2013 National Research Seminar

WUSC is pleased to launch this year's National Research Seminar (NRS). Inaugurated by John Ralston Saul in 2003, the National Research Seminar provides a platform for emerging scholars to explore a particular challenge in international development and share their research findings with university and college students, faculty members, practitioners and policy makers from across Canada and the world.

The National Research Seminar takes place each year as part of the International Forum, to be held this year in Ottawa, from November 1-3.


The 2013 NRS theme will be: Contributions of Refugee and Diaspora Communities to Development

The contributions of Diaspora (including former refugee) communities play an increasingly important role in development. For example, in recent years, remittances to many countries have exceeded Official Development Assistance. Diaspora contributions to development take many forms, including financial flows, exchange of skills, knowledge and culture. Much of this is made possible through information and communication technologies.

These trends have important implications for governments, policy makers and donors related to development policy and practice. Research and analysis can contribute to policies on how best to harness the potential of Diaspora communities for development.

This theme has been selected as 2013 marks the 35th anniversary of WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP). Through this program, more than 1300 students who were living as refugees in countries of asylum have come to Canada to study at universities and colleges across the country and become Canadian citizens. Graduates of this unique program have made important contributions to Canada and to their home communities and the refugee camps from which they came.

Suggested Sub-themes:

  • Understanding Diaspora contributions – geographic case studies, particularly interested in fragile and refugee contexts
  • Diaspora communities as catalysts for development
  • Mobilizing & organizing Diaspora communities – i.e. social media, hometown associations
  • Financial flows – individual remittances, collective remittances, business investments
  • Situating Diaspora within brain drain and brain circulation debates
  • Policy & Politics – Diaspora engagement with home and host country governments



WUSC welcomes expressions of interest from emerging scholars and researchers from a cross-section of disciplines, sectors and regions. This includes Canadians engaged in international research and southern-based researchers.

Eligible applicants include individuals currently enrolled in a PhD program, who have recently completed a PhD or are new faculty members at a university or college. WUSC also encourages applications from Masters students who are conducting original research related to the theme.

The presentation should be based upon research that is completed or well advanced.

This year, up to four scholars will be selected.


2-3 page summary of your proposed presentation in which you:

  • Outline the presentation purpose and intent
  • Briefly describe your research findings and how they relate to the theme
  • Address policy implications and development implications in terms of action in addressing the issue



Applications must be submitted via email by June 30th 2013 to:

Tom Tunney

Senior Manager, University and College Programming



Please contact Tom Tunney via email (ttunney@wusc.ca) or by phone at 1 800 267-8699 ext 3869 or 613-761-3869


This year's International Forum and National Research Seminar will take place in Ottawa from November 1-3, 2013.

Expenses related to National Research Seminar presenters' travel, meals and accommodation will be covered by WUSC.

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