At the beginning of 2019, ISP has launched an initiative to support research produced by students on current issues in Myanmar. ISP introduced a new section in its MMRQ strategy and policy journal publication to feature research produced by students enrolled in Myanmar universities. ISP issues a call for research proposals by students. The initiative encourages collaborative work by student research teams, possibly comprised of two to five students.
This initiative seeks (a) to nurture a new generation of young researcher to promote the culture of evidence informed policy research, (b) to encourage research-mined young people from different ethnic, religious and class backgrounds to know one another and exchange learning experiences, skills and goals, (c) to formalize partnerships with public universities in terms of publications, teaching courses and establishments of research centers such as peace and conflict, and governance, (d) to help young research-minded people network with many political, civil and educational groups so that they can expand their choices of profession for their future, and (e) to place capable young researchers as interns in governments and parliaments offices (national and subnational level) if there is a request made to the ISP by authorities.
The application is usually open to students who are registered in a university as well as private school/ Institute located in Myanmar at the time that they submit their research proposal. This includes students enrolled in both degree and certificate programs. An article authored by more than one student highly encouraged. The main criteria for evaluating articles are as follows: contribution to understanding current social issues in Myanmar, the execution of the article, and the quality of expression.
The proposed articles will address topics related to social science and/or current issues relevant to Myanmar society. These may include articles that engage with theoretical and/or empirical concerns (such as gaps in empirical or theoretical literatures). Some suggested areas of research topics are as follow:
1. Political issues in Myanmar such as democratic elections, rule of law, human rights, local governance and parliament affairs
2. Climate change and Environmental issues in Myanmar
3. LGBTQIA issues in Myanmar
4. Ethnic and peace-building issues in Myanmar
5. Economic issues such as poverty in Myanmar
6. Foreign affairs of Myanmar
In order to complete the EYRI program successfully, EYRI students have to go through a three-stage process in a period of six months.
Stage One: Students are invited to submit a one-page research proposal for an article focused on a topic related to Myanmar at the time of application. The review process draws on practices used by peer reviewed academic journals and is adapted for students.
ISP – Myanmar designates a committee to conduct a blind review of the proposals and select authors of proposals exhibiting promise to write an article based upon their research proposal. A review committee selects 15 proposals which meet the selection criteria. ISP – Myanmar will provide the author(s) of the selected proposal (group or individual) with US$ 300 to support research for each article (roughly 3000 to 5000 words in length). ISP – Myanmar also provides details about the format and citation style. The selected authors are invited to make a three-day trip to Yangon to attend a short research-training course on data analysis and academic writing, and also to enjoy exposure and networking visits to Yangon-based academic and policy institutes, and organizations. The selected author must submit the first draft of the article to ISP – Myanmar within two months of notification.
Stage Two: ISP – A review committee reviews the first drafts of the article and select the top 10 papers which meet the research criteria. A review committee provides feedback to authors of these 10 selected papers and ask for revisions. ISP – Myanmar provides additional assistance of US$300 to support the drafting of the articles. The selected authors have to provide the final draft of the articles within two months of notification.
Stage Three: ISP- Myanmar invites the authors of 10 papers who submit the final draft to Yangon for oral presentation. The review committee from the ISP – Myanmar will then provide feedbacks to the oral presentation and also select the best research award and top five research paper awards based on the assessment criteria. The authors of best research award will be invited to present at the ISP’s talkshow TV program, Yamingyi Zayat. ISP-Myanmar will select top 5 articles for publication in each issue of the MMRQ Strategy and Policy Journal. For the articles published in the MMRQ Journal, the author group will receive a US$150 payment.
ISP has initiated the EYRI program since January 2019 and it has been already two times that ISP has run this program in 2019-2020.
Till date, EYRI program has trained 42 young researchers from the first batch, while 34 participants are part of the second batch. The best research award winners from EYRI’s first and second batches have presented the finding of their paper at the 8th and 9th Yawmingyi Talkshows respectively. Top five research papers from EYRI’s first and second batches will be also published in the upcoming MMRQ journal.
Call for application for the year 2020 will be announced on ISP-Myanmar’s website and its social media page.