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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Work placements and research trips

The placements module offers students the opportunity to carry out a short placement within an organisation associated with their area of study. Research trips have been designed to enable you to have access to areas recovering from disasters and conflicts.

Work placements

A placement enables you to acquire practical experience within your chosen sector, both using and refining your knowledge and research skills throughout. Most importantly, the placement provides you with the chance to engage with local employers in order to develop your career choices, as well as developing organisational awareness and a better understanding of the working environment.

Case Study - Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)

Between January and May 2014, MA students Anne Salvarli and Will Hine undertook a placement with the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU). During this time, they authored a report which was submitted to the Justice Committee on the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012.

Their report, one of two submitted by GMIAU, was subsequently published on the Commons Select Committee website as part of the total submissions. 

Find out more

Research trips

We have great pleasure in announcing two postgraduate research trips, and bursaries for 2016/17. 

These research trips have been designed to enable you to have access to areas recovering from disasters and conflicts to facilitate a better understanding of using research techniques in humanitarian contexts, and to develop ethical sensitivity during the research process.

  1. Humanitarianism in Practice
  2. Practical Approaches to studying Conflict Affected Societies

1. Humanitarianism in Practice (SALC60061)

UN Buffer Zone, Cyprus
UN Buffer Zone, Cyprus
  • Who: Optional to all HCRI PGT students
  • Location of trip: Uganda and Rwanda
  • Date: January 2017
  • Cost: estimated £1950 (excluding visas and including vaccination costs)
  • Duration: Ten days

The course will enable you to critically interrogate humanitarian practices through the design and implementation of an individual research project. The course unit will help draw comparisons, contrasts and generalisations in different contexts, and introduce critical research skills through linking research theory and practice.

It will also offer you an opportunity to understand more about careers in humanitarianism work and add a significant experience to their CV making HCRI graduates more competitive in the humanitarian work place. Finally, the fieldwork will provide you with empirical data which could be utilised for your dissertation.

2. Practical Approaches to Studying Conflict Affected Societies (SALC61072)

The purpose of our field trip to Cyprus was to learn about the interplay of different actors in a (post) conflict environment and to conduct interviews according to our individual research questions.

In order to do this, we met with a variety of individuals from scholars, to activists, to UN and EU officials, and civil society members. As well as group meetings, we also had time to organise and conduct our own, independent interviews to get first hand experience in peace research.

Isabel Skrine, Eirene de Prada and Janine Graf / HCRI students
  • Who: Compulsory to Peace and Conflict students, and available as an option to other HCRI PGT students
  • Location of trip: Previous tips have been to Bosnia or Cyprus (trip for 2016/17 to be confirmed)
  • Date: March / April 2017
  • Cost: Estimated in the £600-700 range
  • Duration: One week

It focuses on the ethics and practicalities of fieldwork and its centre-piece is a working research fieldtrip. The module will introduce you to key pieces of literature and ideas that help us critically appraise the uses and practices of fieldwork. The aim is to deconstruct how information is collected and collated in the name of peace and conflict studies research.

We will examine issues of positionality and epistemology and consider the role of power in research and publication. The module is participative – not just through the fieldtrip – and we encourage you to reflect on how you conceptualise the external world and the ways that you seek to intellectually organise it.

We like to think of the field trip as an 'anti-fieldtrip'. It tries to get away from conflict tourism. Instead the emphasis is on a working research trip in which students are full participants and tasked with organising and conducting research. In the past two years, the students visited Cyprus and this year's trip will be going to Bosnia.

Further reading

You can read a blog by Professor Roger Mac Ginty who organises this trip about the concept of student research trips:

Here more from Isabel Skrine, Eirene de Prada and Janine Graf: