Sharing and Inspiring Student Sustainability Research – The oikos-PRME Research Hub

fotolia_92594158_s-e1445435514678There are a growing number of opportunities for students to engage in PRME. One is a joint initiative between PRME and oikos, a network of more than 45 student chapters at universities worldwide with the joint mission to integrate sustainability into education and research. The oikos-PRME Research Hub is addressed to students in economics and management at all levels (Bachelor, Master and PhD) who are engaged in research projects on sustainability-related topics. With this platform, students have the opportunity to share their works within and beyond the oikos and PRME’s international communities.

Writing a thesis is a long process of deep thinking and discovery, in which students are asked to share their knowledge, opinions and beliefs. Yet, more often than not, the results of this process remain unpublished, especially at bachelor and master’s level. The Research Hub is saying “Hey guys, don’t put your thesis away in a drawer. Share it and make a positive impact!”.” Stefano Ramelli, oikos PhD fellow

How this works in practice

The Research Hub is a platform accessible through the oikos international website. Students can browse the uploaded works and take inspiration from what others are doing in their fields. To submit their own research, all that students need to do is choose the “share” function and include an abstract and a few details of the work, as well as their short biography and picture. Students have the option to either share the whole thesis or to make it available upon request. In any case, the authors retain the full ownership of their work and can modify their data on their Research Hub page whenever they wish.

Examples of shared research

For his Masters in Business Management at the University of St.Gallen, Robin Kleiner wrote a thesis offering an evaluation of the first social impact bond in Switzerland. For her Masters in Economics at the Pisa University, May Hong Nguyen explored CSR and human rights using a game theoretical approach. Despite a great deal of diversity of the projects shared so far, they are all equally inspired by the same desire to use economics and management knowledge to make the world a better place.

The impact on students

The Research Hub aims to encourage more and more students worldwide to write theses that address the sustainability challenges of our time. A positive impact of the Hub is to give immediate visibility to sustainability-related theses, even to practitioners. For instance, a few months ago a professional in the finance industry was interested in a thesis shared on the Research Hub, offering a critical comparison of sustainability indices, and was thus put in direct contact with the author by the oikos team. It is hoped and expected that many other students will be contacted in this way by scholars and practitioners with questions relating to the shared research..

How the Research Hub can be used in the classroom

Integrating sustainability into academic curricula can be a slow and challenging process. However, when writing a thesis, students have the unique opportunity to directly shape their own curricula and to influence the research agenda of their institutions. This is the goal of the Research Hub: to integrate sustainability into educational programmes by leveraging on the enthusiasm, critical thinking and innovation of students when making research.

In their role of supervisors, professors can give a great contribution to this project by inviting and encouraging their students to share their theses on the Research Hub. The support of professors is indeed essential to make the Research Hub grow.

How to get involved:

Visit the Research Hub to start browsing existing research and to share your own or write to or more information

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