Newton Mobility Grant Awards 2017

Funded by


Professor Marcos Almeida, Federal University of Goiás

Professor Mas'ud Ibrahim, Coventry University

An examination of the effect of corruption on firms’ financial policies in Brazil

NMG2R2\100034                              One Year                                              £9,398.88

Recent evidence from Transparency International has established a strong connection between corruption and inequalities in developing countries. This raises fresh question as to the extent to which corruption can affect other sectors of the economy with a view to formulating an integrated approach to address the phenomenon. This study critically examines the effects of corruption on firms’ financial policies with specific focus on corporate liquidity, investment and financing policies. Using a large panel of companies, national and global data between 2011 and 2016, this study employs differences-in-differences (DID) and panel data methodology to test three research hypotheses that relate corruption practices to politically connected firms, degree of corporate governance and regulatory environment in the context of Brazil. In addition to enhanced understanding of corruption literature, this research has a strong policy implication by identifying the emerging incentives for corruption practices and its sustenance in relation to firms’ financial policies.

Professor Gladis Massini-Cagliari, Universidade Estadual Paulista 

Professor Paul O’Neil, University of Sheffield

Variation and Change in Language: Combatting linguistic prejudice and discrimination through knowledge and understanding – exploring how to achieve equal and effective education in Brazil.

NMG2R2\100102                              One Year                                              £9,400.00

Language, like race, religion, sexuality or even haircut style, is a human variable. Variables are sensitive to being associated with some type of social meaning or stereotyping, independently of any inherent or intrinsic qualities of the variable. Such stereotyping is the cause of linguistic prejudice and discrimination in Brazil, which can result in social exclusion and have serious impact for engagement of individuals with the education system and the establishment and thus pose an economical and developmental challenge. The questions that our research seeks to address are: what are the features of spoken Brazilian-Portuguese which are most discriminated against? How can recent developments in understanding language change and variation combat this? How can linguists engage with policy makers and non-academic partners to disseminate their research and have a lasting impact on matters of linguistic prejudice, especially within education?Our project addresses a defined complex developmental issue (equal and effective education) in Brazil, identifies a contributing factor (linguistic prejudice) and proposes to bring researchers together from the UK and Brazil to conjointly discuss the best ways to tackle the problem by combining and sharing the skills and knowledge of all parties concerned and to explore the most effective ways to engage with non-academic partners and governmental institutions in order to maximise the impact of the research. The outcome of the project will provide a clear action plan to encourage and promote fundamental changes in how standard and non-standard language varieties are viewed by Brazilian society and treated by the educational system and thus increase educational engagement and empowerment and promote social well-being and economic growth due to the positive impact that such factors can have on national productivity.

Professor Jáima Oliveira, University of State of Sao Paulo

Professor Sean Bracken, University of Worcester

The use of Lesson Study to support inclusive practice in Higher Education 

NMG2R2\100143                              One Year                                              £9,954.00 

Globally, through widening participation efforts, student communities in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have become more diverse. Consequently, students' learning requirements have changed and there is a necessity for HEIs to adapt and change their teaching, assessment and social inclusion practices. Policy makers have identified that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides opportunities for HEIs to enhance learning outcomes through a focus on inclusive assessment strategies. However, the question remains as to how such strategies can be realised. The research will assess the impact that Lesson Study (LS), a structured and sustained form of action research, has upon students' learning outcomes by investigating the impact of collaborative assessment design and implementation processes. The research aims to strengthen the experiences of disadvantaged students in HE by illustrating how best to design, implement and sustain inclusive assessment and pedagogy. This is an imperative for HEIs in Brazil and the UK.

Professor Marcos Ferreira, Universidade Federal da Paraíba

Professor Oliver Richmond, University of Manchester

Challenges for Peace in democratic societies: Public security, crime and violence in South America

NMG2R2\100064                              One Year                                              £9,845.00

This application aims to initiate a new research and foster academic collaboration between scholars at the Federal University of Paraíba and the University of Manchester. The objective is to analyze the challenges for peace in democratic settings where public security is under threat, specifically violence perpetrated by criminal groups and its effects in South America. Two specific objectives will be considered. First, the project will explore the theoretical debates on how violent non-state actors affect civil peace in democratic settings, especially transnational organized crime. Second, it will analyse the role of one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the dissemination of violence across South America, the PCC (First Capital Command). This study is of interest both to Brazil and the UK, given that organizations as PCC affects South America, but is also an important drug supplier to Europe. Manchester University offers a wide range of expertise for this project. The project is directly and primarily relevant to think solutions related to SDG 16 ("Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"), given that the promotion of peace and justice asks for a better understanding of the impact of organized crime in South America, as well as its effects in the state institutions.

Professor Andre Paz, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO)

Professor Sandra Gaudenzi, University of Westminster

IF BUG LAB: an experimental methodology for developing interactive documentary projects in the Brazilian context – promoting partnerships and investment in sustainable development.

NMG2R2\100244                              One Year                                              £9,150.00

The project proposes to analyse the IF LAB (Interactive Factual Lab) methodology of Sandra Gaudenzi, aiming at the enhancement of a methodology towards innovative projects development for independent production of new documentary formats that suits the Brazilian scenario. It includes the participative-observation of IF LAB meetings, a training program and conception, realization and research of a specific version of the IF LAB (IF BUG LAB), in Rio de Janeiro, during the Bug404 Conference, in parallel to Bug Exhibition ("Mostra Bug"). The project comprises the evaluation of assumptions and results from the Brazilian and the European version. It is based on an action-research methodology and aims to produce academic outputs (Article, panels, review posts) and to create a long term network between André Paz and Sandra Gaudenzi, UNIRIO and University of Westminster, Bug404 and i-Docs networks. This proposal addresses directly at least two of the Sustainable Development Goals: (1) “Promoting partnerships: Working together [to] unlock the necessary financial resources, share technologies and create national capacities”; and (2) “Promoting investment in sustainable development: The OECD also works with developing countries on many fronts to support them in mobilising domestic resources.” These goals are at the core of the present proposal, as our intent is to build a solid network of partners and also to research on the adaptation of methodologies used in the UK considering the available resources in Brazil. André Paz has created Bug404 a Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) to help promote the innovative field of interactive, collaborative, immersive and multi-platform documentary production in Brazil and to support the conception, development and production of new projects. The project aims at articulating the University with different actors in this field, fostering dialogue and cooperation among researchers and makers, producers, managers and audiences. The methodology for project development and the opportunity to collaborate with University of Westminster are extremely relevant to the challenges faced by this Brazilian scenario and will have a very positive impact in fostering the work of Bug404.

Professor Thiago Allis, University of Sao Paulo

Professor Peter Lugosi, Oxford Brookes University

Refugee Labour-market Integration through Hospitality and Tourism (RELAI-HOST)

NMG2R2\100063                              One Year                                              £9,470.00

In 2017 the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security foregrounded the recent influx of refugees and called on civil society organisations to establish projects promoting their labour market integration. Tourism and hospitality employment represent vital entry points into the labour market for new migrants, where they develop transferable competencies and establish networks that facilitate their economic participation and social integration. Given the central role of tourism and hospitality in the Brazilian economy, it is necessary to consider how refugees’ transition into work is supported by organisations inside and beyond the sector. This project builds on existing collaborations with civil society bodies to: a) identify best practice amongst stakeholders supporting refugees’ development and integration; b) develop further collaborative networks and empirical strategies for a larger-scale research project; and c) facilitate knowledge transfer between UK and Brazilian academics and practitioners on impact-focused research and interventions supporting refugees’ economic activity.

Professor Eduardo Calil de Oliveira, Federal University of Alagoas

Professor Debra Myhill, University of Exeter

Dialogue and erasure: study of (meta)linguistic comments of Brazilian students when they write a text together – improving the quality of teaching in primary schools.

NMG2R2\100098                              One Year                                              £ 10,000.00

The objective of this proposal is training for the deepening of questions related to the metalinguistic activities of Brazilian students. Research on teaching and learning is of great importance for Brazil, which faces serious problems with the education of its children and adolescents. According to the results of the Program for International Students Assessment (PISA, 2015), Brazil occupies 60th position in the ranking in a list of 70 countries. In reading, Brazil was among the 12 worst countries, where students did not reach the minimum level of proficiency. In the Northeast region, where the Federal University of Alagoas is located, the index is the lowest among all Brazilian regions and the State of Alagoas has the lowest PISA among the states in that region. My proposal for the development of this Mobility programme will contribute to improving the quality of teaching in primary schools. This study may provide significant information about metalinguistic activities and students' thinking about the text they write. This valuable information can be used in teacher training courses, help in the elaboration of teaching guidelines and curricular proposals, and strengthen the knowledge and training of researchers.

Professor Thales Zamberlan Pereira, Centro Universitário Franciscano (UNIFRA)

Professor Maria Alejandra Irigion, London School of Economics and Political Science

The first commodity boom in South America: gold and silver exchange rates in Brazil and South America during the wars in Europe (1790-1830) - assessing regional divergence in Brazilian economic growth.

NMG2R2\100176                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

This project will revise the historical narrative about transformations in the economy and commerce of Brazil and the Spanish Southern cone more generally during the French and Napoleonic Wars in Europe. This research considers a new and yet unexplored factor: the consequences of monetary developments in Europe. An extraordinary pressure on silver and gold prices in Europe resulted in a substantial overvaluation of the local exchange rate of sterling, which propitiated the production of non-precious metals exports and the inflow of British imports; textiles in particular. The research has the objective to understand how monetary policies affected Brazilian economic development during the 19th century, a critical period when Brazil set her economic, financial and fiscal institutions. The growth trajectory initiated – and failed – in that the period has repeated over time in the subsequent decades. The project can contribute to shed new light on an old, critical problem of Brazil’s development and will offer a new database to assess the regional divergence in Brazil's economic growth after independence. The activities proposed in this research will contribute to enhancing the Brazilian academic environment by allowing other local scholars to come in closer contact with international research, receive international quality training and engage in the most current debates in the discipline.

Professor Susana Pereira, Fundação Getúlio Vargas

Professor Luciano Batista, University of Northampton

Circular Supply Chains in Emerging Economies – A comparative study of packaging recovery ecosystems in China and Brazil

NMG2R2\100115                              One Year                                              £9,970.00

The project involves knowledge transference to FGV-EAESP in three areas. First, in the area of sustainable and circular supply chain management, we will share conceptual framing and research methodologies to develop FGV-EAESP research in this area. Second, in the area of pedagogy, University of Northampton will share expertise developed through the experience of delivering undergraduate units and postgraduate programmes that are informed by research led teaching and problem-based learning to FGV-EAESP. Third, University of Northampton will share knowledge about circular supply chain based on the mature recycling practice in the UK. We will jointly conduct a comparative study comparing the recycling practice of Tetra Pak, a multinational corporation in packaging industry, between Brazil and China to draw similarities and difference and inform cross-country learning. Northampton will benefit from FGV-EAESP’s experience and networks with local stakeholders to carry out a comparative research project and co-author research papers.

