MINZAS Scholars pose with H.E. Bede Corry, NZ Ambassador and Dr. Suchat Katima, MI Director
at the New Zealand Embassy, Bangkok last February 2, 2012. 

February 2012 marks the beginning of the Mekong Institute-New Zealand Ambassadors Scholarships (MINZAS) 1st cycle through which 12 scholars from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand were invited to join in the training on Research Methodology at Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Thailand from February 2-29, 2012. 

To formally begin the activity, New Zealands Ambassador to Thailand, Bede Corry hosted a welcome event for the 12 scholarship-holders at the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok, where the students received their letters of congratulations, and posed for a commemorative photo. Ambassador Corry said at the event, We were humbled by the students gratitude and the evident seriousness with which they are approaching their studies. 

The Idea

With the vision towards achieving regional development within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in mind, the MINZAS Program was initiated by the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok in close collaboration with the Mekong Institute (MI). It is believed that by providing support to scholars in the GMS region, the students effectiveness and ability regarding research skills developed during the training will contribute not only to the development and enhancement of such individual but to the region as a whole. 

Through this one-year project, each selected student from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand will be provided a thesis grant of THB 100,000. Additionally, they will also be partaking in the project in all four cyclesstructured training course, implementation of research, research roundtable meeting, and publication of research articles. 

Phase One

In the month of February, the first cycle of the project is being implemented. MI is currently conducting a training program on research methodology to CLMT masters degree students. 

To ensure the effectiveness of the training, an expert on research methodology, Dr. Vute Wangwacharakul (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Kasetsart University), was invited to share his knowledge on research methodology principles. Aside from research theories, each student will as well have an opportunity to receive constructive suggestions and help in terms of conducting their research proposals from MIs experts one on one coaching in their respective fields. 

By the end of this research course, it is believed that the participants will not only be able to improve their research skills, but build their connections with other students from GMS countries, which is the fundamental goal in creating networking and understanding among the region.

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