Dr. Gary Pluim Receives Award to Support the Development of International Research Networks

Dr. Gary Pluim (Assistant Professor, Orillia), has received an International Research Partnership Award from Lakehead University for his research project, “Enhancing international research networks in Malta and Southern Africa.” This VPRI (Vice-President, Research and Innovation) award supports research that promotes increased engagement with international partners to address global challenges and issues.

Gary’s research focuses on the transfer of educational curriculum between Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Eurasia, and sub-Saharan Africa. His work examines not just the challenges and opportunities with curriculum lending and borrowing, but also the cultural consequences of education transfer in post-colonial settings. The International Research Partnership Award will allow him to advance this research by formalizing agreements with institutions in Eurasia and South Africa. Previous partnerships from the project have been established with the University of the South Pacific and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute; this funding will enable him to pursue prospective MoUs with organizations in Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa.

“This award will assist in the development of sustainable research collaborations by deepening relations with potential partners in Southern Africa,” Gary explains. “Connecting with organizations directly will allow us to explore the viability of the project in these regions while enabling a greater understanding of the culture and contexts of our research. We will also look at the possibility of drafting collaborative funding proposals for research in which our interests might align.”

Having established relations with international partners in Malta and Cyprus this year, Gary is currently preparing for a field visit to Southern Africa later this year or early 2023. This trip is scheduled to begin in Johannesburg and Pretoria (South Africa), and continue to Gaborone (Botswana), Maseru (Lesotho), and Mbabane (Eswatini), with presentations, meetings, and tours scheduled at each location.