Professor Luca Pitteloud, Universidade Federal do ABC

Professor Matthew Duncombe, University of Nottingham

Understanding Argumentative Strategies: Contradiction and Infinite Regresses in Plato and Aristotle – reducing inequalities amongst minority groups in philosophy in Brazil.

NMG2R2\100044                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

What are the good strategies for arguing and how do those strategies work? Understanding the argumentative strategies our partners, colleagues and peers use has never been more important, as we face global challenges around climate change, international development and political instability. Solutions to these problems are only available collaboratively and reasonably, and argument is our best mechanism for collaborative, rational problem solving. This Newton Mobility Grant will network scholars in Brazil and the UK to investigate the relationship between infinite regress arguments and contradiction in Plato and Aristotle, while developing research capacity and professional skills in both countries. This will lead to future research partnerships and grant capture in the UK and Brazil. The project meets the Sustainable Development Goals by contributing to the provision of quality education; gender equality through a workshop that will begin to sensitize professionals and contribute to increasing the representation of women in academic philosophy in Brazil, though, hopefully, enabling academic communities to collaborate to eliminate implicit bias, chilly climates and stereotype threat. It will also contribute to reduced inequalities by tackling psychological phenomena that affect minority groups. These workshops will act to reduce inequality in the representation of minority groups in philosophy in Brazil.

Professor Leonardo Ribeiro, Instituto Nacional de Metrologia,

Professor Dr Valbona Muzaka, King’s College London

An Empirical Investigation of Scientific, Technological, Product Differentiation and Wealth Chains of Nations and Firms

NMG2R2\100168                              One Year                                              £9,920.00

This project proposes an empirical investigation of the scientific, technological, product differentiation and wealth chains of nations and firms through the statistical analysis of a large database containing information pertaining to each one of these dimensions. Besides the novelty of the built database and the methodology for matching the information firm by firm, a complex statistical analysis is proposed to assess the causalities and the interactions among these dimensions and also to assess how linear is the chain formed by them. Another strength of this project is the embedding of this statistical analysis in a broader, socio-political and economic analysis


Professor Simon Soon, University of Malaya

Professor Pamela Corey, School or Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Constructing Decolonial Art History of Southeast Asia – building research capacity in the visual arts.

NG170088                           One Year                                              £10,000.00

The decolonial imperative requires modern institutions of learning to recognise their complex relationship to colonialism, and through that process, reorganise existing knowledge and raise questions to offer new trajectories of thinking. Our project thus links two postcolonial institutions that are products of British imperialism: SOAS University of London (est. 1916) and the University of Malaya (est. 1949). We aim to collaboratively build decolonial art histories of Southeast Asia through two exchanges between universities that serve as regional leaders in Southeast Asian Art History. The project enables an institutional partnership that could shift borders, both those of the geographical region under study and those of the sites from which this history has been largely been written. The award will contribute to building staff research capacity, access to resources, academic and professional networks, curriculum development, and shaping a unique undergraduate course of study in the region at the University of Malaya.  This exchange will bring numerous benefits to Malaysia. The University of Malaya's Visual Arts Department is the only programme in the country and the region that focuses exclusively on the teaching and research of Southeast Asian art history and visual culture in its breadth and depth. It has since 2003 attempted to frame the study of art as a lens to understand social and political contexts of Southeast Asia. Principally, the pedagogical aim is to cultivate imaginative and critical thinking in students of art history and visual culture alongside the requisite research skills. These are intellectual skills that are transferable across disciplines and industry professions, since they encourage public discourse on the subject of culture, more broadly. A more culturally aware population is, therefore, one that is open to complex ideas and demonstrates civic-mindedness.

Professor Norrakiah Abdullah Sani, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Professor Fiona Dykes, University of Central Lancashire

Breastfeeding and ‘milk siblings’: Challenges and opportunities for human milk banking and donation in Malaysia

NG170147                          One Year                                              £7,711.20

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months of age.  However, there may be mothers who are too ill or unable to provide their own breast milk to their infants.  In cases like this, donor human milk is the best alternative.  However, according to the Islamic tradition especially from the majority Sunni school of thought, babies who receive breast milk from the donor mother are considered to be her milk babies.  This has implications in terms of marriage between the milk siblings, as they are prohibited from marrying each other since they are maternally related. In order for the human milk bank or donation system to be effective whilst taking religious sensitivity into consideration, both donors and recipients should be made known to each other.  Thus, the aim of this project is to explore the knowledge and views of Malaysian mothers towards milk banking and to propose practical solutions via drafting appropriate Standard Operating Procedures and ethical codes at a selected neonatal intensive care unit, which will be a positive step towards the establishment of a traceable human milk bank or donation system in Malaysia.

Professor Azlina Azman, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Professor Johnathan Parker, Bournemouth University

Towards a competency/capability assessment tool for social work field training: A Malaysian perspective

NG170115                           One Year                                              £9,811.79

Field practice is an integral component of professional social work education. Through field practice, student social workers are able to apply social work knowledge, values, ethics and skills to real life situations. Hence, there is a clear need to assess social work students’ capabilities or competency in applying their learning when working directly with their clients. (We use both competency and capability because of the contested nature of the terms. We want to stress performance-in context; something that looks at what resources one has to complete social work tasks successfully, and how that success is judged.) Currently, there is no robust competency/capability assessment tool in Malaysia. This project aims to develop a more comprehensive assessment tool that can measure (qualitatively as well as quantitatively) social work students’ field practice. The methodology includes in-depth analysis of the different assessment methods practised in other countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and other countries with comprehensive field practice assessment.


