Bridges built in second DocLinks Summer School

Bridges built in second DocLinks Summer School

Published on 10 July 2013

UniPID successfully organised the second DocLinks Summer School - hosted at the University of Helsinki between 2-5 July 2013 - bringing together African and European doctoral students from various disciplines under the theme of ‘Bridging Research and Policy for Sustainable Development’.

Twenty-three students participated in this year’s DocLinks programme - an Erasmus Mundus-funded project implemented by the ACU - which aims to increase understanding and create links between African and European PhD students, thus supporting their research, training and career development.

Secretary General of the ACU Professor John Wood delivered the keynote speech entitled ‘Bridging research and policy for sustainable development’ in which he raised the trend towards researchers bringing new ideas and skills to the table by managing or researching projects outside of their own academic discipline. Similarly, over the course of the four-day programme students were also encouraged to interact across both geographical and disciplinary boundaries. 

A plethora of leading speakers – including Diana Coates of DRUSSA, Professor Kopano Ratele of UNISA and Carli Coetzee of SOAS – engaged with students on a range of pertinent theoretical and practical issues ranging from communicating research findings to the media and applying for research funding to workshops on writing abstracts and steps to getting an article published in the journals of one’s choice.

(l-r: Dr Carli Coetzee, Prof Kopano Ratele, Dr Elina Oinas)

The students also visited the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs where they discussed Finnish development policy, and were also asked to consider how higher education could help to solve local and global challenges as part of The Wold Beyond 2015 – a new campaign that the ACU will launch in October 2013.

A full review of the DocLinks Summer School 2013 can be found on UniPID’s website. Photos of the event can be found on the ACU's Flickr.

Following the inaugural Summer School held in Botswana in 2012, the ACU published a report and a blog reviewing the needs of African doctoral students and the existing initiatives in place to support doctoral training and research development.

(Top photo: Outi Etuaho)