Newton Mobility Grant Awards 2018

Funded by


Professor Gabrielle Bittelbrun, Universidade de Blumenau

Professor Ivana Ebel, University of Derby

Cross Cultural Feminism: Race, Gender and Body Representation in Mainstream and Alternative Magazines in Brazil and in the United Kingdom – promoting transnational debate and knowledge exchange to learn the socio-economic implications of misrepresentation.

NMGR1180522                                  One Year                                              £9,970.00                                           

There exists a powerful relation between gender, race and socio-economical aspects. Unequivocally, media – here represented by magazines – plays an important role in perpetuating stereotypes that fail to represent the society. It means that this deformed representation impacts not only the females’ self-perception and, consequently, mental health, but has an important role in maintaining socio-economic disparities. The lack of representation – and the misrepresentation – has impacts that go beyond self-esteem. It helps to build stereotypes that, in the end, have economic implications and prevent women from achieving social and economic equality. In different degrees, Brazil and the United Kingdom struggle on increasing gender equality. Pay gaps exist in both countries, generating profound cultural and economic impacts. The intention is to use the research to promote consciousness, ethics and change the approach by educating researchers, staff and consequently the students in both that would represent the next generations of magazine journalists in both countries.  The project scope deals directly with the core concepts of the Development Assistant Committee of the OECD on Gender Equality (GENDERNET), that involves experts to develop co-operation to support gender equality and women’s rights.

Dr Daiane Neutzling, Universidade de Fortaleza

Dr Niraj Kumar, University of Liverpool

The role of cooperatives in developing sustainable organic food systems in Brazil

NMGR1180329                                   One Year                                             £9,660.00                                            

Organic food industry has increased substantially in past few years in Brazil. The positive impact of organic farming on the health of soil and ecosystems, and its contribution in the sustainable development of communities have significantly attracted the consumers to adopt organic foods in their daily lives. However, the increased market share of organic foods is significantly changing the food systems from value-driven to market-driven. This has given rise to debates about the risks of organic food system turning into the conventional production system with substantial impact on its sustainability performance. In recent times, a significant growth in cooperatives in organic food market is observed in response to increased regulations in this sector. In this project, we aim to investigate the role of cooperatives in developing sustainable organic food systems in Brazil. The collaboration between Brazil and UK researchers will help to share knowledge and best practices in this sector.

Dr Fernando Segura Millan Trejo, Universidade Federal de Goiás

Professor David Wood, University of Sheffield

Promoting Development and Social Welfare through Football

NMGR1180383                                   One Year                                             £9,954.50                                            

This research proposal seeks to explore social development opportunities offered by two professional clubs; Sheffield United FC (SUFC) and Sheffield Wednesday FC (SWFC), within the tradition of Football in the Community programs. The aim of the investigation is to explore how football, based on playful formats and structures that move away from competition, can promote social welfare and gender inclusion. The possibility of conducting comparative research between these two entities in the UK and the local clubs of the city of Goiânia in Brazil will provide a concrete basis for the dissemination of tools, strategies, practices and assessments. The impact objective is to build a suitable design to implement a local network for development purposes through football with all parties involved. Moreover, the research will nourish, more broadly, academic debates about program design, implementation and evaluations of organizations devoted to fostering sport for social welfare and gender inclusion.

Dr Janaina Giraldi, University of Sao Paulo

Dr Vish Maheshwari, Staffordshire University

Sustaining country brand equity: improving Brazil’s strength in international markets

NMGR1180304                                   One Year                                             £6,338.00                                            

Country brand equity (CBE) is a conceptual extension of the theory of brand equity, referring to the value of a country brand acting as an outcome of associated value-added. We aim to evaluate the CBE of Brazil, by employing a refined scale of CBE, to be developed and applied in a sample of European and UK consumers (brand users) by means of a survey and also undertake interviews and focus groups amongst various stakeholders (brand creators). In order to develop and apply the questionnaire, a training programme will be necessary. The UK co-applicant will provide training on quantitative and qualitative research and data analytics, and on specific theoretical topics of interest. As an outcome, we expect that being able to measure and to enhance CBE creates a unified image of Brazil, promoting it as a developing country brand that successfully engages with global businesses and stakeholders for sustainable economic development.

Dr Rafael Chiaravalloti, Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPE)

Dr Mark Dyble, University of Cambridge

TIES - Trade offs in Ecosystems and Socio-networks – improving management strategies to benefit livelihoods of local communities in Pantanal in Brazil

NMGR1180519                                   One Year                                             £10,000.00                                            

Brazil has huge biodiversity, hosting several endangered species and ecosystems. At the same time, most of the biodiversity hotspots in the country are populated by local communities whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources. In order to promote Sustainable Development protecting ecosystems and empowering local people, management practices have to be adapted to socio-ecological systems.

