Murdoch University Postgraduate Student Association (MUPSA) has taken out the “Education Initiative of the Year” award at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA).The award-winning initiative was a series of workshops that focused on the role of science diplomacy as a policy impact pathway. Each workshop delivered crucial negotiation and science communication skills to help researches translate their work into policy discussions.
The sessions were facilitated by MUPSA executive and Murdoch PhD scholar, Muhammad Adeel, who said that science had the ability to build partnerships between countries —partnerships that can be sustained regardless of political headwinds.
“Cross-disciplinary and cross-border collaboration is what’s needed for meaningful progress to be made on global challenges,” Adeel said.
Mobilising the early career research community for policy advocacy through science diplomacy will go a long way in addressing global problems and also create momentum for a national science policy network."
“We need scientists and foreign policy professionals to work together and take advantage of the ways science can inform and influence diplomacy, and vice-versa.”
Each of the workshops were structured around experiences and research on areas at the intersection of science and international relations, for example the regulation of agricultural biotechnology. Role play simulations allowed participants to navigate the complexity of the policy process in these areas.
Audiences of the workshops also benefited from the insights of prolific research diplomats, like WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre Director, Professor Michael Jones. Prof. Jones moderated one of the simulations and also delivered a keynote lecture during the first workshop.
CAPA acknowledged MUPSA’s effort in pioneering an innovative professional development program that will benefit postgrads across Australia and promote inter-disciplinary collaboration.
MUPSA would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Guild and the office of the Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation.