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The Africa Research Student Network was created in October 2012 to facilitate greater dialogue between research students focused on Africa from across the University of London.

Each institution within the university attracts talented research students using innovative methodologies from multidisciplinary backgrounds: development, economics, politics, history, linguistics, geography etc. The network provides an opportunity for students with a similar geographical, methodological and thematic focus to exchange ideas and form collaborative projects in the future. It is the first time research students from across the University of London who are studying Africa will be formally connected in such a way.

The research experience can often be daunting and isolating for many students, too. The network provides a platform for students to learn about one another’s work, and to support each other and learn from each other’s experiences in the field. It provides a forum for students to discuss their research as it evolves, while also providing a forum for presenting finished work.

Through establishing ourselves as a formal network, we also provide the capacity to link with research bodies, think tanks, publishers etc. who would be interested in the diverse range of our research. Finally, as the UK Higher Education system evolves, the network will enable our members to understand the opportunities available to us as researchers of a dynamic continent, while remaining aware of the challenging professional environment that awaits us.

Goals

  • To formally connect research students across the University of London who are studying Africa.
  • Create a monthly seminar series that would highlight the work of our research students
  • Organise a one day conference event on issues relating to methodologies, approaches to doing research on Africa
  • Create networking opportunities with funding bodies, research institutions, think tanks and publications across the UK
  • Facilitate dialogue among students from different schools and faculties in order to foster interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to research on Africa
  • Increase awareness of professional development opportunities available to research students and create more such opportunities
  • To build relationships with academics across the University of London researching Africa
  • Provide an online space that will showcase the work of our members

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