(Sudeep Uprety, who currently works as Research Uptake and Impact Coordinator for Nepal, GAGE Programme, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, UK, was a CMR-Nepal Research Fellow 2012-13. On CMR-Nepal’s request, he sent us his reflections and experience of the fellowship.)
It all started with a random discovery of call for fellowship from CMR-Nepal in the spring of 2013 which I got interested in. I had no high hopes for getting the fellowship as I had just completed by Masters level studies in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) and was on the course of writing my thesis for the accomplishment of the degree. Particularly the fellowship excited me with the reason that I was thinking of writing my thesis on linking security discourses in Nepal during the post-conflict situation from media lens.
Few days later, when I submitted the application, I got an email from CMR-Nepal that I was selected for the fellowship. It was a great news for me as I was excited to learn more about the art and craft of media research from seasoned experts and other fellowship colleagues. My acceptance of the fellowship also particularly showed the flexibility, openness and the spirit of empowerment that CMR-Nepal team had in terms of capacitating young students like me, who had no previous background as a journalist or a media researcher.
The CMR-Nepal 6-month fellowship period was particularly fruitful for me in terms of guidance on various aspects of starting and conceptualizing a research work, the art and craft of thesis writing, nuances on analysis and building an argument, understanding complex theories and their meaning in real context and above all, my engagement with mentors and colleagues in an environment that was very conducive for learning and sharing ideas. I never felt that I was going through a fellowship programme but considered it as a learning lab to actually understand and carry out media research.
Now, with years gone by, I am happy to share that since the fellowship programme, media research has been a very core interest of my academic and professional journey. I have been working in various development organisations and that exposure has helped me to give a ‘developmental lens’ to media research. During these years, I have had the privilege of conducting media research on various themes ranging from health, disaster, nutrition and these days on gender and adolescence issues. Apart from getting my research works published as an international DFID funded programme learning paper, I also got opportunities to present them in international conferences on media and communications in Kenya and Indonesia.
I am particularly pleased to share that the media research that I conducted on securitization of security discourses in Nepal through the CMR-Nepal fellowship is on the verge of academic publication as one of the book chapters for an international publishing house.
I am short of words to thank the entire team of CMR-Nepal for laying the foundation stone for my academic and professional career. I am witnessing great work that the organisation is currently undertaking to capacitate many young researchers to advance media and communications research field in Nepal.
All the best CMR-Nepal for its future endeavors.