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Berlin University Alliance Seeks to Strengthen its Research Collaborations with the "Global South"

Global Network for Research on the Working World and Project on Decolonial Research Practice Will Be Receiving Funding of 630,000 euros over a Three-year Period

News from Jun 16, 2022

The Berlin Center for Global Engagement (BCGE) of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is supporting two lighthouse projects with the aim of strengthening its research collaborations with the "Global South". With funding of 630,000 euros earmarked over a three-year period, the two signature projects will be contributing to sustainable research about, with, and in the "Global South".

The international alliance project "Essential Workers, Essential Research. A global network of critical labour studies" is one of the projects being funded. Researchers from all over the world will examine the major changes witnessed in the working world in a historical context. Growing inequality, precarious working conditions, and informal employment arrangements have been further exacerbated by the pandemic and now more than ever have become a global problem. The network aims to shift the focus to local perspectives from countries such as Argentina, India, and South Africa, and incorporate these ideas into international research. Leading the project are Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckert from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Prof. Dr. Sebastian Conrad from Freie Universität Berlin. "This funding from the BCGE allows us to try out new ways of collaboration with labor researchers in the Global South and put the emphasis on matters of social inequality, which are closely linked to the topic of labor," explains Andreas Eckert.

The second lighthouse project "co2libri – conceptual collaboration – living borderless research interaction" aims to make visible knowledge, theories, and research practices from the "Global South" in Berlin’s research landscape. Because the unfortunate reality is that researchers and intellectuals from marginalized regions or from ethnic or religious minorities are often left without a voice in scientific discourse. The project participants – a global network of researchers, artists, and activists – want to explore knowledge and theoretical contributions from the Global South. Their goal is to make the way knowledge emerges and the criteria for recognizing knowledge more equal across the globe. Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse from Freie Universität Berlin and Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (Leibniz Center for Research on Modern Orient) and Prof. Dr. phil. Claudia Derichs from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are leading the project, which is working closely with international partners in Nairobi, Beirut, Delhi, and Vienna, among others.

Dr. Florian Kohstall, Program Head for the BCGE, explains: "The two signature projects combine the excellent regional expertise of the partner institutions with specific collaborations in Africa, South-East Asia, South America, and Europe. This way we can foster a new culture of research in Berlin, one which will enable knowledge sharing with politics, society, and science in the Global South."

Funding for the projects comes from the BCGE, the BUA platform for research collaborations with the "Global South", for science diplomacy, and for strengthening academic freedom. According to the BCGE, the "Global South", as it is known, includes all countries which, for various reasons, occupy a marginalized position in global knowledge production.

The Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalization. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press contact
Suhana Elisabeth Reddy, press spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance
Email: medien@berlin-university-alliance.de

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