among Independent Palm Oil Small Holders in Sabah, Malaysia

NG160028                                           One-Year                                                            £5,000

Entrepreneurial Learning is a learning process to recognize and act on opportunities, and interacting socially to initiate, organize and manage ventures to help entrepreneurs to develop and grow. Most of the literature on entrepreneurial learning in agriculture has focussed on farmers of developed countries (McElwee, 2008; Sueneke, 2013), and we have very little understanding of small farmers in emerging countries, particularly in relation to poor and less educated farmers. Focusing on the support required to develop this cognitive skill set, this research aims to explore these group of farmers’ learning processes in developing their entrepreneurial mindset. We achieve this by collating data of 38 independent palm oil smallholders in Sabah based on smart phone application, through a collaborated international 12 month action research programme, and analysing them using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach. The dataset is original and has the interdisciplinary focus which allows us to explore entrepreneurial learning processes in variety agricultural industries.

Dr Norizan Esa, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Dr Shaista Shirazi, Kingston University

Building knowledge and capacity in science - Introducing a Technology-enhanced Active Learning Approach to Develop Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Malaysian Science Teacher Education

NG160200                                           One-Year                                                            £3,615

Strong understanding of science is the foundation for a strong and progressive nation, informing decision making that contributes to its positive development. Sustainable development of the nation will be another potential benefit, leading to the well being of the people, the nation and the environment. The aim of the project is to introduce an intervention that will help Malaysian preservice teachers to teach science in way which will interest and motivate their learners. The intervention is in the form of a 3-day workshop which will introduce student-centred learning through technology to deliver a technology-enabled active learning approach. This intervention has two purposes: 1) It is a method which will allow individuals to create, engage and share through digital environments in order to give them a better understanding of effective methodologies for teaching science; and 2) it will provide preservice teachers with opportunities to build confidence in their own use of learning technologies to increase motivation and interest in science in their learners.

The research element of the project is linked to the development of a research instrument that will measure the impact on preservice teachers’ attitudes and practices in the science classroom.


Dr Stephen McKnight, El Colegio de México

Dr Laura Povoledo, University of the West of England

Promoting sustainable and economic growth - The Role of Indeterminacy and Self-Fulfilling Expectations in Emerging Economies.

NG160085                                           One-Year                                                            £9,520

This project aims to analyse how expectations in international financial markets affect business cycles in emerging market economies, and whether they can explain the excess volatility of consumption. The project will extend the current understanding of business cycles in emerging markets by considering the role of self-fulfilling expectations in intertemporal consumption smoothing, thus emphasising the role of international financial markets and financial frictions in emerging economies. The literature so far has mainly focused on the neoclassical model driven solely by shocks to total factor productivity. Our research is part of a wider scholarly effort to better understand how developing economies operate. This will help policymakers in emerging economies to design better and more appropriate macroeconomic policies. In line with the UN sustainable development goals, this project aims to "promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all". This project will establish the first academic partnership between El Colegio de México and the University of the West of England, helping to strengthen research links between the two countries, for researchers, students and research capacity in Mexico.

Dr Jorge Alberto Duran-Encalada, Universidad de las Americas Puebla

Professor Alberto Paucar-Caceres, Manchester Metropolitan University

Family SMEs for Circular Economy: Enabling Capacity through Mexico/UK partnership

NG160123                                           One-Year                                                            £9,770

This action research project will support existing responsible business among Cholula’s (Puebla, Mexico) family enterprises, by promoting zero waste business management and other circular economy goals. UDLAP (La Universidad de las Americas, Mexico) and MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) researchers will create a partnership framework to explore how family enterprises could become conduits for Circular Economy- essentially enterprise that is non-harmful to the environment, restores and regenerates natural resources. The project will therefore facilitate knowledge exchange (Mexico/ UK) about waste resource business and, how family businesses might collaborate with local welfare schemes in their districts. The role of next generation entrepreneurs in promoting zero eco-friendly enterprise will provide a special focus for this research project.

Dr Ruben Garnica Monroy, Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Dr Seraphim Alvanides, Northumbria University

Spatial Inequalities and Urban Form in Mexican Cities: a geospatial investigation

NG160052                                           One-Year                                                            £9,870

With a population of more than 120 million people, Mexico is the third largest country in America. Most of the Mexican cities suffer from socioeconomic inequalities. Our hypothesis is that these inequalities are worsened by spatial inequalities, resulting from their urban form and structure. The substantive aim of this project is to investigate the role of urban form in manifested spatial inequalities across 24 of the Mexican largest metropolitan areas. In order to achieve this, we will combine secondary data with sophisticated geospatial analysis. In particular, three sets of geographical data will be analysed: spatial accessibility indices, location of urban services and socio-demographic data for selected indicators. In addition to the substantive question of this project, there will be a strong element of skills exchange, knowledge transfer and training. Furthermore, an opportunity for Dr Garnica to strengthen his analytical skills and for Dr Alvanides to widen his geographical research.

