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Friday, 19 May 2017 00:00

Remembering how to write beautifully

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By Caspar Roxburgh I was recently on a writing retreat with my research group. Ostensibly arranged by our boss to workshop each other’s current publications-in-draft, it was notable for its glaring lack of discussion on actual writing. Of course, we reviewed each person’s research, presentations were given, and there was talk of how to produce relevant and valuable figures. But on the final morning, as we sat in debate over the precise text of our ‘mission’ and ‘vision’, I was struck by how little we had thought or discussed the art of writing. I now live in the fear that…
Thursday, 11 May 2017 00:00

From paper to paperless with CommCare

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By Christian Genova 5. This is the number of hours it took, on average, to complete my paper-based survey questionnaire during the pre-testing in Vietnam. The reaction of our first respondent is still vivid, their face was a roadmap of emotions, traveling from all-embracing, to puzzled, and then to frustration. My survey questionnaire was comprehensive, to a fault. This was to ensure that all factors affecting household diets of rural farming households were captured; this included dietary intake, disease, gender roles, poor surroundings, consumption patterns, farm production information, anthropometric measurements, among many other factors. Inevitably, the time it takes for…
By Gianna Bonis-Profumo  Are you a young researcher focusing on food and sustainability issues? If so, be aware of the BCFN YES! research funding opportunity for the 2017 round! Not only can you win almost AU$30,000 for your research (20,000€), but also present your project to worldwide experts in Italy and attend the annual International Forum on Food and Nutrition in Milan. BCFN YES! is a research grant competition open to worldwide researchers under the age of 35 working on their PhD or Post-Doc, with topics aimed at building a more sustainable agri-food system, considering environmental, social, health and/or economic…
  I recently came across the blog ‘Blood and Milk’ by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna writes on all things international development, sharing her experiences, stories, insights, hints and tips. There was one post in particular that caught my eye, “The five classic aid worker blunders”, which got me thinking, am I guilty of some of these too? Blunder 1: Thinking that you are the only one who has ever tried to do what you are doing. It is easy to get wrapped up in your work, especially when it is your passion. So, it can be very easy to forget that…
Thursday, 20 April 2017 00:00

Keeping tropical soils healthy and productive

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  RAID president, Jack Koci, spends 10 minuts with soil scientist Paul Nelson Tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a researcher/lecturer at James Cook Uni in Cairns, working on land and water-related things. I’ve been here for 12 years now and have to say that living in the tropics in Australia is as good as it gets. I grew up in the suburbs of Adelaide and did an agricultural science degree (1982-86) at the Waite Institute, majoring in agronomy and soil science. Because soil is the basis of everything! The Waite was a marvellous place to study, with…
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