March 29, 2010

Next Stage of CRRC Corruption Survey Results: What Business Leaders Say

CRRC team has delivered presentations in English and Armenian on the outcomes of corruption survey, carried out in the framework of USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) program. This time the opinions of business leaders were the main focus of discussion, although data on earlier CRRC public opinion survey served as point of comparison for some issues.

The first presentation by Dr. Hans Gutbrod, CRRC Regional Directior, took place at the US Embassy in Yerevan on March 23rd. The presentation would turn into a dialog from time to time, with questions and observations voiced as they occurred to the listeners: a rewarding and fruitful atmosphere for any researcher, because it shows that what you do is interesting, and it gives you new ideas to focus on.

We knew we did a good job in delivering our findings, when on the next day at MAAC Anti-Corruption Forum one of the key speakers re-iterated some of the results he found intriguing when listening to Dr. Gutbrod’s presentation: the awareness of corruption is very high in the Armenian society, and there appears to be a certain moral reservoir leading to refusing bribes, despite that fear of punishment is almost absent. These are some of many insights one could draw from looking at CRRC Corruption Surveys’ results. We do our best to summarize and present some of the key things: a 45 minutes presentation by CRRC-Armenia team at MAAC forum is another example.
Nonetheless, we at CRRC feel that we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. We would like to encourage interested scholars and policy-makers to explore the information we have been collecting and spread the word. Survey 2008 data is available online. Survey 2009, which includes both Household Survey and Private Enterprise Survey will be going life end of April, beginning of May and will be actively promoted. Stay tuned!

March 12, 2010

Multiculturalism: A Look Inside

On March 11, CRRC-Armenia in partnership with Academic Fellowship Program, HESP, OSI organized a lecture-discussion “Multiculturalism: A Look Inside" conducted by Dr. John McCarthy, a Professor of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The lecture offered an overview of cultures, multiculturalism, and their importance of education before examining the effects of individualism-collectivism.

During the 2009/2010 academic year Dr. McCarthy participates in the International Academic Fellowship Program in the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute. In this role, he will be consulting with the Department of Psychology at Yerevan State University in Armenia.

March 10, 2010

Carnegie Research Fellowship Program

CRRC is happy to announce the Carnegie Research Fellowship Program (CRFP). The program offers exceptional research opportunities in the United States for scholars from the South Caucasus.

Specifically, scholars in the social sciences and the humanities may apply for individual, non-degree research opportunities at universities and institutes in the United States. The program is directed at advanced researchers that already have a demonstrated track record in research. The research period lasts up to a full semester (4 months), starting either September 2010 or January 2011.

Individuals who are eligible to participate in the fellowship program:

• Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
• Advanced graduate students, university faculty and scholars at any stage in their careers who have not recently conducted research projects at U.S. institutions.
• Scholars who hold a "Kandidatskaya" degree or higher, or who are working towards a "Kandidatskaya" degree at the time of application.
• Scholars who have publications (advanced graduate students may cite papers presented at academic conferences) in a particular field.
• Scholars who have a level of proficiency in written and spoken English that is sufficient to conduct independent research and engage colleagues.
• Scholars who are able to receive and maintain a United States J-1 visa.
• Scholars who are able to begin the CRFP in the United States in September 2010, or January 2011.

NCEEER, the American Councils, and the CRRC do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, and disability. For more information please visit NCEEER website.

Applications need to be submitted in a hard copy to your local CRRC office. Deadline for applications is April 30, 5 p.m., 2010. We suggest applicants to study details in the guidelines and the application form closely, and in good time, to avoid disappointment. We will be accepting applications in the social sciences and the humanities. All costs for the scholars are covered, including round-trip airfare.

The Carnegie Research Fellowship presents an extraordinary chance to researchers that can advance their work through a period of self-directed study in the US. Note that the application process is very competitive, since a concise research proposal is expected.

March 5, 2010

Western Academic Writing: Getting Published in a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Western Academic Writing: Getting Published in a Peer-Reviewed Journal workshop on February 26, somewhat unexpectedly drew a large and engaged audience. The participant group was fairly diverse: from inexperienced students to scholars with publication record.

The workshop was conducted by by CRRC-Armenia DI and MT Program Manager Jenny Paturyan, with the aim to provoke the participants into thinking about western academic style, as it is reflected in written form. Is different from what we in Armenia are used to? Does it challenge us to adjust our writing style? There probably are no definite answers to these questions but it is worth thinking about them. The discussion at the workshop was a testimony that some thinking did take place.

A more tangible goal of the workshop was to provide participants with some practical advice on writing structure and style, useful tools, and sources of further information. To prevent the workshop from being just a “talk in the air” the participants were asked to provide samples of their writing in advance to be used for practical exercise during the seminar. Three people were bold enough to do so. Hopefully they found at least some of the comments raised at the workshop useful. The truth is – it is always easier to edit someone else’s work, rather than your own, and it is probably the best exercise to improve one’s own writing skills.

eResources for Research

The orientation training on February 15, 2010 was designed for scholars interested in finding grounded information on the most recent developments in social science.

CRRC-Armenia Program Manager, Jenny Paturyan, introduced online resources, such as online databases (Jstor, Project Muse, EbscoHost, and World Development Indicators Online), survey reports and datasets, as well as websites on research methodology resources.

View more presentations from CRRC-Armenia.