South Africa

Dr Constance Bitso, University of Cape Town

Dr Jose Abdelnour Nocera, University of West London

Socio-cultural and Human Interaction Approaches in the Design of Interventions to Support Students at Risk in South African Universities

NG160087                                           One-Year                                                            £9,256

Many students admitted into universities fail to proceed with their academic work. While universities in South Africa (SA) are seeking and implementing solutions to the challenges of student retention rates and desirable throughput, the role of socio-cultural and human interaction approaches in designing interventions has not been explored to complement data currently collected through eLearning platforms and social media. Deeper and systematic studies to provide innovative systems that support students at risks is critical if retention and pass rates are to be improved. The joint research capacity building project will involve the human approach to information systems that incorporate cultural aspects designed to respond and assist humanities students with interventions to help those at risk. Designing intervention systems that assist in early identification of students at risk academically and socially to realise successful completion of programmes of study is very critical in the SA transformation agenda.

Dr Heather Brookes, University of Cape Town

Dr Katherine Alcock, Lancaster University

Training and Knowledge Exchange in Early Bantu Language Development Assessment

NG160093                                           One-Year                                                            £9,030

This application supports a research partnership between Dr Heather Brookes at the University of Cape Town, Dr Katherine Alcock at Lancaster University, and their respective research teams, for the exchange of expertise and training on developing child language assessments, specifically Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs) for South African languages. CDIs are questionnaires completed by parents, who tell us about their child's language and gesture; parents are the experts in what children know, especially where children are unused to formal testing.

The overall aim of this project is to help South African linguists and speech therapists to develop CDIs for three languages spoken in South Africa. The scientific aims are to describe and address the relationship between gesture, vocabulary and grammar development in these languages and compare it to other languages to examine how language structure, culture and environment affect early language. The outcomes will be: (1) First drafts of CDIs (2) Proposals for further funding for full studies; (3) Training of 7 UCT students.

Professor Stefan Grab, University of the Witwatersrand

Dr Mark Williams, Cardiff University

The VOC Cape Daghregister Project - extending historical knowledge of the complex interactions between the environment and human activity in the Cape region.

NG160166                                           One-Year                                                            £9,900

The ‘day registers’ of the Dutch East India Company in the Cape Colony are unequalled in early modern history for their rigorous documentation of daily life over the course of nearly 150 years (1652 to 1795) of Dutch presence in southern Africa. Each register details a wide range of human activity (trade activity, diet, diplomacy etc) and environmental observation (e.g. daily weather phenomena). Yet, through the coincidence of geographical distance, linguistic barriers, and politicisation, they remain chronically under-exploited. This Project seeks to address this silence through a long-term, interdisciplinary approach to this tremendous resource. Its lead collaborators, Prof Stefan Grab (Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg) and Dr Mark Williams (Cardiff University) will seek to establish an international network committed to both utilising and disseminating the content of these registers to the general public, academic community and relevant cultural societies. Through the assembly of an extensive database of qualitative and quantitative content from these registers, this will allow for the collection of both extensive meta-data about the Cape Colony and documentation for closer scrutiny and extended chronology of many issues central to present historical and policy-based issues in South Africa. This affords a unique opportunity to extend historical knowledge of the complex interactions between the environment and human activity in the Cape region and beyond. Through an interdisciplinary methodology grounded in historical research, geographical science, and transnational interpretation, this project will add significantly to a variety of regional histories (e.g. environmental, socio-political, economic), while extending post-apartheid historical discussion into early colonial records. Transfer of knowledge will continue through the training of graduate students, allowing for sustained academic engagement with these materials and the project.

Dr Lucy Graham, University of the Western Cape

Professor Michele Barrett, Queen Mary University of London

The Politics and Poetics of World War One Commemoration in South Africa and the United Kingdom – building and enhancing research capacity within the humanities and social sciences.

NG160338                                           One-Year                                                            £9,910

This project examines the political and cultural history of the commemoration of the First World War, with reference to two countries: South Africa and the United Kingdom. We aim to place into conversation attempts in both countries to commemorate the role played by the South African Native Labour Contingent (SANLC), which consisted of black troops recruited from South Africa to the British war effort. The men of the SANLC were not allowed to bear arms, but they contributed greatly to the war, performing vital labour. Unfortunately, their role is still part of a lesser-known history of the war. The project aims to create a space for alternative commentary on World War One by examining the politics of commemorating the role played by the SANLC, and to create historical redress by analysing cultural production about the war across the contexts of both countries.  Relatively little research funding is allocated to the humanities and social sciences in South Africa. The project aims to contribute to the health of these disciplines by generating research of an internationally excellent standard, at an historically disadvantaged university in South Africa, namely the University of the Western Cape. As a legacy of an unequal past, the University of the Western Cape faces specific constraints (such as fewer resources) relative to historically white universities such as the University of Cape Town. By linking research efforts with the University of Cape Town, and with Queen Mary University of London, the project aims to enhance research and capacity building at the University of the Western Cape and enhance and develop the applicant’s research, presentation, and project management experience.  The project aims to address poverty and development issues by uncovering and highlighting themes and narratives specific to black South African history, culture and experience, to create further opportunities for broader, richer perspectives in the South African curriculum, and contribute to an environment where students from an African background can flourish.

Professor Shaheen Ashraf Kagee, Stellenbosch University

Dr Paula Smith, University of Bath

Developing Understanding of End of Life Care: Sharing Knowledge between the United Kingdom and South Africa

NG160225                                           One-Year                                                            £9,155

This proposal seeks funding for a new collaborative research project led by Professor Ashraf Kagee of Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa (SA) and Dr. Paula Smith of the University of Bath (UoB) in the United Kingdom (UK). It seeks to facilitate the continued development of an existing collaborative research programme on the psychosocial aspects of end of life care in the UK and SA. The project is unique in that it seeks to develop research capacity in interpretive phenomenological analysis, which is a relatively new methodological approach in health psychology research. We will conduct a qualitative study to explore the lived experience and support needs of patients, formal and informal carers within end of life care in the SA context. The project will strengthen research capacity and contribute to a greater understanding of ways in which to ameliorate the social costs associated with end of life care in SA.

Dr Ruthira Naraidoo, University of Pretoria

Dr Vo Phuong Mai Le, Cardiff University

The Role of Banks and Monetary Policy in South Africa

NG160048                                           One-Year                                                            £6,700

The financial crisis of 2007-2011 has challenged our previous understanding of the monetary system, whereby money injections work solely through the setting of interest rates on safe short-term government bonds. Now money substitutes with a wide variety of financial and real assets in rather different ways, for instance, Quantitative Easing has become a major instrument of monetary policy. We plan to build a macro model for emerging market economies such as South Africa so that money has a role beyond merely setting the interest rate but might have wider implications for financial markets and in so doing also analyses the effects of alternative monetary arrangements that can stabilise the economy. Not only that will help to shed insights on the benefits associated with financial development but also to determine whether the likelihood of economic and financial crisis can be reduced and hence improve economic welfare.

Professor Andrea Saayman, North-West University

Dr ShiNa Li, Leeds Beckett University

Tourism as a Tool for Poverty Reduction in Southern Africa

NG160321                                           One-Year                                                            £10,000

The aim is to investigate tourism as a tool for poverty reduction in southern Africa. This is an important, timely theme as ending poverty is one of the United Nations’ Global Goals and tourism is promoted in Africa for this purpose. The research will focus on two specific aspects, which are essential in securing benefits from tourism for local communities and to address poverty: 1. the distributional impacts of tourism brought by hosting of mega-events, using an innovative and advanced quantitative approach; 2. a pilot study on the impact of money illusion on foreign tourists’ spending on local products. The first theme investigates to what extent the approach of hosting events in order to attract tourists is benefiting communities. The second theme addresses a key concern for local communities who sell hand-crafted items to tourists to earn a living. This project is the first step in developing long term collaboration between mutually beneficial partners via staff exchange, research meetings and workshops. It will also involve and monitor early career scholars in research.

Dr Andreas Scheba, Human Sciences Research Council

Dr Amber Huff, Institute of Development Studies

Addressing South Africa’s Sustainable Development Paradox: Towards a Multidimensional Framework for Assessing and Enhancing Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits of South Africa’s Green Fund Projects

NG160318                                           One-Year                                                            £9,914

In response to South Africa’s unique sustainability challenges, this project integrates policy analysis, social science and participatory methods to develop an assessment framework (AF) for evaluating social, economic and environmental impacts and risks associated with Green Fund and other ‘green economy’ investment projects, while building research capacity and a new long-term collaborative relationship between the HSRC and IDS/STEPS. The AF will be developed over the course of the award year in the context of carefully designed research and exchange activities: ‘virtual’ activities and exchanges involving collaborative research, methods training, knowledge exchange and skills building, public seminars and writing workshops. Outputs include a working paper, a peer-reviewed journal article, a series of blogs and commentaries and a large joint funding proposal. The project transfers skills and builds capacity in the HSRC, and establishes an international research partnership with enhanced capacity for environmental policy engagement to foster sustainable development in South Africa.