The ways in which competition and cooperation interact with resource availability and governance structure have a major contribution to make in explaining sustainability. In addition to the theoretical contribution, understanding how such drivers shift outcomes can have ground-breaking potential for sustainable development schemes. However, there is a lack of researchers focusing their studies on multidisciplinary perspectives of socio-ecological systems. This research project intends to evaluate sustainable use and management practices of inland fisheries, an often forgotten socio-ecological system. The livelihoods of more than 50 million people depend directly on inland waters which play a critical role in the alleviation of nutrition and poverty. This project focuses on understanding how fishermen in the Pantanal floodplain (and eco-systems characterized by high environmental unpredictability) build their customary property regimes, make cooperative decisions within and between groups, and how they adapt to variations in resource availability. The change in knowledge delivered by the proposed project will bring about change first in the balance of evidence-based argument informing negotiations between currently potentially polarised stakeholders, and then changes in practices. Finally, it will allow an empirical test of a previous theory on information-sharing and sustainability proposed by the applicant and the co-applicant. This proposal intends to bring better management strategies in inland waters in both the Pantanal and Amazon and other similar socio-ecological systems.


Professor Xiang Gao, Peking University 

Professor Jing Zhang, Royal Holloway, University of London

The illumination of the child protection framework in the United Kingdom to Chinese child protection policies and practices

NMG2R3\100178                                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

China has the largest child population in the world; however, its child protection policies are residual, fragmented, and largely inefficient. The child protection practices are passive and at a low level of quality. The United Kingdom has one of the most developed child protection systems in the world. It holds, potentially, great value for Chinese scholars to understand how the UK’s child protection framework developed and how it functions today. This program will arrange local visits of researchers/educators, seminars with graduate level students, and research paper development between scholars in China and UK. It will benefit China for future child policy and practice development. It will also contribute to the comparative research for UK scholars in the child protection discussions.

Professor Dingwei Gu, Fudan University

Professor Hanwen Sun, University of Bath

Strategic Insider Trading: A Balancing Act between Information Flows and Trading Competition to improve market efficiency and transparency in China.

NMG2R3\100018                                              One Year                                              £9,985.00

Corporate insiders are assumed to be informed due to their privileged access to non-public and material information. Understanding their trading pattern can significantly help promote price discovery and market fairness in the capital market. We plan to investigate the strategic trading behaviours of corporate insiders in the Chinese stock market as China is an ideal representative for emerging market with weak institutions for corporate governance. We propose that insiders are strategic with a balancing act between information flows and trading competition. Specifically, the insiders may strategically reduce their trade volume to camouflage private information flows to other sophisticated investors like short sellers, as trading aggressively might reduce their future profit. Moreover, if short sellers are more sensitive to insider trades, the insider trading pattern is more likely to be that they trade multiple times with very small volume each time, pretending to be liquidity traders. This proposal is directly and primarily relevant to the sustainable development of the capital market in China, i.e. market efficiency and fairness. The outputs of the study will increase the current knowledge available to various regulators, investment professional associations and their advisers in the financial industry. The research will have practical implications by highlighting that insider trading behaviour is the balancing act between information flows and trading competition. The project will also help to strengthen the research capacity of the Research team in Fudan University and Bath University.


Dr Rusaslina Idrus, University of Malaya

Dr Liana Chua, Brunel University London

Beyond resistance and acquiescence: Indigenous rights and citizenship amongst marginalised communities in Malaysia

NMGR1180433                                              One Year                                             £10,000.00

In the last several decades, Orang Asal (indigenous) groups in Malaysia have been actively and visibly asserting their rights through different means, from taking the state to court to creating physical blockades and attending protest rallies. Indigenous communities participate in the larger political discourse in Malaysia by creating alliances with civil society and political parties. Indigenous leaders are linked to the transnational indigenous movement, participating at international meetings and influencing global discourse. These contemporary struggles draw upon global discourses but are also deeply embedded in particular local histories. Looking beyond the binary of resistance and acquiescence, this project explores the different forms of strategies and negotiations employed by the Orang Asal groups in asserting their rights as distinctive indigenous peoples and as citizens of the country. By bringing together theories of the state, performance, citizenship, and developmentalism, this study offers a more nuanced and complex understanding of contemporary indigenous politics.

This research is important in addressing issues of social welfare and equitable development in Malaysia. As land and resources becomes scarce in the bid for development, certain pockets of communities find their way of life threatened. This project encourages a more nuanced understanding of these conflict situations. This research looks beyond the binary of resistance and subordination, to examine the dynamics of indigenous politics and rights claim. This research will contribute to advancing economic development and social welfare of the country in ensuring that attention is paid to understand the impact of development on marginalised communities.


Professor Alfonso Miranda, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

Professor Yu Zhe, University of Dundee

Determinants of school performance and education inequality in Mexico: Lessons we can learn from the baseline of the longitudinal study of child development in Aguascalientes (EDNA)

NMG2R3\100110                                              One Year                                              £9,976.47

Evidence-based policies require sound knowledge on the link between a given intervention and its effects. However, the current systems in Mexico do not allow the effects of public policy to be evaluated due to a lack of state-of-the-art data. To fill this gap in 2016 PANEL initiated a longitudinal study of the development of the children in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico. The study will follow every two years 1000 children in 100 public primary schools. The funding of the Newton Mobility Grant offers a great opportunity to add value to the EDNA Project. It will not only enhance the quality and impact of the research projects resulting from the first wave of EDNA through international collaboration, but also help to inform the design of questionnaires of future waves. Moreover, it will foster long-term research collaboration between CIDE and Dundee and facilitate joint funding applications in the future.

Professor Juan Antionio Fernandez, Universidad Tecmilenio

Professor Daniel Branch, University of Warwick

The Early Mexican Drug Trade – demystifying the trade with knowledge exchange and an accurate portrayal of its everyday mechanics.

NMGR1180504                                  One Year                                              £3,3911.80

Mexico has been at the centre of the international drug trade since the United States banned the import of narcotics at the beginning of the twentieth century. From the late 1930s onward, farmers from the northwestern state of Sinaloa started to dominate the trade, growing poppies, extracting raw opium gum, and processing it into smoking opium, heroin, or morphine. Within a decade, the head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics declared that Sinaloa was "the source of at least half America's drugs". Discussing the history of drug trade in Mexico is still frowned upon. Much of Mexico’s understanding of the trade is based on the mythologizing of narcocorridos and other forms of narcocultura. This project aims to map out the early stages of this trade, plot the hierarchy of producers, intermediaries, and wholesalers, and pinpoint the ways in which political and economic elites backed, benefited from, and protected the trade.  Key to building a Mexico that is not reliant on the products of the illegal narcotics is knowledge exchange, demystifying the trade and presenting a relatively accurate portrayal of its everyday mechanics.

Dr Juan Carlos Tejeda-González, University of Colima

Professor Thomas B. Fischer, University of Liverpool

Assessing the differences in the intended effects of urban green infrastructure interventions in the UK and Mexico to support sustainable economic development

NMGR1180335                                  One Year                                              £8,050.00

There are a number of factors within the country that have limited its ability to reach its full potential. One of these aspects is the lack of proper planning structures in Mexico is one of the factors that has limited its ability to reach its full potential. If Mexico wants to become an international economic power that looks after the welfare of its habitants, it will need to address issues of environmental justice and equity. This will allow the country to achieve a more sustainable economic development for the welfare of the wider society. By looking at the benefits of developing urban green infrastructure planning and associated environmental assessment in Mexico, we will be raising the awareness of the authorities to this approach. We will also contribute in helping to achieve Mexico's commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially to those connected with quality education, reduction of inequalities, sustainable cities and communities and partnership for the goals.

The concept of green infrastructure has experienced an increase in interest over the last decade in many countries worldwide. In this context, several developed planning systems have adopted the use green infrastructure, often in connection with considerations of ecosystemic services. Currently, green infrastructure is used within different planning frameworks. In many respects, the UK is leading the way with some explicit policies. We intend is to seize on the UK's expertise in order to critically evaluate Mexico's initial development of green infrastructure planning, which has been initiated under the new Land Use, Urban Development and Human Settlements General Act, and all the other related planning instruments. The project will help the Mexican researchers to develop the necessary skills to work in international projects with UK partners and will aim to support an increased effectiveness of green infrastructure public policy, particularly in the application of the Land Use, Urban Development and Human Settlements General Act to the sub-national levels (state and municipal) in Mexico.

The project will contribute to the achievement of the internationalisation agendas of both institutions with the University of Colima being able to acquire knowledge for the development of an Environmental Assessment Research Centre, generating an opportunity for future students and researchers’ mobility.

South Africa

Professor Kristina Riedel, University of the Free State

Professor Hannah Gibson, University of Essex

Variation in Sesotho and Setswana as spoken in the Free State

NMG2R3\100036                                              One Year                                              £9,644.00

This project aims to provide an initial linguistic description of two languages spoken in the Free State, South Africa – Sesotho and Setswana. In addition to regional variation, there are signs that ‘standard’ varieties used in formal contexts, diverge substantially from contemporary spoken forms. The research seeks to improve our understanding of this variation, with a goal to contributing to the development of more appropriate resources. The programme will combine primary research with speakers, a training-focused workshop with research students and early career researchers and scholarly outputs. The project seeks to build capacity in language description and documentation skills in the local research community, and to encourage synergy between language description and applied linguistics, particularly in relation to educational contexts. The research will also contribute to the development of African language resources, as well as to the visibility of research on African languages in the South African higher education environment.

Professor Mamamelela Matlhako, University of Fort Hare

Professor Noelia-Sarah Reynolds, University of Essex

The role of social capital among entrepreneurs in marginalised communities in South Africa

NMG2R3\100097                                              One Year                                              £9,980.00

Since gaining independence from apartheid, the South African government has implemented various measures designed to improve economic development of historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa. Some of these measures have focused on developing capacity of entrepreneurial ventures in disadvantaged communities such as those found in the Eastern Cape province. Practical measures to improve entrepreneurial capacity in such regions have included provision of finance, training and physical infrastructure. Despite such efforts, entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities tend to rely mainly on their social relations for support and resources. Although research evidence shows that social networks and social capital facilitate entrepreneurial development in many ways, the importance of social capital among entrepreneurs in historically marginalized communities in Eastern Cape, the poorest region in South Africa, remains under-researched. We therefore interview entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape province so as to explore the role of social capital for their ventures.

Dr Sarah Skeen, Stellenbosch University

Dr Graham Moore, Cardiff University

Complex interventions for adolescent mental health and well-being in South Africa: Capacity

NMG2R3\100153                                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

Researchers from the Institute for Child and Adolescent Health Research (ICAHR), at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and the Centre for the Development and Evaluation for Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), at Cardiff University in the UK, propose to embark on a programme of capacity development of emerging researchers from South Africa, and to further develop research collaboration between both institutions. In order to meet these objectives, we propose that a delegation from DECIPHer visits South Africa in mid-2019, with the aim of i) implementing a teaching programme on complex intervention development, implementation and evaluation, ii) consulting on current areas of collaboration, and iii) planning for the development of a future joint programme of work. These proposed activities will result in the development of a research proposal, one journal article and one edited book chapter for broader dissemination.

Professor Helen Scanlon, University of Cape Town

Professor Jelke Boesten, King's College London

Building Inclusive Histories in Transition: Symbolic Reparations, Memorial Arts and Gender-based Violence in Comparative Perspective - promoting transformative gender justice.

NMGR1180547                                                  One Year                                              £9,012.00

In the last two decades there has been global momentum to address sexual violence in conflict, as well as an emphasis on women in peacebuilding. UN resolutions and guidelines such as SCR 1325 urge governments and peacemakers to include women in peace and reconstruction processes and address gendered harms, and transitional justice and reparation programmes are now expected to include a gender perspective. This project will explore the ways in which post-conflict symbolic reparations - that is recognition of harms done through, for example, memorials, museums, or arts - can contribute to debating and unsettling harmful gender norms that may have contributed to specifically gendered harms in conflict. The focus of this project is primarily on Peru and South Africa, both emerging economies with persistent high levels of socio-economic and gendered inequality, high levels of violence against women, an unsatisfactory transitional justice process in terms of sexual and gender-based violence and active civil society engagement with memory, art and gender.  The project will develop research in South Africa and Peru on symbolic reparations as a potential tool for transformative gender justice. It will aim to deepen the links between the department of International Development at King's College London and the Justice and Transformation Programme at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT) and work on curriculum development in the area of gender and symbolic reparations that will be relevant in both South Africa and the UK. It is hoped that the project will benefit the Justice and Transformation programme of UCT which seeks to promote transformative gender justice and encourage a new cohort of young South African researchers to take these issues forward.

Professor Linda Theron, University of Pretoria

Dr Diane Levine, University of Leicester

Digital pathways of resilience: African young adults' stories of resilience to help improve well-being and livelihoods.

NMGR1180547                                                  One Year                                              £9,395.00

In the face of adversity, developing our understanding of how adolescents adapt well to their challenging circumstances – their resilience - is increasingly important in order to sustain mental and physical health, and in turn support them to contribute to society and the economy. Resilience is associated with improved learning outcomes, and a reduction in risk-taking behaviours. Research theorising the ways technology could be harnessed to enable resilience in resource-constrained African communities is under-explored. This project will explore these issues using digital storytelling in Secunda, a town in one of the poorest provinces of South Africa where almost a third (30.7%) of 15-24 year olds living there are not engaged in education, employment or training. In parallel, the project will deliver training in Pretoria to support post-graduate students to engage digital story techniques in their studies. Publications and a toolkit will be produced for educational psychologists and teachers working in a resource-constrained setting.  Developing the demographic dividend lies at the heart of SDGs 1, 4, 8, 10 and 16, and this project aims to inform all of these goals. It will advance South Africa’s commitment to the SDGs and address the youth priorities in the National Development Plan, 2030 and the National Youth Policy 2015 – 2020 by contributing to i) the development of the social compact to reduce poverty and inequality, and raise employment and investment, ii) citizens’ opportunities for advancement, learning and experience, and iii) working within the community to prioritise the insights of those who are typically voiceless and marginalised, and raise social cohesion. The project also aligns with the African Union Agenda, 2063 and in particular Aspiration 6 which prioritises a people-centred Africa with "engaged and empowered youth". In proposing a collaboration which foregrounds human wellbeing, we are aligned with UP's institutional research themes and the NRF’s vision for ‘a transformed society’ by means of globally competitive and collaborative research that supports the potential for ‘human capital development’.