Professor Armando Solares Rojas, National Pedagogic University

Professor Alf Coles, University of Bristol

Connecting out-of-school experience with classroom mathematics in culturally diverse societies

NMG2R\170058                                One Year                                              £9,976.00

This proposal aims to improve the lower levels of numeracy amongst children in Mexico’s marginalised communities. There is an urgent need to connect the mathematics education that these children are offered, to their out-of-school experience of the living world. The research questions are: (1) What are the expectations on children, in marginalised communities, in relation to mathematics education? (2) What do those children see as the purpose and function of mathematics? (3) In what ways do their teachers adapt the curriculum to the children’s context of life? (4) What connections between out-of-school experience and the classroom are possible? The study has three components. The first is a review of current Mexican policy. The second component is a qualitative investigation about teaching and learning mathematics in marginalised communities. The third component is to engage with policy makers and teacher trainers to build an agenda for connecting out-of-school experience with classroom mathematics.

Professor Velumani Subramaniam, CINVESTAV – Zacatenco

Professor David Benson, University of Exeter

Assessing the scope for lesson-drawing on the multi-level governance of solar PV waste in Mexico and the UK

NMG2R2\100105                              One Year                                              £6,652.00

The UN Sustainable Development Goals prioritise clean energy (SDG 7), however there is divergence with targets for responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) in the development of solar PV technologies. Target 12.4, for example, obliges states to undertake management of wastes and chemicals across their entire life-cycles. Effective governance of solar PV waste material is therefore important to the SDGs, providing the scope for ‘lesson-drawing’ (Benson and Jordan 2011) between Mexico, where regulatory controls exist but are poorly implemented, and the UK-EU where stricter regimes exist for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The research project therefore aims at interdisciplinary collaboration in developing policy relevant research into lesson-drawing on managing solar PV waste impacts in Mexico, through comparative analysis of current WEEE governance structures and their domestic implementation. Three academic visits are planned to facilitate learning between the applicants, which will result in three academic outputs plus strengthened research collaborations.

Dr Henio Pablo Luis Hoyo Prohuber, Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM)

Dr Bahar Baser, Coventry University

Scrutinising Home States and Diaspora Governance: A Comparative Perspective on Turkey and Mexico in Theory and Practice

NMG2R2\100111                              One-Year                            £9,975.00

This project is a collaborative research programme between Universidad de Monterrey and Coventry University and its objective is to enhance knowledge and skills transfer between two research centres, namely Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) and Centre of Multidisciplinary Studies in Conflict, Cooperation and Development (CIMCODD). Mutual staff exchanges and training will be central for the proposed programme and the project creates an opportunity for dialogue between two research centres to foster future collaborations. The applicants will work on a project that analyses Mexico and Turkey’s diaspora engagement policies. Through a theoretically informed analysis of state-led mobilisation of Mexican and Turkish diaspora communities, the project evaluates state “strategies” of diaspora-management and the processes of implementation. In addition to academic outputs and research seminars, the project will provide policy recommendations to the Mexican government for a more lucrative engagement with its diaspora.

Professor Paloma Atencia Linares, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Professor Stacie Friend, Birkbeck University

Narrative Immersion as an Attentional Phenomenon – promoting equal access to education in Mexico.

NMG2R2\100117                              One Year                                              £9,924.00

The widespread experience of ‘being lost in a narrative’ or ‘immersed’ in a story has been the object of a vast literature in psychology, communication science and narratology. By contrast, although philosophers often write about our engagement with fiction, few of them and only recently, have focused on immersion in its own right. Moreover, tendency has been to appeal to specific and complex mental states to explain the phenomenon. Our aim is to propose a new, empirically-informed philosophical account of immersion. Specifically, we propose that immersion is fundamentally an attentional phenomenon. Our plan is to analyse relevant empirical studies of immersion and attention; use these analyses to evaluate accounts of immersion in philosophy, literature and film studies; and develop an account of immersion in terms of attention.  With respect to quality of education, this project will allow students and staff at UNAM to be exposed to cutting-edge research in the humanities and will contribute to further developing the career of a local academic who will certainly have positive effects in her community. This project also contributes to providing equal opportunities and reducing inequality with regard to access to high-quality education. The UNAM is a state institution, free of charge to Mexican students and with a social educational mission, so students from all social backgrounds will be able to benefit from the transfer of knowledge. Finally, in supporting a female researcher, this project will contribute to gender equality. Higher education in general, and philosophy in particular, are strongly male-dominated areas. This project will make available, to students of all social backgrounds, cutting-edge international research in philosophy; they will be exposed to new work in analytic aesthetics, including new methodologies such as the integration of empirical evidence with philosophical research. It will also help to consolidate the reputation of UNAM as a leading institution while enhancing the reputation of humanities, philosophy and analytic aesthetics both within the University and elsewhere. Since UNAM is a referent for many universities of Latin America, and both students and staff from a variety of Latin American institutions visit regularly, the enhanced recognition for these disciplines/sub-disciplines can have an effect on the type of research undertaken elsewhere, as well as inspiring from other institutions to engage in international research networks.

Professor Alejandro Rodiles Bretón, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Professor Gavin Sullivan, University of Kent

Global Security Assemblages and International Law: A Socio-Legal Study of Emergency in Motion

NMG2R2\100049                              One Year                                              £9,236.00

Global security is increasingly concerned with threats posed by non-state actors. This has shifted the focus from the maintenance of peace and security among states to the management of risks from diverse actors associated with terrorism and violent extremism. As a consequence, the international legal system designed in the post-War era, with the UN Security Council at its centre, is moving towards an evolving complex of actors assembled together to prevent global threats - from traditional international organizations and states to informal networks, private companies and NGOs. Old and new actors do not operate on parallel tracks but in tandem, to more efficiently counter terrorism in its changing manifestations. This project analyses whether international law today results from the interplay occurring within these security assemblages and maps their legal and political effects. It will develop a new collaboration between ITAM University (Mexico) and the University of Kent (UK).

Professor Emma Regin Morales Garcia de Alba, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla

Professor Rowland Atkinson, University of Sheffield

Social Inequalities and Urban Fragmentation Strategies

NMG2R2\100197                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

While social inequalities remain key features of numerous cities globally, many still manage to provide spaces for collective social life, including public streets, market spaces and parks. Yet many countries, like Mexico and the UK, with their significant socio-economic disparities and growing fear of crime and violence, witness diverse strategies by their wealthiest citizens to avoid public spaces. This avoidance has generated a fragmented engagement with the city by particular social groups. Processes, including the normalisation of gated communities, are reshaping cities leaving fewer shared spaces for collective life. The proposed collaboration aims to draw on Mexican and UK experts to analyse the risks and challenges for the public life of cities from these new and growing patterns of segregation and social avoidance. The collaboration will produce statements of good practice to help promote both open and secure urban public spaces.

Professor Edgar Ramirez, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas

Professor Robert Rogerson, University of Strathclyde

Using digital government to build citizen trust and address inequalities

NMG2R2\100231                              One Year                                              £7,950.00

The potential for digital government to enhance the quality of life of all citizens remains largely latent. Whilst the delivery of services and the internal organisation of local government have been transformed through the use of ICT globally, the desire to bring citizens closer to and within public policy making remains patchy. Mexico’s experience is no exception, with barriers to such citizen participation including corruption and the lack of transparency, as well as a culture of disengagement by community organisations and social inequalities. This project draws on the experience in the UK’s future city demonstrator city, Glasgow, to research and demonstrate ways in which these barriers might be overcome and to identify the benefits which could accrue through more active citizen participation in relation to Mexico City.

South Africa

Professor Annette Hübschle, University of Cape Town

Professor Donna Yates, University of Glasgow

Contested illegalities: Tracking il(legality) of contested collectibles from the source to the market.

NMG2R\170105                                One Year                                              £4,830.00

The proposed mobility grant application consists of four interlinked components aimed at strengthening research ties between the applicant and co-applicant, and their respective institutions, by investigating trafficked goods in ODA countries and linking this to the notion of ‘contested illegality’; arranging a workshop that delves into trafficking and contested illegality with scholars linked to the Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research. The proposal seeks to study an ongoing development challenge in these and other ODA countries, the insecurity caused by the illicit trafficking of goods and the cultural, political and environmental instability that results from the destructive consumption of looted cultural and natural heritage. We seek to develop innovative new ways to combat the illicit trade in cultural and natural goods from ODA countries. Through our innovative theoretical framework, we believe that we will be able to detect previously-unrecognized points of intervention into smuggling networks, developing new cost-effective and literally effective ways for ODA countries and external partners to disrupt trafficking and related organised crime.

Professor Deevia Bhana, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Professor Francesca Salvi, University of Portsmouth

Teenage Fathers and Masculinity in South Africa

NMG2R2\100077                              One Year                                              £9,687.00

This study aims to further understand the position of young fathers in South Africa. It builds on the assumption that a consideration of fatherhood is necessary to develop a realistic understanding of how parenthood reproduces or challenges existing gender norms. Traditionally, mainstream literature understand parenthood as motherhood, mirroring a similar trend whereby gender is synonym for woman. However, gender norms appear to be shifting in South Africa, as suggested for example, by the rise of female employment and female-headed households. Focusing on young fatherhood is thus a lens through which we can, not only ascertain how individuals understand the social and cultural norms that define their options, but also understand how they contribute to redefining and changing such norms. An emphasis on building an international community revolving around the University of Portsmouth (UK) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) is key to maximising the potential impact of this study.

Professor Irma Booyens, Human Sciences Research Council

Professor Albert Kimbu, University of Surrey

Coping with change: livelihood transitions strategies and practices through tourism in marginalised communities

NMG2R2\100120                              One Year                                              £8,807.00

This research seeks to explore livelihood transitions from primary economic activities into tourism employment in marginalised communities. The aim is to investigate the developmental role of tourism within a sustainable development framework. Tourism is often offered as a panacea for development in areas where traditional activities such as agriculture and fishing have declined. This proposed research seeks to determine whether and how affected communities in the UK and South Africa cope with these changes, and what their coping strategies are, the role tourism has played in diversifying local livelihoods, if and how obstacles to participating in tourism are overcome, how capabilities are built, and its influence on gender and community relations. This research addresses an under investigated area concerning sustainable human resources and decent employment in tourism. It aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 1 (poverty), 5 (gender) and 8 (decent work). It also is concerned with resilience in tourism.

Professor Elizabeth Le Roux, University of Pretoria

Professor Caroline Davies, Oxford Brookes University

Histories of Publishing under Apartheid

NMG2R2\100222                              Two Years                                           £9,065.00

This project seeks to examine the role of publishing in the cultural struggle, both for and against apartheid, in South Africa. It will build upon an existing partnership and support new research in print culture and publishing studies to address the activities of publishers, authors and readers within a repressive environment. The factors that directly influenced book production and reception at this time include the presence or absence of publishing opportunities, the intended and actual audience, and the effects of political repression (in particular, censorship, banning and exile). A key focus, which has not been previously considered, is the deployment of international networks, especially with the UK, to circumvent state control. This project will also provide a forum for examining continuities and changes for South African writers and readers since the end of apartheid, to better understand the lasting effects of the resulting knowledge inequalities in the post-apartheid period.


Professor Peera Wongupparaj, Burapha University

Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh, University of Oxford

A neuropsychological investigation and development of a cognitive-based screening tool in children with mathematical learning disability

NG170110                           One Year                                              £9,500.00

In 2016, it is reported from Thai Special Education Bureau that more than 200,000 children or 15.6 children per school are suffering from mathematical learning disability or dyscalculia. Furthermore, when these children are suspected and diagnosed, the severity of manifestation is too obvious. That is, it is too late to provide any effective or timely intervention to this children group. Previous studies have suggested that human infant during the first year of life also possesses a sense of number. Accordingly, an early identification of children with difficulties in learning mathematics are very crucial. However, the research study in Thailand around the prevalence, cause, treatment, and especially screen tool is very limited. Thus, this proposed project will aim (i) to identify the significant neuropsychological predictors of children with mathematical learning disability and subsequently, (ii) to develop the screening tools to differentiate Thai children who are at risk for dyscalculia.

Professor Sumittra Surartdecha, Mahidol University

Professor Julia Sallabank, School of Oriental and African Studies

Capacity building and development of a reproducible model for language and culture reclamation in minority communities: A comparative case study of the Black Tai and the Tai Boeng people in Thailand

NG170153                           One Year                                              £10,000.00

Understanding sociocultural contexts is key to developing appropriate support systems in language and culture reclamation in both eastern and western countries. For sustainability youth participation is also crucial. This one-year action research project aims at making social impacts through sociolinguistic and language documentation research. The first goal is to build capacity and momentum for reclamation of their unique traditional world views, value systems and life styles within the ethnic minority communities in Thailand. The other goal is to develop a theoretical model and a strategic framework for language and culture reclamation that are transferable and reproducible to communities with similar issues. Surveys will be conducted to examine local language attitudes and ideologies. Training in ethnographic and survey methods will be conducted to enable in-depth information about language and culture activities to be elicited with informed consent.

Professor Raksangob Wijitsopon, Chulalongkorn University

Professor Andrew Hardie, Lancaster University

British/Thai Collaboration on National Corpora: Capacity, Mobility, Research

NG170124                           Two                                       £9,390.00

The BT-CNC mobility project will support UK/Thailand collaboration on the issue of National Corpus research. Both Britain and Thailand possess National Corpora: massive collections of text in the nation’s primary language (tens of millions of running words). Such corpora have innumerable applications in linguistic research but also beyond: across the humanities and social sciences, and having major positive social, economic and educational impact. BT-CNC uses 4 activities to build Thailand’s capacity for National Corpus research. The first is a research project by the Applicant to inform and support English language teaching in Thai universities through analysis of word use in these massive datasets. Beyond that, BT-CNC will also transfer to Thai researchers at all levels the experience gathered in the UK on appropriate techniques and methods for work with these Corpora, via training events and collaborative seminars. Project outputs will include journal articles, recommendations for teachers, and as development of proposals for follow-on funded projects.


Professor Sibel Kiran, Hacettepe University

Professor Laura Griffith, University of Birmingham

Developing ethnographic methodological expertise to explore health needs and behaviours of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

NG170144                           One Year                                              £9,390.00

Turkey is the host for increasing numbers of refugees and has the largest refugee population in the world. A large majority of refugees in Turkey live outside of camp settings with varying access to economic and health support. This project aims to investigate the contribution of ethnographic methods to discovering more about the lives of refugees living in Turkey, including understandings of health, their health seeking behaviours and whether their needs are being met. We will invite colleagues from the Institute of Public Health at Hacettepe University, Ankara to develop their anthropological expertise while improving our understanding of the refugee crisis in Turkey. This will be with a view to developing an application to the AHRC-MRC Global Challenges fund for a project exploring the health needs, behaviours and networks of Syrian refugees living in Turkish neighbourhoods.

Professor Ramazan Sari, Middle East Technical University

Professor Aled Wynne Jones, Anglia Ruskin University

Energy justice beyond the west: exploring experienced and perceived issues of gender inequality in Turkey’s transition to renewable energy through an innovative UK-Turkey collaboration

NG170134                           One Year                                              £9,900.00

This project will expand the emerging field of energy justice beyond its western foundations, via a new research partnership between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU; UK) and Middle East Technical University (METU; Turkey). It will lay the foundation for a longstanding collaboration on gendered injustices within Turkey’s renewable energy transition. Through harnessing UK energy justice expertise, the collaboration will investigate unexplored social impacts of Turkish renewable energy policy. Collaborative ARU-METU research (expert/household interviews) will feed into a 1-day workshop, co-hosted by ARU’s EU platform for energy-related social sciences & humanities (SHAPE-ENERGY) and the European Energy Justice Network. The workshop will generate critical insight through discussions with UK energy justice researchers. The project ends with a 1-day event hosted by METU, involving recommendations for Turkish government. This unique exchange will be critical in transferring understandings of energy justice to Turkey and consolidating ARU’s expertise in international energy justice research.

