Student-Faculty Collaborations

Yale-NUS College's high faculty-to-student ratio and active research by Global Affairs faculty offers an unparalleled opportunity for students with an interest in research to engage in collaborative research projects on a variety of topics related to Global Affairs. In addition, students are able to accumulate valuable experience and research skills for applying to graduate schools or jobs after graduation. To find out more about collaborative research opportunities, check out the CIPE Summer Research Programmes website and descriptions of collaborative research below.

Li Nanlan

With which faculty member did you collaborate? What was the project?

I am Li Nanlan, from the Class of 2017. In my first two years of college, I worked as a research assistant for Assistant Professor Anju Mary Paul for her research project on the global migration patterns and strategies of migrant domestic workers in Singapore and Hong Kong. The project also aims to find out more about the pre-migration decision making process and pre-migration networks of migrant domestic workers from different countries. I participated in the fieldwork of the project which involved conducting guided surveys and interviews with migrant domestic workers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

What did you take away from the collaboration?

In the process of working with Professor Paul, I learnt fieldwork research skills such as how to sequence and structure questions to facilitate respondents’ understanding and answering. While co-leading groups of student surveyors on the field, I gained experience on how to manage fieldwork teams for both efficiency and research quality. Besides fieldwork, Professor Paul patiently guided me through the process of the literature review, survey question design, data analysis and paper writing, which gave me valuable exposure to the procedures and skills required in social science research. This research opportunity has broadened my perspective which helps me to better understand complex issues in the humanities and social sciences with a more sensible and holistic approach.

Tiffany Ip

With which faculty member did you collaborate? What was the project?

I am Tiffany Ip, from the Class of 2018. I had the opportunity to work for Professor Rahul Sagar on his research that seeks to unearth important but now-forgotten Indian thinkers and ideas over the past century. I spent a month at three different libraries: the Sterling Memorial Library as well as the Divinity School Library at Yale University, and Widener Library at Harvard University. Over the course of the research, I hunted down out-of-print texts that were required for Professor Sagar’s research, and helped to identify biographies and photos of key Indian politicians and thinkers. These materials will help Professor Sagar with a book he is currently co-authoring with Professor Devesh Kapur of the University of Pennsylvania, and also contribute towards an online archive that he is creating for the documentation of important Indian thinkers.

What did you take away from the collaboration?

This summer research programme gave me hands-on experience in political science research that will be valuable to my academic endeavours in and beyond my time at Yale-NUS College. The project forced me to go through dense literature material everyday, a skill necessary for any research that requires extensive literature review. Outside of my own task, I also had the opportunity to speak to multiple librarians and researchers at the libraries that gave me a glimpse into interesting research ideas and the lives of academic researchers.

Benjamin Leong

With which faculty member did you collaborate? What was the project?

I am Benjamin Leong, from the Class of 2017. I had the opportunity to work with Visiting Assistant Professor Steven Oliver on examining the robustness of GDP data from the People’s Republic of China. Through referencing reported GDP data with other economic and non-economic indicators, as well as the political power structure of the Chinese government and bureaucracy, the project aims to explore the relationship between the bureaucracy and data manipulation.

What did you take away from the collaboration?

The opportunity to collaborate with a faculty member and seeing how the project took shape allowed me to look into the thought processes behind the various academic papers and journal articles students read, and to appreciate the difficulties in actually producing such research. Looking back, I do think I learnt a lot more from this project than I ever expected to take away.