To strengthen the links between young scholars in higher and lower-income countries working in this rapidly growing field of research, the PEDL programme organised a virtual matchmaking and project development workshop. This workshop aimed to bring together pre-dissertation PhD candidates from institutions in higher-income countries with PhD candidates and young scholars from institutions in lower-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The young scholars involved were no more than three years out of their PhD.
Over the course of two weeks, scholars gathered for three days with the aim of fostering new ideas and developing projects, grant proposals, and, importantly, collaborations across these groups for research on the frontier of private enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.
The workshop began with a keynote highlighting open questions and opportunities for possible contributions. Participants then came together for an Ideas Fair, where they pitched research interests and ideas that were open to collaboration. Based on this initial meeting, participants were grouped according to their interests and, with the support of workshop leaders, worked together to identify, develop and present joint projects, leading to grant proposals fundable by PEDL or other organisations. The best ideas were presented at the PEDL Young Scholars Conference 2020, where teams were able to receive feedback from senior scholars in the field.
Those who were interested in participating were asked to download and complete an application form and prepare a brief letter of motivation and an up-to-date version of their CV. The application form asked candidates to clearly state the research question(s), potential methods to answer the question, and the geographic focus of the project. PhD candidates also arranged to have a letter of support from their dissertation supervisor sent to us.
Applicants that were selected to participate in the Young Scholars Workshop 2020 were also invited to attend the PEDL Young Scholars Conference 2020. An application to present at the Conference did not preclude an application to the Workshop or vice versa.
Morgan Hardy, NYU Abu Dhabi
Christian Meyer, University of Oxford
Chris Woodruff, University of Oxford, PEDL and CEPR