Professor Mehmet Gurdal, Bogazici University

Professor Friederike Mengel, University of Essex

Matching and (Over) – Confidence – strengthening capacity in the Social Sciences in Turkey.

NMG2R2\100082                              One Year                                              £9,414.00

We study how assortative matching affects (over-)confidence using a laboratory experiment. Assortative matching plays a role in many important areas of economic interest. It can arise endogenously, e.g. when people choose to interact with others of similar political views. In this case we speak of homophily. Homophily has been extensively studied and reported, across characteristics such as age, race, gender, religion, and profession. Assortative matching can also be exogenous to the decision-makers studied, e.g. as a feature of institutions as in the case of streaming in schools.  While homophily has been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences of the resulting assortative matching.  Our research studies the effect of assortative matching on belief formation and confidence.  This seems a particularly important outcome to study as it has been widely documented to impact educational and labour market choices as well as decision-making under risk.  The knowledge exchange will be capacity-building in that researchers at Bogazici University will be benefiting from the expertise of Essex Lab affiliates in setting up state of the art facilities for experimental social science research as well as their metholodogical expertise in conducting such studies. Our research improves the understanding of individual behaviour in the exchange system by analysing the connection between network structure and belief formation. Rigid beliefs can often be impediments to the effective implementation of development (or other) policies and managing beliefs can be key to successful implementation of policy. By understanding how beliefs evolve and how they are affected by assortative matching can help deliver policy in a more effective manner. Different disciplines are interested in understanding overconfidence and homophily. Besides Economics, Psychology and Sociology contribute to the understanding of the topic. We believe in interdisciplinary academic discussion since this approach could maximize the potential impact on the understanding of exchange systems. There will be direct impact via training.

Professor Gulden Erkut, Istanbul Technical University

Professor Isobel Anderson, University of Stirling

New Urban Agenda and Housing Development in Istanbul

NMG2R2\100218                              One Year                                              £9,880.00

In Turkey, after 1980's, neoliberal urban policies shaped the housing sector. A similar neo-liberal agenda was developed in the UK, too. The research on 'New Urban Agenda and Housing Development in Istanbul' will discuss theory and methods, through interdisciplinary research between Turkish and UK scholars, who work and think on similar contexts. The aim is to examine comparatively the needs for affordable housing, and capacities to meet them in UK and Turkey. As an emerging economy, in Turkey we observe a gap between needs and capacities. There are alternative ways of meeting them, complementary to the existing policy framework. One way is to focus on social aspects of communities, the other, on the built environment for sustainable housing and neighbourhoods. As these two are interrelated we need to develop integrated approaches. The benefits expected out of this project are: collaboration in research, education and professional practice in housing research.

Professor Sinan Ertemel, Istanbul Technical University

Professor Rajnish Kumar, Queen’s University Belfast

Fair Division under Risk and Uncertainty - Policy Applications.

NMG2R2\100198                              One Year                                              £9,496.00

The problem of fairly allocating resources pertains to various realms of social issues ranging from taxation and bankruptcy to climate change and from kidney exchange and school admissions to dividing estates amongst claimants after death or divorce. The solution to such problems requires the direct use of the notion of equity and fairness by precisely defining these concepts as axioms and examining critically the effect of the use of these axioms. Naturally, the fair division method depends on the specific context of the problems.  Distribution of food supplies under emergency calls for egalitarian divisions, whereas the liquidation value of a bankrupt firm among its creditors is executed via proportionality principle. Furthermore, many real-life allocation problems require distribution before uncertainty is realized. The focus of the proposed research will be on the fair division under uncertainty and its various policy applications.

Professor Hacı Hulusi Kafalıgönü, Bilkent University

Professor Andrea Pavan, University of Lincoln

Neural mechanisms underlying adaptation-induced changes in motion perception – Strengthening neuroscience research and training in Turkey.

NMG2R2\100083                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

Perception is shaped by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and previous experience with the external environment. Visual adaptation, a temporary change in perception following exposure to a stimulus, has been widely employed to understand how previous sensory experience on different timescales shapes perception. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these changes are still debated. In the proposed research, we will be using a visual motion adaptation paradigm to discover the functional link between short-term neural plasticity induced by adaptation and brain activity. In particular, we will acquire electrical activity of the brain (using electroencephalogram) while participants perform a motion direction discrimination task under different visual motion adaptation conditions. The aim is to identify distinct components of the neural activity that parallel with perceptual performance. The proposed research attempts to bridge the gap between our unified perceptual experience of the external world and brain activity.  The present proposal is aimed at strengthening neuroscience research and methodological training at a Brain Research Centre located in Turkey. Turkey attracts foreign students for educational purposes and patients for health and clinical treatments. These visitors are mostly from geographically close regions and countries which have similar culture and traditions. We consider that the outcome of the research project could have a valuable economic, social and technological impact, contributing to the development of vision healthcare programs, and to the development of expertise and knowledge in multidisciplinary areas in Turkey. Specifically, the results of the proposed research will lead to the development of perceptual learning schemes in order to improve the visual abilities of patients with macular degeneration (loss of central vision) and amblyopia (impaired vision in one eye). Therefore, besides quality education, the proposed project is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges such as innovation, good health and well-being.