Mr Kevin Fellingham, University of Cape Town

Dr Ranald Lawrence, University of Sheffield

Planning urban transformation in response to environmental change in South Africa

NMGR1180517                                  One Year                                              £9,764.00

The proposal aims to investigate the potential of environmental risk data pertaining to climate change to inform urban planning in Cape Town, including manmade risks (e.g. water, power and waste infrastructure), and natural disasters (occurrence of flash floods, storm surges and sea level rise, wildfires). A pilot study will map one of these risk factors (the impact of flooding on key transport routes) against existing socio-economic data (including vulnerable groups identified by household income) and investigate the potential impact of more frequent flooding on the city’s 2007 Spatial Development Framework (SDF), which predates systematic GIS mapping in the city. If the pilot study is successful further funding will be sought to test the resilience of the SDF across other risk factors and a range of likely future climate scenarios, prioritising investment, and informing future amendments to the SDF.

Dr Ruthira Naraidoo, University of Pretoria

Dr Juan Paez-Farrell, University of Sheffield

Unemployment and Commodity Markets in South Africa

NMGR1180417                                   One Year                                              £6,700.00

Unemployment is seen as the main economic problem in South Africa, remaining consistently above 25% in recent years. South Africa is still heavily dependent on commodities though it has a well-developed manufacturing and financial sectors. Commodity markets make up around 60% of the country’s exports and a substantial part of total employment. We plan to build a macro model for emerging market economies such as South Africa to investigate the role between commodity price shocks and unemployment in such resource rich economies. In particular, our modelling perspective is a small open economy model with net commodity exports and search and matching frictions in a two-sector labour market to analyse the implications of commodity price shocks. Not only that will help to shed insights on the role of commodity markets in unemployment determination but also advise on the appropriate policies that can be taken to reduce such dire problems.

Dr Catherine Draper, University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Gaia Scerif, University of Oxford

Using neuroimaging methods to investigate mechanisms underlying executive function in preschool children from a low-income South African setting

NMGR1180460                                    One Year                                              £10,000.00

The preschool years are a time when children develop executive functions (EF), which help them pay attention and learn best. This project builds on work conducted in South Africa (SA) that has shown that EF in preschool children from low-income settings is not as low as expected, but is strongly related to school readiness. This project aims to go beyond describing associations between EF and outcomes in low-income SA preschool children; it aims to understand HOW and WHY these associations exist. The best methods to answer these questions are those that study what is happening in children's brains. Two appropriate methods for this are electroencephalography, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Even though they are highly portable and increasingly low in cost, these methods have seldom been used with healthy, typically developing preschool children in SA. This project aims to develop the knowledge and skills in SA researchers to use these methods.


Dr Pichawadee Kittipanya-ngam, Thammasat University

Dr Niraj Kumar, University Liverpool

Transition towards circular agri-food systems in Thailand: Multi-stakeholders’ perspectives

NMG2R3\100120                                              One Year                                              £10,000.00

The unprecedented scale of food losses and wastes is attracting increased attention across the globe. Scarcity of natural resources and the significant impact of food wastes on socio- economic, and environmental well-being have threatened to ensure food security for all. Implementing the principles of circular supply chain in agri-food systems could lead to waste prevention and valuable usage of food wastes. In this context, the projects aim to understand the role of multiple stakeholders including the farmers, retailers, consumers and policymakers in developing a circular and sustainable agri-food system in Thailand. The findings and learning of the project will be shared with the key stakeholders in food systems such as farmers, practitioners and policymakers with the objective to improve the circularity index of agricultural produce in low- and middle-income countries. The collaboration between Thai and UK researchers will help to share knowledge and best practices in this sector.

Professor Wikanda Promkhuntong, Mahidol University

Professor Kate Taylor-Jones, University of Sheffield

Fan Tourism and the Southeast Asian Film Trails: Archive and Participatory Cultures within and beyond Colonial Nostalgia – promoting sustainable fan tourism to boost Thailand’s socio-economic development.

NMGR1180180                                  One Year                                              £10,000.00

Thailand and Southeast Asia (SEA) more broadly, significantly relies on tourism for a larger part of its economy. Recently, the phenomenon of “fan tourism” has become a key point of debate following the success of transnational films from The Beach (2000, USA) to Lost in Thailand (2012, China) and the specific form of tourism that has resulted. SEA film trails (based on popular sites featured in films) have been established and are shared both on- and off-line for potential visitors. However, existing research has tended to focus on tourist behaviours and heritage conservation within specific national states. Questions related to transnational fandom and the socio-cultural implications of their tourism are highly under-explored. It is this important gap that this project will seek to tackle. It aims to contribute to Thailand’s economic development and social welfare by promoting cultural sensitivity through transnational fan tourism and wider audiences and identifying specific locations and stakeholders for future discussions on cross-cultural understandings and academic partnerships. The importance of other related fields such as digital participatory culture and creative industries will be discussed in relation to their importance for tourism development and for future economic growth and sustainable development. The proposal includes specific training on film archival management and exploration with the idea of colonial nostalgia as one of the powerful forces driving this tourism. Training on socio-cultural history and colonial traces will allow knowledge transfer and exchange on discourses of colonialism. The project will enable the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia to expand its international networks and collaborations.

