The SOAS-Oxford Research for Development (R4D) lunchtime series

The increased diversification of the ODA funding portfolio brings new opportunities for research institutions to engage in development-focused research through schemes like GCRF and Newton Fund. But what does it mean to do research for development ethically and effectively? How are researchers' roles and expectations changing to meet the demands for impactful research? How should we engage with partners, decision makers and communities across cultural, gender and socioeconomic divides? What new pressures do research managers and research officers face to meet compliance requirements? Each event aims to bring together researchers, students and facilitators to learn, discuss and share insights on specific aspects of ODA-funded research in an informal, interactive and thought-provoking space. 


How to join

Each event will be hosted either by Oxford or SOAS with audiences connected via webcast and live tweet. Participants can join one of the venues or participate remotely via the livestream. A link will be made available via this page. 


Event series

Forthcoming events

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This event has now been cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule this event when possible.

Prof Trudie Lang, The Global Health Network


Big Data Institute


12.30 - 13.30 - Lunch from 12pm


Trudie Lang is Professor of Global Health Research and Head of the Global Health Network (TGHN), a collaborative online science park and a one-stop shop for sharing research methods and facilitating collaboration among global health professionals to fuel faster and better evidence to improve health in resource-limited settings. A key aim of the network is to deliver training, skills and career development to frontline healthcare workers and research staff to strengthen capacity for locally-led research and  translation of findings into policy and practice.


In this seminar, Trudie will draw on her unique and vast experience of capacity development at the helm of TGHN to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of capacity building programmes and what lessons can be learnt and applied across a range of contexts.  

Speaker: TBC
Where: Oxford, TBC
Time: 12.30-13.30 - Lunch from 12pm

Speaker: TBC
Where: SOAS, TBC
Time: 12.30-13.30

Past Events

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Speaker: Dr Maru Mormina, Senior Researcher and Ethics Advisor, Ethox Centre, University of Oxford
Where: Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Rd, Oxford OX1 3UQ
When: 14 November 2019, 12.30 - 13.30 - Lunch from 12pm.

Speaker:  Dr Romina Istratii and Dr Andrea Cornwall (SOAS) 
At SOAS: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room S208
At Oxford: Skills Lab, Manor Road Building
When: 30 January 2020, 12.30-13.30 (lunch from 12)
Preliminary reading (optional): Gender Science and Technology Development literature review for the University of Edinburgh's Working Group on Integrating Gender in Global Challenges Research Fund Applications


Dr Rachel Hayman,  Research, Learning and Communications Director, INTRAC


Oxford, Faculty of History


12.30 - 13.30 - Brown bag lunch from 12pm 


Watch it here



Two of the key principles for collaborative research promoted by the Rethinking Research Collaborative are to redress evidence hierarchies, and to respect diversity of knowledge and skills. These principles are central to debates around decolonising development and shifting power in development research, policy and practice. In this seminar, Dr Rachel Hayman will share her experiences of multi-directional collaboration amongst academics and practitioners from different parts of the world. These experiences span co-production in publishing, contributions to academic research projects as a non-academic partner, and advocacy with academic institutions and funding bodies on research partnerships. As an academic-turned-practitioner with an agenda, the seminar will be as interactive as possible and will conclude with discussion around what we can do to act on these principles.




Dr Rachel Hayman is Director of Research, Communications and Learning at INTRAC, a not-for-profit organisation based in Oxford that supports the strengthening of civil society around the world. She has a doctorate in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh where she also taught politics and international development between 2006 and 2011. Rachel’s areas of expertise span civil society in international development, aid politics, aid effectiveness, governance, and participatory methodologies. She has a strong interest in the interface between academic research and development practice, and actively promotes collaboration in research initiatives as well as more creative use of knowledge and evidence in policy and practice. She is active in the Rethinking Research Collaborative as well as professional research associations and practitioner researcher networks. Select publications include the co-produced book ‘Negotiating Knowledge: Evidence and experience in development NGOs’ (2016); ‘International NGOs and aid withdrawal: experiences from a practitioner perspective’, Voluntas (2017, with Sarah Lewis); ‘Unpacking civil society sustainability: looking back, broader, deeper, forward’, Development in Practice (Special Issue), 26(5), 2016.

Creating a web of conversations

We recognise that universities in the UK and internationally are faced with similar questions and have in-house specialists and researchers who are concerned about issues around international development practice. Through this initiative we hope to link conversations happening across contexts to achieve better learning and to develop good practice together. 


The University of Oxford and SOAS have teamed up to start the series and we are hoping you will join us. All you need to do is: 

  • Find a suitable room at your organisation capable of receiving the webcast. 

  • Identify a facilitator who is knowledgeable about the topic

  • Invite your colleagues to join you to listen in, tweet, discuss and feedback. 

To explain the concept further, for discussions happening at Oxford, SOAS will join from its London venue with its in-house facilitators. The two sites will be connected via webcast and a live tweet, enabling SOAS to feed questions to the Oxford presenter(s). Conversely, when events take place at SOAS, Oxford will join via livestream from its venue with a local facilitator leading the conversation in-house and will feed questions to the SOAS presenter. After the webcast (approximately 30-40 minutes), each venue will continue their own discussion for another 20-30 minutes.  Facilitators in each setting will communicate with each other after the event to share and summarise lessons from the day, later to be shared through our websites. 


We encourage other universities to help us expand the circle of learning by joining the webcast and/or organising their own events to which we can link via webcast. We envision this as an environmentally friendly, practical and interactive way to explore important issues in development research and build capacity together. 


You do not need to register if you are joining us via livestream but if you intend to join us at one of our Oxford-led events, please book here.






Contact us


Romina Istratii (
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Watch past events


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