Rose Shikuri Munyendo Okilo, a Commonwealth Scholar from Kenya and an exhibitor, demonstrates the impact of her research. Photo includes small scale models of a wind turbine and solar panels
Rose Shikuri Munyendo Okilo, a Commonwealth Scholar from Kenya and an exhibitor, demonstrates the impact of her research

2019 marks the 60th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK, and the CSC has planned various celebratory activities to take place throughout the year. The largest of the anniversary activities so far has been the Research Impact Event, which took place at the Royal Society in London on 16 May 2019.

Fifteen Commonwealth Scholars were selected to present posters and related artefacts demonstrating their current research and its intended development impact to approximately 100 CSC stakeholders, including Commonwealth High Commissioners, senior academics, and Parliamentarians.

The event opened with introductory remarks by Richard Middleton, the Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. Speakers included Caroline Read, Director of International Relations at the Department for International Development, Professor Richard Catlow, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society, and Mark Ruglys, Head of Engagement for Global Science and Innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The speeches were followed by the presentation of the Taylor & Francis Commonwealth Scholar Best Journal Article Prize by Madeleine Markey, Managing Editor at Taylor & Francis. The Best Journal Article is awarded to the most outstanding article published in a recognised peer review journal of high standing and aims to recognise the work of doctoral Commonwealth Scholars in disseminating their research in the interests of knowledge advancement and development impact. As part of this year’s anniversary, two prizes were awarded to a current Scholar and alumnus. This year’s winners were Ruksana Rimi, (2013 Scholar from Bangladesh, PhD Climate Change, University of Oxford) and Fred Ikanda, (2010 Scholar from Kenya, PhD Social Anthropology University of Cambridge). You can read more about their winning journal articles on the BJAP webpages.

Following the presentation of the prize attendees had the opportunity to meet with exhibiting Scholars and discuss their research in further details. Research exhibited included Rose Shikuri Munyendo Okilo, a Commonwealth Scholar from Kenya, who discussed leadership and the impact of nutrition interventions on the food security of women with HIV/AIDS in Homa Bay County, Kenya. Another research exhibitor was Samantha Islam, a Commonwealth Scholar from Bangladesh, who spoke to attendees about designing resilient food supply chains.

The final part of the evening saw four Commonwealth Scholars and alumni present the impact of their doctoral research, funded by the CSC. Presenters were introduced by one of the CSC’s first Commonwealth Scholars, Dame Bridget Ogilvie (1960 Scholar from Australia, PhD Immunology of Parasites, University of Cambridge), former Director of the Wellcome Trust. Dame Bridget remarked on the impact of her Commonwealth Scholarship in providing her the opportunity to further her education in a predominantly male field and how this had supported her subsequent career.

Presentations were delivered by this year’s winners of the Taylor & Francis Commonwealth Scholar Best Journal Article Prize, Ruksana Rimi and Fred Ikanda, and Commonwealth Alumni Mavis Asare (2010 Scholar from Ghana, PhD Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University) and Chigozie Utazi (2010 Scholar from Nigeria, PhD Statistics, Lancaster University and the University of Manchester).

The event closed with a speech by Professor Anne Anderson, the Deputy Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

Many thanks to all those who helped showcase the diversity of the research being funded by the CSC, which is having such a positive impact on lives throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Pictures from the event can be found on the CSC Flickr.