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Academic writing workshop on agrarian and environmental governance studies

By Van Nguyen, FTViet project

From 9-13 December, Australian National University, University of Sydney and Hanoi National University of Education and Forest Trends organized an academic writing workshop with the aim to enhance academic writing skills for 16 young lectures/researchers and graduate students in the field of agrarian studies, environmental governance and natural resource management.

There exist a number of constraints in the area of research and academic capacity among Vietnamese academic institutions. First, despite high expectations of published research output, most Vietnamese academic institutions do not offer in-depth courses in academic writing skills for research students. As a result, after training, students are unable to publish their work. Second, the number of lecturers with strong research-based writing skills is also limited. As a result, many lecturers have faced severe constraints in publishing their work particularly in international academic venues. As universities and research institutions in Vietnam have to compete with academic institutions in the region regarding their performance, Vietnamese lecturers and researchers, especially young academics with high potential but limited experience, have been under high pressure. Despite a surge in research activity, publication performance remains poor.

This write-shop, therefore, accommodated 20 participants who were selected on a competitive basis through their paper's abstracts. They are young lecturers/researchers from all Vietnamese and abroad universities including University of Lausanne (Switzerland), RMIT University (Australia), Chiang Mai University (Thailand), Okayama University (Japan), Hanoi National University of Education, Universities of Social Science and Humanities of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, Hue Agriculture and Forestry University, and Hanoi Academy of Agriculture.

Figure 1 - The participants and mentors of the Write-shop (by VanNguyen, 2019)

All participants were required to provide pre-workshop extended outlines of research-based articles. During 5 days intensive workshop, the participants involved hands-on works on planning an article, conceptialsing a research problem, constructing an argument, literature review and citation, structuring, paragraph development, abstract-writing, introductions, conclusions and other key skills. The write shop also involved the use of exemplar materials, peer-review methodologies, critical feedback response and future collaboration plan.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hai Van. PhD Student under FTViet Project was selected and participated in the write-shop to improve one of her thesis's result chapters with the title: Spaces of Upland Forests Transformation: State territorialization and struggles over resources under neoliberalism in Vietnam. The full paper will be prepared and presented at the International Conference on Imaginaries of Development in the Highlands: The constitutions of mountain areas as spaces for international development cooperation since 1945, held by University of Bern on February 27-28, 2020.

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