Dr On-Anong Thammajinda, Payap University

Dr Nashwa Ismail, Open University

Games-Based Sex Education in Thailand: An Integration of an Online Games-Based Learning Application to Support Secondary School Students in Their Learning About Comprehensive Sex Education

NMGR1180141                                   One Year                                              £9,935.48

In Thailand, teenage pregnancy rate in this country is the highest in South-East Asia. Although Thailand has adopted a national policy on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), several problems related to implementation remain. Findings of different projects about sex education concluded that there is need to propose new methods for teaching sexuality education that stimulate analytical critical thinking and encourage discussions between students to raise awareness in topics related to sexuality. Digital Games-Based Learning (GBL) integrates gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation. This study aims to investigate and evaluate year 7 secondary school students’ experiences and views of GBL in their learning about CSE. The study design is based on a pre-designed prototype of an online GBL module in CSE. Study setting will be 6 secondary schools in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand and the proposed number of participants is 1567 students and 12 secondary teachers.


Professor Hulya Adak, Sabanci University

Professor Murat Akser, University of Ulster

Filmic representations of trauma, justice and reconciliation: A comparative exploration of research methodologies in Turkish and Northern Irish film studies and practices topromote social cohesion in Turkey.

NMG2R3\100162                                              One Year                                              £9,451.00

In the last few decades, the dominance of formal and textual analysis in film studies has been widely questioned while research focusing on alternative cultural histories of gender and ethnicities started to flourish. Even though critical historiographies of traumatic events of the twentieth century have been produced in the Turkish context, the textual film analysis approach continues to dominate studies on cinema in Turkey and many films and literary examples still replicate national imaginaries, demonising ethnic minorities and legitimising violence against them. The proposed research aims to introduce critical paradigms and methodologies into the study of cinema in Turkey. The project will focus on the social, political and cultural development challenges in Turkey by closely looking at the methodologies used to deal with and respond to Turkey’s traumatic historical past in relation to ethnic diversity, particularly events of discrimination on the road to reconciliation. These factors can be seen as a step toward achieving social cohesion and bringing about social and economic development. This project will build and strengthen the research capacity between the research group at Sabanci University and the research groups and institutes at Ulster University, by establishing new collaborative partnerships, developing longer-term links between researchers, training and transferring knowledge and skills to help strengthen the research capacity of film studies in Turkey. We hope that the partnership will enhance the competitive capacities of Turkish academics to enable them to enter international networks more easily. The mutual exchange of knowledge between the two institutions will enable early career researchers in Turkey to bridge ethnic/religious divisions through their future research in Turkey.

Professor Evinic Dogan, Akdeniz University

Professor Finola Kerrigan, University of Birmingham

A Tale of Two Cities: Investigating the Use of Virtual Reality to Connect Consumers to Culture – using knowledge creation and exchange to connect people to places and increase awareness of Turkey’s rich heritage thereby supporting sustainable tourism.

NMGR1180505                                  One Year                                              £9,838.50

The proposed research will investigate the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in historic spaces with the aim of connecting consumers to culture. "A Tale of Two Cities" in the title refers to two different sites from different periods in terms of their cultural importance and symbolic value. An archaeological site from Turkey (Xanthos-Letoon), listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and excavated by Akdeniz University Department of Archaeology, has been selected to explore the story of the ancient Lycian site through immersive technology. This project fosters knowledge creation and exchange on visual research methods, place branding and storytelling between the collaborating institutions to increase capacity for future research using these methods and theoretical approaches.  Participants will aim to establish best practice in using AR/VR to better understand how to engage people with culture and heritage developing new skills in storytelling and establish research leadership in the field of marketing and consumer research by bringing innovative creative methods to the fore. Turkey will directly benefit from this proposal in developing research capacity for the young scholars as well as connecting consumers to culture and heritage to create awareness for sustainable tourism which is an important driver of growth, jobs and economic development.

Dr Pinar Buyukbalci, Yildiz Technical University

Dr Maksim Belitski, University of Reading

Entrepreneurship Ecosystems - important catalysts for the Turkish economy: From Greater Reading to Greater Istanbul

NMGR1180259                                  One Year                                              £10,000.00

In recent years, there has been increased interest in fast growing regions and the role played by entrepreneurship ecosystems (EEs) in regional economic development. Building on the entrepreneurship and economic geography literatures, we apply a complementarity theory-based approach to demonstrate that the EE taxonomy elements are not independent of each other but in fact are able to work as complementors to each other. Very few regions will possess all four elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem taxonomy in sufficient strength, so complementarity between the taxonomy elements within a region is crucial to supporting the development of an EE. We will apply this complementarity perspective to the case of the Greater Istanbul and Greater Reading regions. Findings will be shared with policy-makers in local and national authorities, businesses and practitioner audiences interested in supporting EE development which is regarded in Turkey as an important catalyst for the economy.

