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New PhD course on transformative research wins Education Innovation Award

Published on
March 11, 2022

This award was given for the first time at the Dies Natalis of Wageningen University on 9 March.

The PhD course 'Transformative Research for Global Social-Environmental Challenges' was conducted at Wageningen University in 2021. The course coordinators are Josephine Chambers, Jeanne Nel and Esther Turnhout.

In her acceptance speech, Josie, as she is better known among colleagues, said:

"This course has emerged from a year-long process across Wageningen University & Research that explored the question: how can research be transformative for society.

"Esther, Jeanne an I identified four main ways of working - to pluralise, empower, politicise and embed research with society - which we used to create this course.

"We see this course as part of a growing movement that builds on sharp critique of how our own beliefs and methods constrain us and create a sense of possibility and hope for how we can do things differently by working together.

"Our 24 PhD candidates showed us that this is possible when we all show up with humility, wisdom and humanity. This kind of education is urgently needed across all facets of society to realise our collective potential - especially with those in positions of power - both inside and outside of the university."

Josephine and Esther are former FNP researchers. The former is now an assistant professor at the Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht University, and the latter is the chair of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Twente.

More information about the course and the award ceremony can be found in this Resource article and here.