Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in collaboration with Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources (EIWR) organized and delivered a research methods planning course to EIWR students. The course was a part of the project entitled “Advanced Education for Global Food Security – Teacher Exchange”, which was aimed to support staff exchange between SLU and Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources (EIWR), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. The course was held from 17 – 28 November 2014.
Three Swedish researchers were visiting the Institute and gave seminars and group/individual student consultation. Three seminars were presented; one on philosophy of research, second on nutrient cycling and lab techniques, and finally on hydrological analysis and SWAT modeling. In addition, copies of Hans Rosling and Johan Rockstrom presentation videos were watched by students on 20th of November for inspiration. The Video presentations were focused on data management in social development and environmental protection. Meanwhile, the critical component of the course was helping both the PhD and MSc students’ transition from the course component of their degree programs to the independent research component. And this was executed by consulting individual/group of students on their research plan.
The involvement of senior staff from Sweden in this course made a substantial contribution to the thesis research planning for about 20 students. There was also a good chance to involve more senior academics in the network of thesis supervisors that the PhD and MSc students could get access to for their entire study period. The course/workshop served as a catalyst for establishing connections to SLU’s expertise as well as EIWR and students to foreign experts.