Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Winner 2019

The Developing Areas Research Group in conjunction with Routledge offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘Development Geographies’. The author of the winning dissertation receives £100 worth of Routledge books of their choice.

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 winner of the prize is Lucy Petty from Newcastle University. Lucy’s dissertation was titled ‘Responsible Volunteering: A Viable Solution? A Postcolonial Reading of International Volunteering in Jambiani, Zanzibar.’ The committee noted that Lucy made exceptional use of chosen methods and that the dissertation structure was excellent. Many congratulations, Lucy!

We would also like to congratulate Helen Cussans of Durham University whose dissertation was highly commended. Helen’s dissertation was titled ‘‘Now is the time for change and it starts with our girls’: Exploring the practice, effects and attitudes towards Female Genital Mutilation amongst women from Isiolo, Kenya.’

The prize will be running again at the end of the 2019-20 academic year, the deadline is usually 1 July. Please check our website and twitter for updates.

DARG Travel Prize Winner 2019

The DARG committee is delighted to announce the winner of the 2019 DARG travel prize. The winner is Chidinma Okorie who is a PhD candidate at Loughborough University.

Chidinma’s research project, ‘The Geographies of Nigerian Commonwealth Scholars and the Migration Education-Development (M.E.D) Nexus’ was noted by the committee as research that will make an important contribution to development geography. Chidinma will receive £800 towards her fieldwork in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. Many congratulations, Chidinma!

The DARG committee thanks all candidates for their applications, they really do show the strength of early career research in development geography. We would like to say a particular well done to our runner up, Floor van der Hout from Northumbria University. We wish all candidates the best of luck with their fieldwork.

The DARG travel prize will run again next year, please keep an eye on our website and twitter account for updates. Questions can be directed at the prize co-ordinator Dr Cordelia Freeman at cordelia.freeman@nottingham.ac.uk

DARG Postgraduate Travel Prize Winner

We are delighted to announce the winner of our DARG postgraduate travel prize, Kavita Dattani who is an MRes student at Queen Mary, University of London. We received a very strong set of applications so congratulations Kavita!

Kavita’s research project is entitled “Digitising Domestic Work: investigating the role of digital technologies and on-demand platforms in the work-lives of Delhi’s domestic workers“. The prize is £800 toward fieldwork costs and Kavita will be spending the summer in Delhi where she will conduct interviews and focus groups. We wish Kavita the best of luck with her research and are looking forward to her report on her return.

If you are interested in applying for future funding, our travel prize closes on 1 June every year. More information can be found on our funding page. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Report on DARG-sponsored meeting on The Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change by Duncan McGregor and David Barker

The sixth in the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers British-Caribbean Seminar Series was held at the Department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, June 23rd-27th, 2014.  The Seminar was organised by Professor David Barker, Dr Thera Edwards, Dr Kevon Rhiney (Department of Geography, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus) and Dr Duncan McGregor (Department of Geography, Royal Holloway), with the financial support of the Climate Change Research Group and the Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.  These funds were used specifically to provide subsidised conference attendance, including fieldtrips, for 7 postgraduate and 1 undergraduate students from the Caribbean region.
The meeting had a truly international flavour, including as it did participants from the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Colombia and 8 Caribbean Territories (Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Vincent, St Kitts & Nevis and Martinique), who enjoyed 3 days of research presentations and 2 field days.
Over 60 participants took part, with 44 papers presented within the overarching  theme of adaptation and resilience to global change within the Caribbean region.  Papers ranged in topic from regional and national frameworks for action; approaches to  resilience-building, in coastal, urban and agricultural systems and through education and technology; with particular groups of papers concentrating on eastern Caribbean and Guyanese environments and on key niche industries such as Jamaica’s coffee industry.  Several ‘local’ and ‘international’ postgraduates presented in these sessions, and this Next Generation acquitted itself with distinction.
Two field days underscored the human vulnerabilities of Jamaica in terms of inner-city regeneration and rural economic adaptation and development, and stimulated much debate during and after the trips. ‘Team spirit’ was fostered by a variety of evening social occasions, which provided ample opportunity for individual exchanges of research experience and ideas, and for ‘networking’. 
A successful publication outcome is anticipated, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Jamaica National Foundation and from USAID Project funds.  Negotiations are under way with the University of the West Indies Press to produce substantive Proceedings, and Special Issues of the regional journal, Caribbean Geography, are anticipated. This will mirror the outputs from previous seminars, which have resulted in four edited volumes and six Special Issues of Caribbean Geography, a total to date of around 100 individual chapters and papers.
In this context, the organisers of the meeting are presently drawing up a synopsis of the principal conclusions drawn from the meeting.  This will not only act as a suitable postscript for the major publications anticipated, but as a strategy document to inform the wider research and decision-making community of the principal problems associated withThe Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change, and the major research directions crucial to the alleviation of these problems. 

