Mekong Institute (MI) considers young human resource development as very important in the region. One of its efforts is to provide opportunities for young researchers. Since 2012, MI has been working closely with the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok to deliver a Mekong Institute – New Zealand Ambassador's Scholarship (MINZAS) program for the master's degree students of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand (CLMT). This year marks the 4th batch of the program where 12 students from CLMT countries were granted the MINZAS scholarship: 5 from Cambodia, 1 from Lao PDR, 3 from Myanmar, and 3 from Thailand.
Currently, the students are on their training course on research methodology, from March 9 to April 3, 2015. They are going through four modules of the training course emphasizing the development of academically sound research proposals and as well as new research techniques to assist in fieldwork research projects.
At the welcome event at the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok hosted by the recently appointed Ambassador, H.E. Reuben Levermore, the students were congratulated for being part of the program. The Ambassador expressed that he was impressed by the quality of the young people in the region and he also encouraged the students to take advantage of the program and apply all knowledge and skills acquired during the training period in MI to promote change in their community and country.
This scholarship program provides professional development opportunities for young people from the four countries through a structured training program and research assignment in the institute under the guidance of experienced regional and international experts. By the end of this research course, it is believed that the participants will not only be able to improve their research skills, but build their connections with other students from the GMS countries.