Professor Can Cemgil, Istanbul Bilgi University

Professor Clemens Hoffman, University of Stirling

The geo-political economy of Turkey’s rise and its contemporary crisis

NMG2R2\100255                              One Year                                              £9,930.00

This research seeks to uncover the multiple sources of Turkey's recent attempts at independent international (geo)political and (geo)economic policy formation. Long seen as an indispensable strategic partner of the US and the Western Bloc, Turkey is now increasingly playing a more independent role and aligning itself with non-Western states in response to a series of developments under the current leadership. While there is research within Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) and International Political Economy no joint, multi-disciplinary analysis of Turkey's newly acquired independence is yet to emerge. This project proposes to uncover the multiple sources of Turkey's rise and current crisis within a 'strategies of reproduction' framework. This project will develop a coherent historical sociological narrative as an independent combined IPE-FPA approach, offering an advanced theoretical perspective on a political economy of geopolitical conjuncture. This will be central to understanding not only Turkey but the global crisis in general.

Professor Deniz Copur, Middle East Technical University

Professor Erhan Aslan, University of Reading

Research and Training on Intercultural Communicative Competence in Teacher Education in Turkey

NMG2R2\100112                              One Year                                              £8,715.00

Along with increasing (in)voluntary migration, transnational mobility and global workforce, intercultural communication gains more significance as people from different cultures interact with one another for personal, academic or professional reasons. Since language and culture are inextricably intertwined, second/foreign language learning facilitates intercultural communication by helping individuals build an awareness of different worldviews and local cultures. Language teacher education programs should, therefore, equip pre-service teachers with concepts such as global citizenship and cultural sensitivity, to develop their intercultural communicative competence (ICC), a concept that is underexplored in the Turkish foreign language teacher education context. In order to address this gap, this proposed project has the following aims: (1) designing a postgraduate module on ICC for English language teacher education; (2) integrating the notion of ICC into the current undergraduate modules, and (3) conducting research on the integration of ICC into the existing classroom practices.

Professor Ali Rana Atilgan, Sabanci University

Professor Guven Demirel, University of Essex

Resilience of supply networks: An interdependent complex network approach

NMG2R2\100183                              One Year                             £7,373.00

The project will establish a research partnership between two research groups, one in the UK, Essex Business School, University of Essex, and one in Turkey, Industrial Engineering Program, Sabanci University, who will exchange ideas, expertise, and data in order to come up with resilient solutions to avoid failures in supply networks. They will focus on the cascading failures in supply networks observed in recent years in order to find universal causal mechanisms of specific happenstances. By identifying and incorporating the inter-dependencies between different types of interactions amongst the social, financial, informational, and material flows, the project will not only create several platforms over which accumulated knowledge will be exchanged, but also will enhance the current understanding in the dynamics of supply networks.


Professor Van Chan Nguyen, National Economics University

Professor Thi Kim Dung Nguyen, University of Hull

Fiscal Policy for Growth, Efficiency and Redistribution in Vietnam: A CGE Analysis

NG170077                           One Year                                              £10,000.00

We will develop a comparative static and dynamic general equilibrium model for analysis of impacts of fiscal policy in Vietnam. First the project aims at finding the effects of fiscal policy on macroeconomic variables such as growth, employment, investment, consumption or the relative prices. Then it will assess some policy scenarios in order to find solutions to improve economic performance as well as promoting social welfare in Vietnam. In addition, during the time running the project, computable technique will be transferred from the experts in the UK to the scholars in Vietnam. Project outcome will feed into the teaching system and in improving the quality of research. We expect publications in refereed journals and further development of research projects in near future.

Professor Hoang Anh Nguyen, Foreign Trade University

Professor Lien Le Monkhouse, University of Sheffield

The Informal Economy of Vietnam: Origins and Determinants of Informality

NG170142                           One Year                                              £9977.00

The informal sector exists as an inevitable part of the economy, especially in lower-income, developing countries. This is a relatively new area for research, with potential sensitivity associated with the topic, but commands much further investigation due to the importance of the understanding of the subject to academics, practitioners and policy-makers. The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it explores the origins of the informal sector in Vietnam by relating historical legacies, entrepreneurial culture, as well as stages of policy evolvement and economic development of the country. This will be achieved by archival research and key informant interviews. Second, it examines the determinants of the level of informality by surveying 400 informal micro-enterprises in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, two major economic centres of Vietnam. The study will reveal valuable insights of the origins of the informal sector in Vietnam, how it works, and thus will not only enrich the literature but can also have important policy implications for countries with similar institutional settings.

Professor Nha Vu, University of Languages and International Studies

Professor Jenefer Philp, Lancaster University

Empowering Vietnamese adolescents’ access to STEM education: Supporting high school teachers in integrating English in the instruction of science and scientific language

NMG2R\170098                                One Year                                              £9990.00

This project addresses inequalities in access to education and employment among adolescents in non-urban Vietnamese schools by extending national initiatives for developing teacher capacity to include rich experiences for students in remote areas in North Vietnam. We seek to establish relationships with stakeholders in upper secondary English and Sciences education and foster collaboration between teachers, trainers, students and minority language communities. We aim to build the research capacity of Vietnamese teacher-educators and the communities with whom they work, to more effectively contribute to on-going national initiatives in English education (EMI) and the sciences (STEM), by:

  • Researching how existing policies in EMI & STEM are applied in schools
  • Building teacher networks that support ongoing development of EMI & STEM materials to match needs. Researching how classroom interactions support learning of STEM & English.
  • Recontextualisation of scientific knowledge by involvement of indigenous community knowledge in the curriculum.

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