Postgraduate Research Initiative
Markets and Livelihoods Programme (MLP)
Welcome to the Markets and Livelihoods Programme's Post-Graduate Research Initiative
This initiative is designed to contribute to the progress of theory and practice of pro-poor market development approaches. We want to do this by building bridges between us and post-grad students in leading universities who are committed to putting their time and brains into real problems that have an impact on real people in developing countries.
If you are one of these students and want to know more about this initiative please see the ToRs and the FAQs below.
- download Terms of Reference (PDF, 89k), including Project Scope and Research Agenda
- If you are good at writing and analysing but do not have much time available, you could give us a hand writing short case studies or policy briefings to share with practitioners, policy-makers and development agencies. See more details here.
Tomoko Hatori (MA Development Studies - IDS, Uni of Sussex) did her dissertation on livestock markets systems in Northern Kenya (more details soon). We helped her to scope her research and find relevant data and secondary sources. We shared with her our PMSD approach and how to use the Market Map tool to analyse the market system and provided her with questions and comments to some of her drafts. We interacted with her via email, phone and in a face to face meeting. She is now a member of our Community of Practice for Livestock Markets. Collaborating with her was a possitive experience for us and we look forward to staying in touch with her.
Frequently Asked Questions
So, how do I start?
The most important thing is that you select from our Research Agenda a topic that you feel passionate about. You can think about cross-sectoral, sectoral or sub-sectoral topics. You can work at a theoretical level but please keep in mind that real examples are very important to us. If you want to focus on one country, we prefer that you select one of the countries we work in (see Terms of Reference). If you want to do comparative analysis, we prefer that you select at least one of the countries we work in. We are happy to learn from experiences in other countries as long as they illuminate our work in the field.
Once you have a clear question, please send us the following information:
- Short bio (1-2 paragraphs will do). Please include also the university and course you are in.
- My question contributes to the following topic(s) of the Markets and Livelihoods Programme Research Agenda:
- I have the following hypothesis/hypotheses:
- My question can be summarised as follows:
- The methodology/strategy/approach I will use is: (general info that can give us an idea of how you plan to tackle the research. We will discuss the details with you if you are selected).
- The final product(s) I will produce is (are):
Please be brief. 1-2 pages are ideal.
Who should I send this info to?
See the last FAQ of this list.
How many people will be selected?
It will depend on time availability of our staff. However, we expect to be able to work with one or two post-grad students at any given moment.
What are the selection criteria?
- Contribution to our research agenda
- Pertinence: does your research add value to our theoretical and practical understanding of the topics of our Research Agenda?
- Viability: can you deliver what you want to do in the time and with the resources available? Please take into account that we want to engage with you in a learning interaction during your research (do not worry, we will agree with you when and how to interact).
Can I do my research with another classmate?
No, we cannot accept joint research proposals.
What is the timeline of the research?
You propose the timeline depending on what you want do (e.g., term paper, dissertation, D.Phil thesis, etc). Please include key milestones.
Please keep in mind when you are designing your timeline that we will need a couple of weeks to study and select the applications.
How many hours am I expected to spend on this research?
You define the time you want to spend on the project. We are interested on the quality of both the process and the final product.
The process: it should be a learning process for both sides (you and us) but the logistic details will be agreed upon between us after you have been selected. One of the key things we should define together is how and when we will interact to follow-up, reflect and learn.
The final product: we expect the final version of your paper, dissertation, etc. You can propose alternative/additional final deliverables (e.g. videos, audio, pictures, etc) as long as they are pertinent and acceptable to us.
What are the main issues around intellectual property that I should take into account?
If your research is of high quality, interesting and pertinent, we reserve the right to circulate it within the organization and to external audiences.
We will acknowledge you as the author of the final product. If you get significant inputs from us during the process of production, we expect that you will acknowledge our contributions.
Given that we are interested to learn with you during the process, we expect that you will share with us the feedback you get from your evaluators. Do not worry if you get a mark below your expectations… we believe that we can learn also from the mistakes or weak areas of your research.
Can Practical Action cover some of the research costs?
Unfortunately, we cannot cover any of the costs related to your research. However, we may be able to cover the costs of some visits to our UK office to discuss progress or challenges, or even to present your ideas to our staff! (if you want to and if pertinent). The details of these visits will be agreed with you if you are selected.
Does this research involve international travel?
It all depends on the nature and scope of your research. We can discuss this possibility if it is absolutely necessary for your research. One of the reasons for this is that we will need to coordinate with our country/regional teams to make sure time and resources are used effectively by all. In any case, you would have to cover all related costs.
This FAQs list did not answer my questions, what do I do?
Send your questions to:
- Alison Griffith (the International Team Leader of the MLP) at email@example.com, OR
- Lucho Osorio (the International Markets and Livelihoods Programme Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is any problem with your email, try Sue Sneath, the Programme's administrator at email@example.com