Postdoctoral awards for FASS researchers

29 August 2014

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has awarded three postdoctoral writing awards to completed PhD students from the past twelve months.

Advertised as the Postdoctoral Stipendiary Awards 2014, these were available to recent PhD students in the faculty who could show plans for publishing collaborations with academic staff.

Vincent Malcolm-Buchanan, Chandra Pandey and Kumudika Boyagoda are the 2014 recipients for this award.

Vincent Malcolm-Buchanan -Teardrops from Heaven: suicide and death in the Māori world.

Vincent is working on a piece of sobering research. Increasing incidences of suicide in the Māori world is evidence that self-inflicted death is a very real option amongst the indigene of Aotearoa NZ; particularly for our young people.

“Māori are the proud first peoples of Aotearoa NZ, and yet our uri, our young people, are choosing the act of suicide (whakamomori) as a very real and devastating option, which the whānau, iwi and wider communities must subsequently deal with,” says Vincent.

His study will investigate critical and crucial social and cultural aspects of the occurrences of whakamomori, and the numerous and complex impacts of suicide upon the whānau, our cultural practices, the affects to whakapapa, and the impacts upon Māori overall.

Chandra Pandey - International climate change policy: The media and the major emitters.

Originally from Nepal, one of the least developed and most climate vulnerable countries in the world, Chandra will be evaluating the media’s framing role in communicating issues of climate change policy-making, ranging from the barriers of international climate negotiations to the potential paths forward, with specific reference to print media in the USA, UK, China and India.

“Framing is a powerful discursive strategy for presenting and defining an issue in ways that can persuade, often having profound political, social and behavioural consequences,” says Chandra. “Media representations of climate change issues involve deploying key frames derived from complex relationships between scientists, policy actors, and the public.”

Kumudika Boyagoda

Kumudika will be completing two research papers that will look to strengthen and further extend the argument of ‘heterogeneity’ in regards to female headship which was expressed in her PhD work. Her main areas of expertise are demography, gender and development.

Signalling that there are opportunities for PhD students beyond the doctoral research and writing process, these competitive awards provide three emerging academics with a period of three months in 2014 to produce high quality publications from their recent postgraduate research, and to work collaboratively with academic staff in the faculty.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Robert Hannah, is delighted that FASS can provide these awards to recent PhD graduates with the support of the University's Strategic Investment Fund for 2014.

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