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National Fono for Postgraduate students

Media release
Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Fono for Postgraduate students, Pacific Researchers and Scholars

Postgraduate students, researchers and scholars from New Zealand and the Pacific will attend the Building Pacific Research Capacity and Scholarship in New Zealand/Aotearoa Fono being held at the Fale Pasifika on 16-18 April and hosted by the Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

This fono has been organised by Pacific scholars' throughout the New Zealand universities, including AUT University, and funded as a result of an initiative by the Building Research Capability in the Social Sciences network (BRCSS), Hui Rangahau Tahi, which operates as a virtual community through a series of networks, one of which is the Pacific Talanoa Research series.

The increase in Pacific researchers and scholars; the national demand for evidence based and culturally appropriate research; and the growing body of knowledge and debate about what is Pacific research and how this should be carried out; set the background for this national fono.

While the fono primarily targets postgraduate students, early career researchers and established researchers are also invited to join. This will be a chance to debate and clarify understandings about the appropriateness of the dominant research methodologies and methods to Pacific contexts and learn about emerging Pacific paradigms, epistemologies, pedagogies and curriculum issues.

The fono will provide a forum for discussions aimed at building Pacific research capacity, rigour and leadership through:
Documenting what research is being carried out and how this is being done
Critiquing Pacific research epistemologies methodologies and key social research methods commonly used across sectors and/or research disciplines
Networking with other Pacific researchers and establish possibilities for research partnerships
Strengthening a national network of Pacific postgraduate students.

The four proposed fono streams are: research design (epistemologies and methodologies); methods (quantitative and qualitative); professional development (research and policy links pathways to professional development); and post graduate presentations of their research and research questions.


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