The Daily Northwestern

Foundation donates $2 million for international development research, fellowships

Connor Samuelson, Reporter

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Two new programs seeking to expand and enhance Northwestern’s research on developing countries are underway this school year following a $2 million donation last May.

The Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program and the Arryman Fellowship program will both expand NU’s presence in international development research. The multi-million dollar donation by the Rajawali Foundation created the two programs last spring.

EDGS, housed in the Roberta Buffett Center of International and Comparative Studies, will bring interdisciplinary research opportunities to NU faculty and graduate students.

Although the Rajawali Foundation is based in Indonesia and focuses most of its projects there, EDGS will research developing countries worldwide. The yearlong Arryman Fellowship will give research opportunities to pre-doctorate Indonesian students interested in law, economics, business and other disciplines.

The partnership between NU and the Rajawali Foundation began with political science Prof. Jeffrey Winters and his extensive research on Indonesian development. Winters is currently the director of EDGS.

Political science Prof. Hendrik Spruyt, executive director of the Buffett Center, said EDGS seeks to answer one core question: How do developing countries establish a sustainable and equitable economy without creating huge income disparities?

Since its inception in May, the program has finalized its advisory board, comprosed of faculty from NU and the School of Law. The program launched its website last week and has broadened its outreach to include all schools, departments and students.

Although EDGS will primarily focus on faculty, graduate and Arryman Fellows research, it will also fund speaker series, workshops and research papers for the entire NU community. Its Fall Quarter 2012 speaker series, “Property Rights, Power and the Rule of Law,” began Monday with a speaker from the University of Chicago Law School discussing economic development in China.

Beth Morrissey, program manager of EDGS, is responsible for organizing and advertising the program’s events.

“We are hoping EDGS is used as a resource for all of the schools at NU,” Morrissey said. “EDGS hopes to work with them and their goals to do great interdisciplinary research.”

Morrissey is also responsible for helping the Arryman Fellows transition to living in the United States leading up to a symposium next spring highlighting their research.

After their yearlong fellowship, Arryman Fellows can apply to be Arryman Scholars, making them eligible for a full-ride doctorate program at NU in their respective departments. After obtaining their doctorate, Arryman Scholars will return to Indonesia as core faculty for a university slated to open in Jakarta within the next few years.

Fellow Gde Metera said the program will foster good relations between Indonesia and NU.

“For the fellows, it is a great opportunity to be able to study at Northwestern,” Metera said.

This year, three Arryman Fellows were accepted to research with EDGS. The Indonesian Scholarship and Research Support Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia handles Arryman Fellow nominations.

EDGS hopes to host five Arryman Fellows in 2013. The decisions will be made by ISRSF early next year.