Committee Elections – DARG needs you!

As noted in the last newsletter, this AGM will see a significant change in our committee membership, as we will have space for up to four full committee positions, including that of Chair. If you are interested in standing for a place on the committee as a regular committee member or as a PG representative and wish to discuss this, please get in touch with Glyn Williams (glyn.williams@sheffield.ac.uk) or Nina Laurie (nina.laurie@newcastle.ac.uk) to find out more about the roles involved.
Anyone standing for Chair should be a Fellow of the RGS: non-RGS members may stand as committee members, but may not hold the post of Treasurer or Secretary. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by members of the Group and must receive the assent of the nominee before submission to Nina as DARG Secretar (nina.laurie@newcastle.ac.uk). This year, we’re asking all people standing for committee/Chair to write a short statement (maximum 250 words) on what they would bring to the role – and we aim to circulate these to all members ahead of the AGM.
All nominations should be sent to Nina on/before 11th August.  

Developing Areas Research Group AGM

The DARG AGM will be held during the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, on Thursday 28th August from 13:10-14.25, in the Sunley Room of the RGS.
Any DARG members (or other interested people) who are not registered to attend the conference but who wish to attend the AGM can gain a free visitor pass for the meeting by emailing AC2014@rgs.org and providing their name, affiliation, email address and the meeting(s) they wish to attend.  The RGS will confirm receipt and arrange a visitor pass for them to collect from the registration desk on the day.
Items for the AGM agenda will include our new Constitution, discussion of DARG’s prize to remember the work of David Drakakis-Smith, and importantly the election of new committee members.

DARG PG Travel Award

This year’s prize winner is Felicity Butler (RHUL), for her research in Northern Nicaragua on Including Unpaid Labour in Community Fair Trade Products.  Congratulations to her: this year’s competition saw a very high-quality list of applications.

One year lectureship in Development Geography

The Department of Geography at the University of Portsmouth wishes to appoint to a one-year lectureship in Geography (Development Studies). The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to our established teaching programmes and in particular deliver two units in ‘Geography and Development Studies’ (2nd year undergraduate unit) and ‘Gender and Development’ (3rd year undergraduate unit – some flexibility of specialist area within the realm of development studies may be possible for this unit). Further details of our current teaching and research activities are available through the Department of Geography webpages on the University website (www.port.ac.uk).
Applicants should have a PhD and have teaching experience and be research active commensurate with career stage. You will be encouraged and supported in the development of your personal teaching and research agenda and encouraged to collaborate with colleagues in developing and enhancing your existing career profile.
You will be required to demonstrate experience of teaching and be willing to contribute to our geography teaching programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including tutorials, fieldwork, dissertation supervision and core teaching within the geography curriculum. Existing experience of delivering specialist option teaching would be an additional advantage as detailed above and within the realm of geography and development studies.
Interview Date: 7 August 2014!
Salary: £32,590 to £35,597
Start date: no later than the 1st September 2014.
Candidates are welcome to discuss this post further with:
Dr Simon Leonard (Head of Department)
tel: 023 9284 2501/2507
For detailed information about this vacancy, please select this link: 10012288 – Lecturer in Geography.docx


Professor Rob Potter (1950-2014)

As many members may already know, Rob Potter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading, and a leading academic in the areas of urban and development geographies, has died. Rob was an active member of DARG, serving on its committee, and co-editing The Contemporary Caribbean (Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2004) within the Group’s series of regional geography books. Previously Professor of Geography and Head of Department (1994-1999) at Royal Holloway, University of London, he joined Reading in 2003 and later became Head of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences. An elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, Rob was awarded the higher doctorate degree of DSc by the University of Reading for his contributions to the fields of geographies of development and urban geography, with particular reference to Caribbean development studies.

