SMART CITY Center for Collaborative Research organized its second Research Design & Methods Short Course on March 20-23, 2019, as part of Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliances (SHERA) project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It was held following the SMART CITY Simultaneous Public Lectures on March 18, 2019, at Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Padjadjaran, Universitas Diponegoro, and Universitas Udayana. This short course became a platform that brings together researchers of different backgrouds, from junior faculty members, doctoral students, to assistant professors. A total of 66 participants were invited from SMART CITY partner universities across Indonesia: from Universitas Sriwijaya, Universitas Padjadjaran, Universitas Diponegoro, Universitas Universitas Udayana, Universitas Teknologi Sumbawa, Universitas Persatuan Guru 1945 NTT, to PGRI universities, such as STKIP-PGRI Lubuklinggau and STKIP-PGRI Banjarmasin.
This four-day event started with opening remarks and greetings by SMART CITY Director Prof. Heri Hermansyah, Ph.D, USAID SHERA Program Director Prima Setiawan, and representatives from Universitas Udayana and Universitas Sriwijaya, Prof. I Nyoman Gde Antara and Prof. Muhammad Said, respectively. “This short course will hopefully enhance the capacity of researchers who aspire to participate in grant programs and provide a networking opportunity with partners outside of Indonesia,” stated Prof. Hermansyah in his speech. SMART CITY also welcomed USAID-Indonesia Director Education Office Thomas Crehan, who allocated his time on the third day to introduce USAID to the participants.
(Left to Right) Jalu Cahyanto - USAID Indonesia, Prof. Heri Hermansyah - SMART CITY, Thomas Crehan - USAID Indonesia, Ahmad Gamal - SMART CITY, and Deden Rukmana - Alabama A&M.
On the first session, researchers were divided into ten groups and were introduced to ten experts who became their mentors throughout the event: Marc Doussard, Ph.D and Andrew Greenlee, Ph.D (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Sheila J. Bosch Ph.D, Mark Russell Ph.D, Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D, and Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar Ph.D (University of Florida), Shinaz Jindani Ph.D (Savannah State University), Deden Rukmana Ph.D and Jacob Oluwoye Ph.D (Alabama A&M University), and Nasruddin, Ph.D (Universitas Indonesia). During round-table discussions, all participants consulted their research proposals, and their mentors gave substantial and strategic feedbacks to enhance participants’ competence in obtaining research grants, which are important for faculty members across the country.
Aside from discussions, the mentors also shared their insights through presentations: Marc Doussard on how to design research for publication, Andrew Greenlee on research design in practice, Deden Rukmana dan Jacob Oluwoye on research protocol development, Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D on research project management, and Sheila J. Bosch, Ph.D on the dissemination of research findings. SMART CITY Finance and Grants Manager Chairul Hudaya, Ph.D. also shared his tips and tricks on how to obtain national and international research grants, while Prof. Rukmana emphasized how important it is to build networks and collaboration in the hope of taking Indonesia to the “center circle” of international research. “This [event] is a great opportunity for those asking for mentors, to understand how we all do research and some other crafts that go into the work. It was also a big value for me personally as a researcher, having the opportunity to learn alongside other researchers,” shared Greenlee on his experience joining the event.
Deden Rukmana, Chaiman of International Indonesian Scientist, is one of the mentor for SMART CITY’s research
Last but not least, participants also had an opportunity to pitch their revised research proposals in a short individual presentation, reviewed by SMART CITY team. Those who stated their interest in SMART CITY Research Fellowship were provided with assistance from SMART CITY team to connect with potential collaborators in future research. With this short course coming to an end, participants are expected to implement the valuable knowledge and feedbacks they earned from mentors and fellow researchers. They can later improve the quality of their research proposals when applying for future grant programs.