Dr Umut Erksan Senalp, Trakya University

Dr Terence Huw Edwards, Loughborough University

Export Dynamics of Turkish Firms – an analysis of Turkish firms in international trade and impacts for productivity

NMGR1180423                                  One Year                                              £6,470.00

This collaborative proposal is an opportunity to build the research skills and collaborative potential of Dr Senalp and his colleagues in cutting-edge firm-level analysis of the participation of Turkish firms in international trade and impacts for productivity. This will be done partly through workshops and training, but also through collaborative work on developing the use of key firm-level databases held by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) in analysing firm-level responses to international agreements. Data are available for around 15000 firms over more than 30 years, although some of the more useful data is more recent only. We aim to develop both Dr Senalp and his UK colleagues' familiarity and facility with using this valuable resource, and so to develop publication potential based upon seeing Turkish trade liberalisation as a natural field experiment with useful wider lessons.

The first set of benefits is to potential exporters in Turkey: typically, SMEs which are growing fast. These can exploit Turkey’s comparative advantages, and by trading can both provide employment and valuable access to international markets and skills. However, typically for an emerging market, informational barriers are particularly important, and interact in a negative way with other barriers. This means that understanding the search process and development of international firm-level ties is critical, both to the firms and to policymakers. At a more directly practical level, this project will hopefully act as a turnkey event in developing ties between academic institutions in the UK and Turkey, and developing the hosting capacity of Turkish institutions, in particular Trakya University. Moreover, one of the aims of this project is to provide valuable information for Turkish exporters to make them understand the search process and development of international firm-level ties. Our project also examines the participation process of Turkish firms in international trade and impacts for productivity. In this context, we believe that our results will help exporters to improve their internationalization strategies which may lead to higher productivity at both firm and industry level.

Dr Elif Karacimen, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University

Dr Annina Kaltenbrunner, University of Leeds

The Financialisation of Nonfinancial Corporations and interaction with global production networks: A Comparison between Brazil and Turkey Using Sectoral Data

NMGR1180111                                 One Year                                              £9,995.00

Extensive literature discusses the potential drivers and impacts of financialisation. However, so far, little attention has been paid to how the nature of underlying Non-Financial Corporations (NFCs) operations, that is, their ‘productive’ relations, has influenced their likelihood to financialize. Addressing this lacuna is important for a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between finance and the ‘real’ economy and hence the inter-relation between financialisation and the structure of capital accumulation. This project addresses this gap by undertaking a systematic analysis of NFC financialisation in Brazil and Turkey at the sectoral level based on extensive balance sheet analyses and semi structured interviews. The analysis does not only shed light on the roots of the financialization process and provides insights into the dynamics and forms finance presents depending on the context under consideration, but also points to the complex functions and dysfunctions finance poses for capital accumulation.

The research will aim to make policy recommendations as to financial system design and financial regulation to support economic development in Turkey. Insights include the long-term risk of speculative financial behaviour, suggestions of safer financial institutions and instruments, and increased knowledge of the link between financial and macro-dynamics. The research outcomes will be beneficial for public bodies and industrial organisations and individual NFCs in Turkey (and Brazil). The public bodies include both those with broad responsibility for setting macroeconomic policy (such as the Turkish Central Bank and the Ministry of Development), as well as specific agencies with responsibility the development of industry (such as The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and Istanbul Chamber of Industry). The project will provide these agencies with a detailed analysis of the changing patterns of firm-level financing and investment and its implications for long-term productivity and sustainability of employment and growth.

The knowledge and skills transfer will be very valuable to Dr. Elif Karacimen and the University as a whole, as Recep Tayyip Erdogan University is a relatively new institution and developing projects is a top priority for raising its ranking among universities in Turkey; very few staff members have international research experience and the applicant’s success could be essential to support other colleagues’ international aspirations (e.g. through language support and contacts).

Dr Tahir Albayrak, Akdeniz University

Dr Carl Cater, Swansea University

Sharing Knowledge in Sustainable Marine Tourism Development: The Case of Scuba Diving

NMGR1180302                                  One Year                                              £9,501.13

This joint research project focuses on scuba diving tourism as a tool for sustainable socio economic development of developing countries. Taking the case of the emerging scuba diving tourism in Kaş, Turkey, the project will identify the importance of various destination attributes to scuba diving tourists, and their economic and environmental impact and awareness. This project will be an important chance to share knowledge and research regarding marine tourism development between the lead and co-applicant academics, as well as broader research teams. The project will generate the current and future cross-national collaboration between Turkey and the UK, building on research capacity. Furthermore it will train local communities, scuba diving organisations and their personnel in both countries in sustainable practice. Through this project, researchers intend to contribute to the sustainable development of scuba diving tourism in Kaş and present findings of use in other developing destinations.