Rob had a long and distinguished research career, with more than 30 books and monographs and over 250 journal articles and book chapters, and was founding editor of the journal Progress in Development Studies from 2001.  He also supervised over 30 PhD students, and was in constant demand as PhD examiner, journal manuscript referee and as external assessor for senior appointments both in the UK and overseas. He particularly enjoyed being in the field, whether on undergraduate fieldtrips or in the Caribbean.  He had over 30 years’ research association with the Eastern Caribbean, researching principally on urbanisation, housing  and planning, but also on, among others,  tourism, gender, returning migrants and human aspects of environmental hazard.   Rob always insisted on publishing not only in ‘high impact’ international journals, but also in Caribbean journals and other locally-accessible outlets.  Even during his illness, he continued working on the third edition of the Companion to Development Studies, which arrived just two days before he passed away.  This last publication was a fitting tribute to his contribution to scholarship in, and of, developing countries.

Rob was always very supportive of junior colleagues and especially of women in academia.  He maintained high moral standards and was a person with great integrity. He was very fond of his text books and worked very hard in getting them published and they were very successful.  He privately and bravely battled with cancer since 2009.  He will be greatly missed. If anyone is wishing to make a donation in memory of Rob can do so by sending a cheque made payable to either ‘The Pilgrims Hospice’ Canterbury or the Royal Free Trustees Grant (311) “The Quiet Cancer Appeal” at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

 (with thanks to the RGS and Vandana Desai)

Generating Research Impact: Ethics, Politics and Practices

Tuesday 26th August 2014

Venue: Education Centre, Royal Geographical Society (RGS), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Organised by RGS Research Groups: EGRG, DARG, SCGRG and PolGRG

This workshop will take place on the day before the annual international conference of the RGS (with IBG). It brings together academics, including postgraduates, from across human geography to facilitate a critical focus and debate on the nature and implications of research impact, from research group perspectives across the discipline, including thinking more broadly and critically about what research impact means to us, and how it affects our work. The event includes group and roundtable debate, facilitated by five keynote talks.


10:00-10:30     Registration & coffee

10:30-10:45     Welcome from Alex Hughes & introductions

10:45-12:00     Session 1: Tracking & Embedding Impact (Chair: Steve Musson)

Dr Martin Walsh (Global Research Adviser, Oxfam GB, & Member of REF Main Panel C): Researching impacts: emerging lessons from the development sector

Group discussion: How do we embed & track impact? How might we work with organisations to do this, and what are the challenges?

12:00-13:00     Lunch

13:00-14:30     Session 2: Politics, Consequences & Communication of Impact (Chair: Rebecca Sandover)

Professor Kevin Morgan (Cardiff School of Planning & Geography): The politics of sustainable school food reform (project recognised in ESRC Impact Annual Awards 2013)

Hazel Edwards (Senior Engagement Manager – Arts & Humanities, Durham University): Research impact through partnership: the case of a Tyne & Wear Archives & Museum project

Group discussion: How do we conduct research that shapes public policy/engagement? How do we address the political challenges associated with the generation & consequences of research impact? How do we communicate research impact?

14:30-15:00     Tea/coffee

15:00-16:30     Session 3: Conceptualising Impact & its Pathways (Chair: Karen Lai)

Eloise Mellor (ESRC): Overview of ESRC’s current visions of impact

Professor Nina Laurie (Newcastle University): Conceptualising impact in the global South: the case of a trafficking project

Group discussion: How do we conceptualise and create pathways to impact? What kinds of skills are required to foster impact?

16:30               Workshop closes

18:15               Annual conference opens

The event is free to students (current, registered graduate or doctoral studies), and £16 for all others.

To register for the event, you can book in one of two ways: (i) through the RGS website and online booking system (to add the workshop to your RGS annual conference booking) at  www.rgs.org/AC2014Workshops or, if you are not attending the annual conference, (ii) by e-mailing Alex.Hughes@ncl.ac.uk and sending a cheque (if you are paying) for £16 made payable to ‘EGRG’ to Alex Hughes, School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, 5th Floor Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU by 6th August.