The Timor-Leste Research Program based in the Centre for Global Research offers supervision to students wishing to undertake honours and post-graduate research on Timor-Leste. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr Damian Grenfell about supervision options.
Students at an undergraduate level are offered opportunities to learn about Timor-Leste and be involved in the Timor-Leste Research Program's community engagement activities, for example through guest lectures, internships, research projects and conference organisation.
In 2007 two Honours travel scholarships were offered to International Studies students from RMIT University. These scholarships were designed to allow the students an opportunity to incorporate international field research in Timor-Leste into their honours thesis. Since then, honours students have regularly contributed to the program and wherever possible have been integrated into existing research projects, gaining important on-the-ground experience as part of their broader university-based learning.
At a postgraduate level, the program has provided significant support and resources to a range of Masters and PhD candidates who have sought to specialise in some way in Timor-Leste. Here the students are linked to both an existing co-hort of students working on Timor-Leste and extended networks of academics, policy makers, organisations and communities working on similar topics.
Post-Graduate Research Projects
- Bronwyn Winch - A Post Colonial Approach to Security Studies: The Spiritual Landscape in Timor-Leste.
- Sam Carroll-Bell - Patterns of Belief: Examining the Epistemologies of International Development Workers in Timor-Leste.
- Stefani Vasil - Friction and Translation: The Impact of Global Discourses of Violence in Socially and Politically Diverse Contexts.
Course Work Students
Timor Leste Study Tour: The Peace-Security-Development Nexus in Timor-Leste (2011)
Over June and July 2011 students from the Global Studies program at RMIT University undertook a Study Tour that drew together theoretical and conceptual thinking on the nature of relationships between development, peace‐building and security studies. Building on the research programs that have been undertaken by RMIT staff in Timor-Leste over the last 8 years, the student group visited a range of organizations relevant to the course themes, ranging from the UN Missions through to the Australian Defence Force, Ausaid and Irish Aid, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a variety of development collectives in rural areas, as well as non-government organizations such as Caritas, Oxfam and the Alola Foundation.
The group based itself in the capital Dili but visited communities in Baucau, Venilale and Los Palos, learning from those practicing in the field on the strategies employed for development, peace and security in the wake of large-scale violence. In addition to the more formalised visits to institutions, the students met with many East Timorese in a wide range of circumstances; talking about local projects, in the markets, sharing meals in homes and meeting with groups of East Timorese students. These experiences were an important part in student learning, not least contextualising the more theoretical aspects of the course.
Since 2003 undergraduate and postgraduate course-work students have been involved in a range of ways, for example by undertaking an internship with the Timor-Leste Research Program, completing short-thesis work or partaking in field studies supervised by staff involved in the program. This work has provided a wide range of experiences for students, from formal academic assessment, to working on events in Melbourne and Dili, through to visiting remote villages in Timor-Leste.