Dr Yukti Mukdawijitra, Thammasat University

Dr Richard Lowell MacDonald, Goldsmiths, University of London

Mobile Media Practices in Everyday Life: Negotiating Commercial Infrastructures and State Control in Mainland Southeast Asia

NG160129                                           One-Year                                                            £9,776

There is a relative lack of scholarship on the highly diverse everyday practices of mobile media use emerging in Southeast Asia (Qiu 2010). This knowledge gap persists despite a growing body of research that has emphasized the locally contingent, culturally specific nature of mobile use (Ito 2005; Hjorth 2009; Miller & Horst 2006). This project initiates a long-term partnership between the Centre for Contemporary Social and Cultural Studies at Thammasat University, Thailand, and the Media Ethnography Group at Goldsmiths, University of London. The aim of the partnership is to establish a strong international network, and to build the capacity of postgraduate and early career researchers, to advance new ethnographic methods and critical perspectives for researching the unpredictability of everyday mobile media practices in mainland Southeast Asia. The proposition unifying the project’s training and research exchange activities concerns the need to conceptualise mobile media and agency by researching people’s everyday negotiation of the contradictory realities of mobile media infrastructure. The partnership is an ideal context for developing methods attuned to the paradoxes of connectivity, particularly the ways that states in the region have sought to harness the economic promise of digital connectivity whilst simultaneously exercising control over the way in which their citizens use these communication tools. The project addresses a gap in the knowledge of mobile media use relating to the rapidly expanding Southeast Asian market.

Dr Quantar Balthip, Prince of Songkla University

Professor Wilfred McSherry, Staffordshire University

Exploring the Concepts of Spirituality and Dignity with Adolescents Living with HIV Compared with Healthy Adolescents

NG160122                                           One-Year                                                            £10,000

Adolescents are considered a healthy population and are defined by a period of striving for independence, continuing growth in capacity for abstract thought, and thinking about the meaning of life. Nevertheless, there are still significant rates of death, illness and disease such as HIV/AIDS among adolescents. It is proposed if adolescents living with HIV in Thailand understand and nurture their own spirituality and dignity this may lead to better life style choices experiencing a number of positive outcomes such as high prosocial reasoning, moral commitment, achievement, and high self-esteem. This growth will benefit themselves and society. This project will be supported by the UK-based co-applicant who is recognized as an international expert in the areas of spirituality, dignity, qualitative research methods and nursing/healthcare practice. Receiving his support through research collaboration will strengthen the research capacity of the Thailand-based applicant and improve outcomes of care for Thai adolescents.

Dr Panita Surachaikulwattana, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce

Professor Nelson Phillips, Imperial College London

The Translation and Scaling of Foreign Practices: A Case Study of the Adoption of the High/Scope Learning Approach in the Field of Early Childhood Education in Thailand

NG160019                           One-Year                            £9,554.00

We propose to conduct a longitudinal study of the adoption of the American High/Scope Learning Approach in the field of early childhood education in Maha Sarakham Province, Thailand, to better understand the translation process of foreign practices across national boundaries and the process of scaling up of the new practice following translation. We will use institutional theory to examine how translation proceeds given the different institutional contexts of the two countries and what are actions are needed to scale up once the practice is translated to the new country. The benefits of this research are twofold. First, our findings will extend our knowledge of how practices are translated across country boundaries and are legitimated in their new context. Second, it has implications for not only effective adoption of the new practice, but also how we can scale up knowledge and practices that have been successful in developed Western countries in developing countries once they are successfully translated.


Professor Sumru Altug, Koc University

Professor Sujoy Mukerji, Queen Mary, University of London

Ambiguity and the Business Cycle: Improving decision-making processes amongst private agents and policy makers in Turkey.

NG160021                                           One-Year                                                            £10,000

Ambiguity, uncertainty, and intertemporal decision-making are not abstract concepts. They involve most decisions regarding consumption, production, investment as well as other decisions undertaken by policymakers in the context of monetary or stabilization policy. In many situations involving private agents and policymakers in emerging economies, these considerations are likely to be even more important, as the processes or even models generating future outcomes are likely to be unknown. The project seeks to develop empirically implementable frameworks that can potentially provide answers to help solve the decision problems of private agents and policymakers under such scenarios. Thus, the knowledge generated under this project can have important applications in determining valuation of uncertain investments under ambiguity, determining robust monetary policy decisions in the face of uncertainty regarding external or domestic factors confronting central bankers, or understanding the saving and portfolio choice problems of consumers under ambiguity aversion and uncertainty. Generating scientific capacity in these regards, will, in turn, improve the decision-making process of private agents and policy makers, and lead to an increase in social welfare in Turkey by allowing different players to make decisions that optimally account for the uncertainty and ambiguity facing their environment. This is a relatively advanced and under studied area of research in Turkey. Through the transfer of knowledge between the Turkey and UK researchers, postgraduate students at Koc University will gain a deeper understanding of ambiguity, ambiguity aversion, and robust decision-making and the issues to be aware of in formulating and applying models of this kind in practice.

