Researchers to develop social sciences skills in Western Balkans

23 March 2016

Researchers to develop social sciences skills in Western Balkans

Professor Simone Baglioni

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) experts are developing research capacity in the social sciences in the Western Balkans, through a new pilot Research Academy in Sarajevo.

Professor Simone Baglioni, Dr Micaela Mazzei, Dr Michael Roy and Dr Stephen Sinclair will be part of a team delivering an educational programme that addresses the most relevant aspects of social science research methods and enables young researchers to improve their methodological, analytical and writing skills.

Taking place in April, the fully-funded programme will support 35 early-career researchers who are currently working on a research project in the field of social sciences at public or private research centres (higher education institutions, research institutes, think tanks), who have earned their Master’s degree in the field of social sciences at a university in the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), and who live and work in the region.

The Research Academy, funded through the Regional Research Promotion Programme for the Western Balkans, which is run by the University of Fribourg upon mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, is designed as a summer school composed of several linked one-day modules.

The GCU research team is already working in the Western Balkans to develop an international mentoring network to stimulate new research into the perceived challenges and opportunities for employment of marginalised groups by social enterprises in Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.

In a 16-month project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, GCU researchers are working with organisations in the Western Balkans, including NGOs, research centres and think tank Reactor, which is facilitating Macedonia’s EU integration process through new research and active working with the policy community.

Professor Baglioni says: “As the University for the Common Good, GCU is really building research capacity in this area at international levels. These countries have suffered from civil war and are now working hard on reconciliation, democracy building, and economic recovery and development processes, in which good research capacity is a key ingredient.”

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