No takers for mayor’s research fellowship programmeEach of the fellows conducting research in different 10 categories was to receive up to Rs150,000 for their work.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s planning commission, which instituted the Mayor’s Research Fellowship Programme to facilitate evidence-based policymaking, has not received a single application for the programme a month after it issued a call.
While the programme’s intentions are good, it couldn’t reach out to targeted professionals, and that could be the reason no one has applied yet, researchers say.
“I am also quite amazed that we haven’t received a single application till date. We hope to receive proposals before the deadline elapses in a week,” said Rabin Man Shrestha, chief secretary at the commission.
The commission, which issued a call for applications on February 5 with a 45-day deadline, shall provide each fellow up to Rs150,000 to conduct research in areas such as urban planning and design, architecture, transportation, physical infrastructure, demography, sociology, anthropology, education, social inclusion, local economic development, urban finance, entrepreneurship, human development, informal urban settlements, disaster preparedness, climate change, health and quality of life.
According to the commission, the candidate must have two years of work or research experience in the related field.
“This is a first-of-a-kind of initiative in Nepal,” said urban planner Suman Maher Shrestha. “This is a good move; even developed countries have adopted such models,” he added. “But it’s an irony that no one has submitted a proposal till date.”
Shrestha believes that the commission may not have reached out to targeted professionals, who could have applied for the fellowship. “The commission should have reached out to universities and publicised about the fellowship on social media as well,” he added.
Environmentalist Bhushan Tuladhar, who has carried out various researches, also said lack of publicity may be the reason the commision didn’t receive any applications. “Besides, before calling for applications, the commission could have reached out to universities and orientated students on it,” he said.