Dr Altug Akin Izmir, University of Economics

Dr Anthony McNicholas, University of Westminster

Research Collaboration on Marshall Plan Films about Turkey produced by British Filmmakers – in a contemporary socio-economic context.

NG160333                                           One-Year                                                            £9,856

The Marshall Plan (MP) era is one of the defining periods in the formation of modern Turkey; it is in this era that Turkey first aligned itself with the Western block resulting in the increasing impact of the US on Turkey’s political, economical and social orientation. Despite this, the number of scholarly works on MP is scarce in general, and non-existent in the field of media and communication.  This project aims to facilitate research on the films produced as a part of the MP communication campaign in Turkey (a US-aid receiving country) between 1948 and 1952. Focusing on MP films about Turkey produced by a British film unit, the research aims to shed light on this understudied relationship between Britain and Turkey, by answering the questions “How was the discourse of modernization expressed in British films about the Marshal Plan in Turkey; and how this particular discourse was produced?” In the scope of the project, the applicant will conduct archival study in the UK about films, and their British producers, in collaboration with Dr. Anthony McNicholas of Westminster University, a renowned expert in media history. Towards the end of the project, a workshop on MP films, and a seminar on Middle East media history will be organized in Turkey and in the UK, respectively. Research outcomes will be published as a journal article and a book chapter. The grant will make possible a new partnership for Izmir University of Economics, Turkey and Westminster University, London. The proposed research aims to contribute to further the Turkish public’s understanding of its past, from an academic perspective, and increase academic interest in this crucial period of modern Turkey.

Dr Ferda Donmez Atbasi, Ankara University

Dr Irene Sotiropoulou, Coventry University

Researching and Teaching Grassroots Economics: A Pilot Project

NG160351                                           One-Year                                                            £8,050

The project aims to build upon the two applicants’ long-term informal cooperation in order to explore economic perceptions and practices of people and communities who are not directly involved with academia and have not necessarily formal economic training. The project will facilitate theoretical inquiries and the design of further research concerning grassroots economic thought and how this can be used to acquire meaningful knowledge about the economy, in its specific historical and cultural contexts. The applicants will identify new tools in economic thought and practice which can serve the majority of people, particularly those groups who are excluded, marginalised or exploited in the mainstream economy. The project will enable the two researchers to hold live meetings in order to advance their co-authorship on this field, design a postgraduate course based on this approach and offer a workshop in each of the two institutions involved for academics, students and the general public.

Dr Sandrine Berges, Bilkent University

Dr Alan Coffee, King's College London

Bridging the Gender Gap through Time: How Women Philosophers of the Past contributed to Today's Thought

NG160226                                           One-Year                                                            £9,600

The gender gap that exists throughout the world extends to academic philosophy in at least two ways: first, women philosophers of the past are not given pride of place in the history of the discipline. Secondly, women students in philosophy rarely achieve the same degree of success as their male counterparts. This is at least as true in Turkey as it is in the UK, Europe or the United States. Based on the plausible hypothesis that the lack of visible women role models in the history of the discipline contributes to women students' propensity to abandon their philosophical aspiration despite being as competent as their male colleagues, we propose a program of reinsertion of women in the history of philosophy that is both pedagogical and research based. This will include masterclasses on writing, publishing and teaching, and the organisation of two research conferences based on the work of Mary Wollstonecraft, and the production of an edited scholarly volume on her philosophy and its impact.

Dr Eylem Özaltun, Koç University

Professor Naomi Eilan, University of Warwick

First-Person: Action and Perception - Global Impact Issues in Turkey.

NG160050                                           One-Year                                                            £9,990

The last decade witnessed a resurgence of interest in Anscombe’s Intention, yet its central claim about the agent’s knowledge—that the agent has non-observational knowledge of what happens—remains as puzzling as ever. To solve the puzzle we need an account of practical knowledge, which makes explicit the precise sense in which knowledge of actions is first-personal. We propose that in order to give such an account we must also put under the spotlight our knowledge of our own perceptions and uncover the sense in which perceptions are first-personal. Drawing on Prof Eilan’s work on perception and Dr Özaltun’s work on action, the project aims to give an original account of the first-person perspective both in perception and action that is consistent with actions being part of the natural world, and perceptions revealing that world to us. This account will enable us to see not only how it is possible that an agent has non-observational knowledge of what happens, but also why exactly this knowledge is essential for her to be acting intentionally. The project will enrich the culture of philosophy in Turkey by transferring subject knowledge about philosophy of mind and action, and interdisciplinary research capabilities in self-consciousness and consciousness from Prof Eilan’s UK Network to Dr. Özaltun’s Turkish network via the planned activities and events. It will bring together UK- and Turkey-based academics to do the groundwork for founding a center in the European standards of excellence, dedicated to the study of mind in Turkey. The project, by introducing philosophy of action to Turkey, will promote the careful study of some of the basic concepts regarding our everyday life and relevant to political discourse. In investigating what constitutes intentional action, it will provide the necessary theoretical background to assess to what extent we are responsible for the consequences of our actions and which of those consequences are themselves intended. Set in the heart of the current global-impact issues—refugee crisis, terrorism, fair distribution of natural resources, environmental protection and urban development—public discussions in Turkey will benefit from a sober reflection on the nature of action.

Dr Nuray Ozaslan, Anadolu University

Dr Aylin Orbasli, Oxford Brookes University

Driving economic and social development in Turkey - Curriculum Development in Cultural Heritage Management.

NG160145                                           One-Year                                                            £9,350

International funding agencies such as the World Bank now firmly support the notion that cultural heritage can be a driver for economic and social development. Although Turkey enjoys well-established legislation and policy in support of heritage conservation, stewardship of the historic environment remains widely contested. There is increasing concern in Turkey that there are not enough specialists to take on the important task of conserving what is an immense wealth of cultural heritage spanning millennia. Decision makers and actors involved in the conservation processes including local administrators, contractors and architects need to be trained in specialised skills. Despite there being a number of well-established post graduate programmes in building conservation in Turkey, few academic courses are addressing the widening remit of conservation to include urban conservation, place sensitive regeneration and integrated heritage management practice. The purpose of this project is to enable the applicant to benefit from the academic and practice experiences of heritage management in the UK to develop curriculum content for a Master’s programme in Architectural Conservation. The applicants will work together to pilot an online teaching module in support of the curriculum that will become a means of reaching a broad international audience, including students, practitioners and decision makers. On a more targeted level early career academics and post graduate students in Turkey will learn about new methodologies of field research heritage management. The proposal is based on the shared ethos that integrating research, teaching and practice enriches the learning experience. It is therefore envisaged that the collaboration will generate a research proposal to investigate innovative approaches to heritage management that are socially aware and responsive to local needs. This project’s long-term focus is on the development of innovative approaches to heritage management that can deliver social and economic benefits locally, that takes heritage management away from a simplistic beautification or tourism related activity to one that is a driver for socially inclusive urban and rural development and resilience. These could potentially deliver significant benefits to local communities in areas of historic significance.

Professor Ozlem Sandikci, Istanbul Sehir University

Dr Aliakbar Jafari, University of Strathclyde

The Institutional Role of Imagination in the Formation of a Market: An Investigation of the Emergence of Global Halal Market in Turkey – implications for future development.

NG160253                                           One-Year                                                            £9,450

Over the past decade, a multifaceted discourse has grown about the emergence of a substantial global halal market. Preliminary findings from interviews with business managers shows that unrealistic and exaggerative facts about the nature, size, and financial value of this market are increasingly misleading policy and business actors who are keen to participate in the halal market through for example increasing exports, investment, and entrepreneurial activities. Turkey is one of the main countries that is increasingly keen to participate yet many domestic Turkish companies are not capable of making strategic decisions in terms of production and distribution of products and services that may or may not need comply with halal certification. Using a market formation theoretical approach and netnography of multiple sources of data, this project examines the understudied role of imagination in the formation of the global halal market. Policy and managerial implications that emerge from the project are expected to contribute to economic and business developments in Turkey and the UK and provide insights on strengthening the foundations of export of foods and drinks in relation to halal. Transfer of the insights and experiences gained from engagement with policy and industry in the UK is also expected to benefit the research environment in Turkey and the UK.

Dr Ozge Ozyilmaz Yildizcan, Istanbul Sehir University

Dr Sarah Neely, University of Stirling

Transition to Sound Cinema in Turkey – exploring responses to new developments through knowledge exchange and capacity building.

NG160270                                           One-Year                                                            £9,995

The coming of sound to cinema has been one of the most significant shifts in film history. However, there is only scant research on this process despite its dramatic impact on the production, exhibition and viewing processes of films. The few studies which do focus on the coming of sound are mostly studies on large film-producing countries. This project will be the first to investigate the ways in which the film industry in Turkey and the Turkish audiences responded to the coming of sound. While examining these responses, the foci of the project will cover a variety of aspects regarding the production, distribution, exhibition and reception stages – such as the installation of new sound equipment in theatres; the role of thousands of cinema musicians who accompanied silent films; the language barrier which became an issue after the emergence of talkies; and, the critical and popular responses to such new developments. The proposed research will contribute to scientific and cultural exchange between Turkish and British scholars. The research will situate Turkish film industry of the related period within the international film industry - an approach which requires an international scholarly network and exchange. This research makes it possible for Turkish academics to participate in the development of large-scale research projects with multi-partners. The project will facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building through a workshop at Istanbul Sehir University on historical research on cinemagoing and reception with Turkish postgraduate student film scholars.

