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Opportunity Call for Academics: Research Opportunity on Student Perspectives
25 January, 2024 New York, United States

Call for Academics: Research Opportunity on Student Perspectives

Through an exciting collaboration, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) has partnered with the Higher Education for Good Foundation (HE4GF) to accelerate impact on transforming responsible management education. The HE4GF was originally founded by Skema Business School, a PRME Signatory member, and Skema Endowment Fund to develop and promote new models of higher education for a sustainable society. New higher education models should go beyond a focus on the acquisition of workplace skills, and balance this with an education that empowers young people with the means of self-realization and encourage a systemic world-view in which humankind co-habits in harmony with other living beings within planetary boundaries.

In order to achieve this mission, a massive initiative called Youth Talks was created. The Youth Talks initiative is an unprecedented large-scale research project designed to understand the hopes and expectations of young people about to enter work, further or higher education. While descriptive statistics already provide useful information, the use of open-ended questions in research design promise to give educators deeper insights into the hopes, needs and expectations of young people. Qualitative analysis of the data collected from young people in 212 countries worldwide is expected to make a significant contribution to existing literature in the field of responsible management education. This analysis of Youth Talks data and its subsequent findings is intended to influence educational policy and curriculum design in business and management schools, and provide researchers with complimentary access to a unique dataset.

PRME and HE4G are establishing a cohort of researchers to analyze the Youth Talks dataset from different perspectives, with the aim of writing papers that will feed into the United Nations Summit of the Future in September 2024. The cohort will be led by Alec Wersun, Honorary Research Fellow, Glasgow School for Business & Society, GCU.

Research Summary

  • Interested researchers should have an interest in student development, student engagement, sustainability, leadership skill development and overall transforming higher education.

  • The research cohort will analyze the cutting edge Youth Talks data set from the HE4GF (published in October 2023), seeking to surface and answer key research questions. The precise research focus will be determined by members of the research cohort, and may include: Transforming management education; Youth and responsible management education; Comparative analysis of Youth Talks data in different parts of the world.

  • The research cohort will work both independently, and in close contact to the PRME Secretariat and HE4GF for updates on insights.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Analyze the HE4G’s collection of qualitative data comprising reflections on the expectations, ambitions of youth and the skills youth believe they need to nurture to have the impact they seek.

  • Record and share key findings to better understand the aspirations for the society youth wish to build today and tomorrow.

  • Seek approval for their studies from an appropriate ethics committee.

  • Selected researchers should agree to sign the HE4G Foundation Data Sharing Agreement.

  • Publish findings after consultations with PRME and the Higher Education for Good Foundation.

  • Prioritize submission to scientific journals that advocate for the open sharing of intellectual property.

  • Attend monthly check-ins with the PRME Secretariat and HE4GF team to share updates on progress, interesting findings, and other thoughtful contributions. Sessions will serve as a virtual forum where researchers are invited to provide updates on the progression of their projects, share preliminary findings, and engage in constructive discussions.

  • Upon the publication of a scientific article using Youth Talks data, authors consent to collaborate with the HE4G Foundation in disseminating and translating their work for broader public understanding, ensuring the core findings reach a wider audience.

Value for Researcher:

  • Access to the HE4G data set consisting of over a million ideas from young people (15-29) all around the world (see research kit)

  • Publishing research and/or white papers using the data

  • Engagement with PRME /UNGC and HE4G Teams and higher education networks

Sample Research Questions

Researchers are invited to use their own lens on the research, but some core questions that might be considered include:

Does the current educational system develop student skills and confidence in ways that give them the confidence to influence their future career?

Is there a difference in the hopes, needs and expectations of young people within or across regions of the world?

What are the determinants of the attitudes of young people towards global risks (e.g. wars, climate change, artificial intelligence)? Is there a willingness to align an individual's views with their actions?

Educational and Experience Requirements

  • Education: Post doctoral level of education is required, with a proven record of qualitative research analysis preferred. Candidates must be from an active PRME signatory school.

  • Professional skills: Strong analytical skills, qualitative research background, critical thinking, and attention to detail preferred.

  • Language: Fluency in English is essential (full command of both spoken and written).

Knowledge of French and other languages would be useful to understanding the raw data.

  • IT Experience: Proficiency in MS Office Package (e.g. Word, Power Point, Excel, etc.) is essential. Experience with qualitative data analysis packages such as nVivo or Atlas, EndNote and project management tools is desirable.

Timeline for Engagement:

  • 29 February 2024: Expressions of Interest from the PRME community

  • 5 March: Information Webinar

  • April - August 2024: Open research time

  • September 2024: Present the findings alongside HE4G and PRME at international conferences (may include AOM, UNGA, or other outlets)

Please note this schedule can be flexed to meet the academic timelines and publication deadlines of the participants.

Expressions of Interest:

  • Please join the information webinar on 5 March, 08:00 - 09:00 am ET.

  • Please include the following materials in your e-mail application to info@unprme.org with the subject heading “HE4GF & PRME Research Opportunity”:
    • Basic details:
      • Your name and the name of your PRME Signatory member institution

      • Sample research question aiming to explore (tentative is acceptable)

    • Attached resources:
      • Cover Letter/Statement of Interest

      • Resume/CV

      • Writing Sample (i.e. published article)

  • Interested researchers should submit their application before February 29th to info@unprme.org.

About the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the collective plan of global commitments required to end extreme poverty and hunger, tackle climate change and create a more socially inclusive world by 2030. This is a significant multi-stakeholder effort agreed at the UN which cannot be delivered by governments and civil society alone. The actions and innovations of higher education institutions and youth are critical.

About PRME

The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations supported initiative founded in 2007 that aims to raise the profile of sustainability in their classrooms through Seven Principles focused on serving society and safeguarding our planet. PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact. Driven by its mission to transform management education, PRME equips today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow. As a voluntary initiative with over 800 signatories worldwide, PRME has become the largest organized relationship between the United Nations and management-related higher education institutions.

About HE4G

The Higher Education For Good Foundation has been created to help support educational institutions transform their curriculums to meet the needs of the mid-21st century, not least by equipping young people to lead and participate in solving the pressing global challenges of this age.

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