Workspace and Support for Asia related Projects at NIAS, Copenhagen
a report by Mette Gabler
About the programme
Twice a year the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) is open for applications to join the NIAS team for two weeks (deadlines: June first and October first). Students mainly from universities belonging to the nordic NIAS Council (NNC) are invited to send in short project descriptions and if chosen, to work at the NIAS offices and gain access to resources and networks provided by the NIAS team. The focus is on supporting current work of Master students or Ph.D. candidates who’s work relates to Asian studies.
As part of the NIAS Support Programme for Asian Studies (NIAS SUPRA) that includes different forms of support towards researchers, the NIAS SUPRA Nordic scholarship is one of the most important features of NIAS. This scholarship includes the provision of a workspace at NIAS in Copenhagen, Denmark, and accommodation at the Nordisk Kollegium (Noko) including full board for two weeks. Students from institutions belonging to NNC will also have their travel expenses covered.
One particularly helpful feature of the NIAS SUPRA Nordic scholarship is the access to the NIAS‘ digital library and other resources through the NIAS Library and Information Centre (NIAS LINC), a specialised digital library servicing the Nordic Asian studies community, and the asiaportal. Through the IP address many materials from the University of Copenhagen and NIAS press are accessible and even open for download in PDF form (publications from NIAS press where available in print at a discount). In addition, a wish list for literature was sent before arrival and accommodated by the NIAS staff, providing me with a pyramid of books to be reviewed. This secured an easy start and perfect foundation for productive work.
My stay at NIAS
I arrived at the NIAS offices early Monday morning on September 26 with my stay to end October 9, and was greeted by one of the NIAS student assistants that coordinate the stay of and communicate with the SUPRA students (always in pairs, me and a colleague from Norway) before and during the stay. The arrival was signified by a welcoming nature and friendliness. The communication prior to the stay was comprehensive, informative and helpful, and in combination with the introduction to the offices and staff provided an energising environment.
During the first week, each of the SUPRA students presented their work during the “Lunch Talk”. This is a chance to share the topic including current questions and issues with the staff and researchers at NIAS, and in turn get constructive feedback and suggestions for further steps to take.
Throughout the stay, I was welcome to attend any of the events that were hosted by NIAS, including presentations and programs focussing on topics related to Asian studies. Among them a presentation by the former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Dr. Hassan Wirajuda on the South China Sea dispute (Who Controls Murky Waters in the South China Sea?) followed by other expert speakers and an open discussion between the participants and the audiences, and a full-day program with presentations and discussions between colleague from Fudan University and University of Copenhagen on China’s New Diplomacy and voices emerging through Chinese social media.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at NIAS. Due to a highly comfortable workspace and very helpful people, the environment and input motivated my work and enabled me to move forward.
(picture by Mette Gabler)