Dr Ngoc Thi Khanh Quach, Nha Trang University

Dr Tobias Borger, University of St Andrews

Valuation of conservation benefits of marine protected areas in Vietnam: Analysis and dissemination of choice experiment surveys – promoting sustainable use of marine and coastal resources

NMGR1180407                                 One Year                                              £7,040.00

Vietnam has highly diverse marine and coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems support over 11,000 known marine species and have long provided important goods and services to Vietnamese people, including food and raw materials, coastal protection and opportunities for recreation and tourism. Vietnam faces considerable challenges regarding the management of marine and coastal resources. This often comes down to the question of how to combine economic development with conservation and sustainable use of these resources. This research and exchange programme is built around the analysis and dissemination of an environmental valuation study of marine conservation in Vietnam. In an ongoing collaboration, the applicants are conducting a choice experiment survey to value benefits from two marine protected areas in southern and central Vietnam. The proposed programme will contain a research visit at the University of St Andrews by the Vietnamese applicant to jointly analyse the collected data and prepare the writing of a research paper and dissemination materials for local stakeholders in Vietnam. The UK co-applicant and a colleague will travel to Vietnam to (1) run a course on environmental valuation and choice experiments at Nha Trang University and (2) jointly with the Vietnamese applicant conduct a stakeholder workshop to disseminate findings from the valuation study and raise awareness amongst policy makers for the opportunities of environmental valuation for sustainable coastal and marine management. The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is a useful tool for biodiversity conservation, fisheries and marine resource management. The proposed programme will provide opportunities for stakeholders to exchange knowledge and raise their awareness of the potential of environmental valuation to support the planning of MPAs for biodiversity conservation and enable them to promote the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. Implementing this exchange and research programme will also improve links between science and policy communities to enable better management of MPAs.

Dr Thi Kim Phung Dang, Ton Duc Thang University

Dr Sophie Fuggle, Nottingham Trent University

Between dark heritage and ecotourism: Postcolonial ecologies in Vietnam – assessing impacts on local communities

NMGR1180428                                 One Year                                              £9,859.00

The Government of Vietnam 'has prioritized ecotourism in its strategy for tourism development to ensure both sustainability and economic benefits’ (Phan, Quan and Le 2002). It is however unclear how variations of this policy play out in the different sites, where sometimes this is referred to under a bewildering number of names such as Community-Based Tourism, Community-Development in Tourism, Community-Based Ecotourism, Community Participation in Tourism. This project explores the relationship between seemingly distinct forms of ecotourism and dark heritage at a series of established, developing and underexplored spaces across Vietnam. The aim is to discern the extent to which such sites risk privileging international tourism above local engagement, cultural formation and economic benefit. Via a series of UK and Vietnam-based research seminars, site-visits, and methodology training sessions led by the Co-Applicant, the Lead Applicant will develop cross-disciplinary ethnographic methods aimed at fostering greater local agency in defining the role of such sites in local and national cultural imaginary as well as challenging existing neo-colonial discourses of ‘sustainability’ and ‘development’. The project considers how to adequately and sensitively assess the cultural and material impact of such sites on local communities whilst locating specific community needs within larger philosophical questions around ecology, tourism and national identity as they pertain to the present-day Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The team works closely with concepts, practices and problems of tourism development and especially the impact upon local stakeholders and women.

Dr Doan Ngoc Phi Anh, University of Danang

Dr Florian Gebreiter, Aston University

Recruitment, social mobility and inclusive development in Vietnam

NMGR1180520                                  One Year                                              £8,125.00

This project seeks to explore to what extent Vietnamese recruitment practices entail barriers to social mobility, and how they could be overcome. Based on its findings, it will develop a number of practical recommendations as to how recruitment practices could be adopted to enable greater social mobility, which will be widely disseminated to employers, policy makers and other interested parties in Vietnam. By promoting social mobility, this project seeks to reduce inequality and to better realise the economic potential of people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. It thus aims to contribute to inclusive development in Vietnam. Training and knowledge exchange is at the heart of the proposed project and will focus on the areas of social mobility, qualitative research methods and writing for as well as publishing in leading international academic journals.

Dr Tuyen Kha, Nong Lam University

Dr Niraj Kumar, University of Liverpool

Sustainable transformation of food wastes into value added products: A case study of the seafood sector in Vietnam

NMGR1180386                                 One Year                                              £9,920.00

Vietnam's seafood industry is one of the world's largest, alongside the US, China and Norway. While the industry is expanding rapidly, it has struggled with a number of problems over the years. Increased level of wastes in seafood supply chain has put an immense pressure on the socio-economic and environmental health of the country. Seafood wastes can contain many reusable substances of high value. Depending on an adequate processes and technology this residual matter can be converted into commercial products either as raw material for secondary processes or as ingredients of new products. The project aims to develop a network of researchers in UK and Vietnam to understand the value potential of wastes in seafood supply chain and, to explore the sustainable transformative processes to create useful secondary products from seafood wastes.

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