Timor-Leste Research Program Objectives

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The Timor-Leste Research Program is based at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), and is primarily situated within the Centre for Global Research where researchers and students have been working in Timor-Leste since 2003. As with other sites within Australia and the Asia-Pacific, the main intellectual task of the Centre for Global Research has been to understand processes of change and continuity, and to think through cultural-political questions such as nation-formation in a globalizing world. We endeavour to work across the divide between abstract theory and applied research and we seek to develop strong collaborative connections with communities, civil society and state organisations in our research areas.

RMIT’s Timor-Leste Research Program is committed to both intellectual and ethical objectives.

At an intellectual level, our objectives include:

  • To seek to understand processes of change in contemporary Timor-Leste, specifically the process of nation-formation;
  • To develop and utilise innovative research methods suitable for the East Timorese context; and
  • To ensure that our academic research findings contribute wherever possible to development policy and program design and community knowledge in Timor-Leste. 

At an ethical level, our objectives include: 

  • To build innovative knowledge about East Timorese society that is applicable, socially progressive, accessible and widely distributed in both Timor-Leste and globally, including both within and beyond Universities;
  • To ensure that our research program is transparent and accountable in Timor-Leste, and involves locally-based partners wherever possible;
  • To build the research capabilities of East Timorese communities, organisations and individuals, and emerging researchers from Australia and internationally; and 
  • To include a diverse range of East Timorese voices in data collection and written outcomes.  

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