As part of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation, Middlebury is pleased to offer ongoing funding for student research projects for students enrolled in the Middlebury School in Cameroon. In spring 2023 there is research funding available for two students.

Middlebury and non-Middlebury students will be eligible to apply. The students selected will receive a $4,000 stipend awarded to them throughout the semester. This stipend is given in order to support students in their research project related to Conflict Transformation. 

Under the supervision of Professor Éric Fofack, who specializes in conflict transformation, students may contribute to the following projects:

Projects

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  • The exclusion of women in peace and conflict operations persists even despite UN Resolution S/RES/1325 which urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. This marginalization is the product of cultural and sociological beliefs including sexist theories, taboos, and prejudices.
  • This study and the broader work of this research team is interested in national and international public action in pursuit of peace, security, and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa. This project seeks to analyze women’s roles in peace processes and operations in Africa, opportunities to strengthen their participation, and their potential impact. This research seeks to highlight the strategies of women who have overcome these barriers to answer a primary research question: how can Cameroonian society overcome sexist theories to increase women’s participation in peace processes and operations in Africa?
  • Student researchers involved in this project should expect a multi-disciplinary approach to the topic. Methods used will likely include field surveys completed with documentary or bibliographic research, the consultation of archives, the conducting of interviews, and the analysis of speeches. The findings of this research will be utilized in formulating concrete recommendations for the full implementation of UN Resolution S/RES/1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security and of enabling women to contribute, in terms of its potential, to build peace and security in Africa.
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  • Refugee migration is an inherent feature of armed conflicts and crises that force civilian populations to seek refuge away from their usual living environment. However, their presence is a source of pressure on scarce local resources and carries the seeds of conflict. 
  • This project aims to map the interactions between refugee camps and the impact on natural resources and indigenous populations of Eastern Cameroon. This region is characterized by a high concentration of camps housing refugees from neighboring countries who have been subjected to “endless” wars, including Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Nigeria. While the area is distinguished by varied forest, wildlife, mining and hydrographic resources, the Eastern region remains one of the poorest regions in the country with much of the population living in precarious conditions. This project seeks to map the interactions and use of the natural resources in the area to answer the primary research question: how does the use of resources influence social, economic and political relationships in transnational contact areas?
  • Primary research themes include history, geography, cartography, and political science. Students involved in this research should expect to participate in field surveys, bibliographic research, consulting archives, conducting interviews, and developing a workshop. The findings of this research will be used to understand the dynamics of diverse border populations and their relationship to natural resources as well as a tool for governing such regions.

Faculty Supervisor

Éric Wilson Fofack

Professor of History

Application Instructions and Requirements 

For consideration in Dr. Fofack’s research project we are looking for evidence of a strong background in the social sciences and the French language. We encourage you to apply if you have:

  • Above average grades (B+ and higher);
  • Research or project-based experience; 
  • An advanced level in French; and
  • Familiarity of a subject within the social sciences such as political science, international studies, or gender studies

For the International Programs Conflict Transformation committee’s consideration, please submit the following:

  • A brief (1 page maximum) essay (in English) addressing:
    • How you define conflict transformation;
    • How the topic of gender, peace, and security resonates with your studies or experiences; 
    • Your experience with and interest in research; and
    • What opportunities this might offer that you may not otherwise have experienced.
Please submit your application materials to internationalprograms@middlebury.edu subject line: “Application for Conflict Transformation Funding in Cameroon”.  The deadline for submission is November 15, 2022.  Awards will be announced by the end of November.