Dr Volkan Yilmaz, Bogazici University

Dr Paul Willis, University of Bristol

A Study of Contesting Discourses of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Policies in Turkey in a Comparative Perspective: Whose Welfare and Rights Are Represented?

NG160154                                           One-Year                                                            £4,110

This research project is a preliminary study aiming to explore the contesting discourses of sexual and reproductive health care services in Turkey in the last decade and compare them with those in England and Wales. Main research questions are as follows: What social and moral discourses underpin and inform sexual and reproductive health care policy in Turkey? Whose welfare and rights are represented and whose are excluded in the identification of priority groups and user groups? How does this compare to the discourses and policy drivers informing sexual and reproductive health policy in England and Wales? The study has three major components: reviewing policy documents, identifying and mapping stakeholders involved in this policy domain and reviewing as well as analyzing public statements of stakeholders on changes in sexual and reproductive health care policies. Analysis of these three sources of qualitative data will enable us to explore the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in sexual and reproductive health care policies in Turkey in a comparative perspective.

Dr Luca Zavagno, Bilkent University

Dr Jonathan Andrew Jarrett, University of Leeds

‘Not the Final Frontier’. The World of Medieval Islands – a reassessment of their role as ‘gateway communities’ in a political, economic and social context.

NG160273                                           One-Year                                                            £4,216

Re-thinking the idea and concept of frontier is in my opinion essential with regard to the contemporary Turkish state of affairs. The traditional, and probably too often reprised, role of the country as a bridge between Europe and Asia is now tragically impinging upon the lives of people both living in or transiting across the country. Examining and reassessing the role of Mediterranean islands as hubs of movement as well as places of connectivity, acting as porous frontiers rather than impenetrable borders, resonates strongly with the rising discourses of the “globalist” and “currency” of the medieval Mediterranean world.  The project aims at overcoming the common idea that the large islands of the medieval Mediterranean, such as Sicily, Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Sardinia and the Balearics, acted only as strategic and military bulwarks or peripheral outposts along the Mediterranean frontier between the Byzantine Empire and medieval Islam. Using material culture, archaeological evidence and literary and documentary sources, it will be demonstrated that these islands acted as sites of cross-cultural encounters and as political and economic poles of attraction from both sides of the Mediterranean religious divide. By emphasizing the importance of persons acting as cultural brokers (at the micro-historical level) and following the ebbs and flows of the caliphates, emirates and empires of the Great Sea (at the macro-historical level), it will be shown how islands acted, not as a cultural barrier between opposed political entities, but as zones of inter-religious and socio-economic interaction, peaceful and hostile both.  The research will explore the role of Mediterranean islands as hubs of connectivity, where Islamic and Byzantine cultures encountered and impinged upon the “insular” political, economic and social structures of the Middle Ages.


Dr Chau Le Banking, University HCMC

Professor Roman Matousek, University of Kent

The Global Financial Crisis and Spillovers of US Monetary Policy: Lessons from Vietnam

NG160341                                           One-Year                                                            £7,860

Our project seeks to develop a new collaboration between the Banking University HCMC in Vietnam (BUH) and Kent Business School, Kent University, England – (KU). The research objectives of our project are as follows: First, we explore to which extend the spillover of the GFC affected bank performance in Vietnam. This is explored by examining bank efficiency that is an appropriate way of measuring the changes in bank activities. In doing so, we advance the current theoretical framework on bank efficiency by incorporating into the methodological framework issue of 'undesirable outputs', i.e non-performing loans and risk factor. Secondly, we develop an innovative methodological framework that will determine whether the monetary transmission process (Bank Lending Channel - BLC) works differently under financial turbulence. Thirdly, to empirically test the main factors having an impact on BLC, ie. whether BLC is influenced only by bank’s size, capitalization and liquidity or whether bank efficiency and spillovers of monetary policy from developed economies matter as well.

Dr Van Nhan Luong, Da Nang Architecture University

Dr Jonathan Evans, University of Portsmouth

Fan Translation in Viet Nam – an analysis of how media and cultural products from English speaking countries are translated and circulated by fan (non-professional) translators and how fan groups reacted to imported cultures and cultural products and the implications for educational policies.

NG160250                                           One-Year                                                            £9,102

This exploratory study aims to understand how media and cultural products from English speaking countries are circulated and received in unofficial translation in Viet Nam. Since the 1990s, the internet has made possible a greater movement of texts around the globe. However, this is not always in official or authorised translations, as some translation is undertaken by amateurs who are often fans of those texts. These fan translations do not always compete with official translations but supplement them and allow for greater access to key cultural and popular texts. Building on work in fan studies and translation studies – a new field of study in Viet Nam, the project will explore the range of translations available on the Vietnamese web and investigate translation strategies and reception of specific examples. It contributes to the developing sustainable research competence in the field of translation studies in Viet Nam and to expanding research collaboration between the UK and Viet Nam. The project will benefit Viet Nam through a deeper understanding of how young people are (unofficially) engaging with international popular culture and how this is affecting their interest in foreign cultures as well as their foreign language learning. This can feed into language teaching practice and contribute positively to educational policies. The project will demonstrate the potential of the Vietnamese market for multiple forms of Western popular culture and may encourage international companies to invest in that Vietnamese market, bringing jobs to Vietnamese translators.

Dr Phuc Van Nguyen, Trung Vuong University

Dr Tamsin Barber, Oxford Brookes University

New Labour Migrations Between Vietnam and the UK: Motivations, Journeys and Reflections

NG160319                                           One-Year                                                            £8,197.65

In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in Vietnamese migration to the UK. Perceiving themselves as coming to seek a ‘better life’, this youthful group is largely depicted in the media as either trafficked through nail salons, cannabis factories or as unaccompanied ‘child’ migrants (Barber and Nguyen, 2015). This has raised concerns for authorities, especially specialist crime agencies, in both countries. These concerns relate to human smuggling, illegal drug trades and money laundering. Their associated social and economic consequences, such as burdens on the welfare and asylum systems in the UK, and family separation and poverty in Vietnam are also noted. This project seeks to understand why these migrants come to the UK. It explores their aspirations, expectations and experiences at different stages of migration. Identifying common perspectives of the migrants from both the home and host country this project aims to gain a deeper understanding of social agency and migratory strategies, to provide a fuller and more nuanced understanding of this migration.

Professor Nguyen Cong Phuong, School of Economics, Danang University

Dr Tobias Polzer, Queen's University Belfast

The reform of public sector accounting in Vietnam – Learning from UK experiences and promoting the development of stronger public sector institutions.

NG160355                                           One-Year                                                            £3,860

The project aims to investigate which lessons Vietnam can learn from the UK about the development from a cash-based to a contemporary accrual accounting system. Vietnam has a cash-based accounting system, but as in other developing countries, there are pressures to move towards Western accruals accounting standards, often as requirement from international donor organisations or due to pressures arising from the financial crisis. Similar reforms in Western countries have in some cases turned out to be more costly than anticipated and have unintended effects. The UK can be regarded as an ideal country to learn from, as accruals accounting was already introduced in 1993, and other public sector accounting reforms have been carried out, so there is a substantial degree of gained experience. A special emphasis will be put on the questions of how (a) Western concepts can be implemented and (b) how problems discovered in the UK context can be avoided in developing countries. Proposed activities include a research stay in the UK for interviews and a workshop in Vietnam. This research will help to promote the development of stronger public sector institutions in Vietnam.

Dr Thi Tran, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences

Dr Jo-Pei Tan, Manchester Metropolitan University

Care in Modern Family: Perspective of Older and Younger Generations in two Major Cities in Vietnam and the UK

NG160263                                           One-Year                                                            £9,910

This project aims to build new partnerships and strengthen research capacity, including early career researchers (ECR) in Vietnam through a training & knowledge exchange programme, with a focus on understanding the practices of care provision in modern families, from an intergenerational perspective in two urban cities in Vietnam and the UK. Firstly, we will conduct an exploratory research visit to Vietnam, followed by comparative empirical research on family roles and the care system in the two countries, engaging Vietnamese ECR in workshops to strengthen research skills, and building capacity for community engagement and professional practice in health and social care (HSC). Finally, outputs will include seminar presentations and journal publications. The programme will directly enhance knowledge and skills capability of ECR at individual level and support capacity building at institutional level through learning, adapting and forming more effective strategies and policies for meeting HSC challenges in rapidly changing communities in Vietnam.

Professor Quang Thong Truong, University of Economics

Dr Quang Nguyen, Middlesex University

Linking Risk and Time Preferences with the Default of Microfinance Loan: Field Experiment Evidence from the Mekong Delta

NG160334                                           One-Year                                                            £10,000

Microfinance plays an important role in improving well-beings of low-income population. At the same time, the success of microfinance depends critically on non-default behaviour of borrowers. However, the link between default behaviours and borrower’s behavioral characteristics - especially risk and time preferences - is underexplored. The primary aim of this research is to work on a research project examining whether risk and time preference influence the microfinance borrower’s default risk. The risk and time preferences are further analyzed on the ground of difference between rural and urbanized areas of the Mekong Delta. A novel aspect of our study is the use of households survey in combination with field experiment - to examine the two following questions (i) Do risk and time preferences effects on microfinance loan default? (ii) Does there exist any difference in risk and time preferences between rural and urbanized areas borrowers?

Working on this research the Co-Applicant will transfer his skills and establish collaboration between Middlesex University and EUH.

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