EU funding for UC research

21 October 2011

The research work of three University of Canterbury academics has been recognised by the European Commission's Jean Monnet Action programme in its latest funding round.

EU funding for UC research - Imported from Legacy News system

Dr Natalia Chaban (left) and Annick Masselot celebrate after being recognised in the latest funding round of the European Commission's Jean Monnet Programme.

The research work of three University of Canterbury academics has been recognised by the European Commission’s Jean Monnet Action programme in its latest funding round.

Dr Natalia Chaban (National Centre for Research on Europe) has been awarded a prestigious Jean Monnet Chair; Annick Masselot (Accounting and Information Systems) has received a €21,000 teaching grant for a European business law course; and Professor Martin Holland (National Centre for Research on Europe) was awarded a €40,000 research grant for an international conference.

Dr Chaban is only the second researcher in New Zealand, and the fifth in Australasia, to hold a Jean Monnet Chair. The other New Zealand chair-holder is Professor Holland.

Jean Monnet Chairs are held for three years and are teaching posts with a focus on European integration studies. Dr Chaban, who received €45,000 as part of the award, will use her award to deliver a programme called “The EU, its Cultures and Identities: The Meanings of Europe Inside and Outside its Borders”.

Dr Chaban said applicants for Jean Monnet Chairs are evaluated by internationally recognised scholars in the field of European integration studies.

“So being awarded this honour means recognition of my programme in the eyes of esteemed peers and an opportunity to develop and facilitate an EU studies programme at the NCRE with more resources, to the advantage of our students.”

Her programme will be interdisciplinary and will target students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

“One of the strengths of this programme is its explicit focus not only on the EU in Europe but on the EU in the world and its external identities.”

A website following the programme’s progress will be set up, and an e-newsletter will provide “a forum to identify, discuss, reflect upon, and transfer the best practices in teaching and learning the process of European integration from outside the Union’s borders, in particular in Asia-Pacific,” said Dr Chaban.

The award will also support an annual workshop, “Multicultural EU and Its Dialogue with the World:  Asia-Pacific and NZ Reflections”. Three workshops have so far been planned.

Ms Masselot will receive her teaching grant over the next five years and will use it to run an honours course on European business law through the College of Business and Economics.  

She said the aim of the course, which will be offered to all commerce graduates from February 2012, is to increase the employability and mobility of UC’s commerce graduates.

“The EU is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner and it’s very likely that our students will either one day work in the EU or work here and be in contact with European companies and organisations. If they have a knowledge and understanding of EU business law they will have the tools to be able to engage fully with the European system, making them an asset to any company that operates in or with the EU.” 

Ms Masselot said the course would also fill a gap in tertiary commerce teaching.

“There is not much material available on the New Zealand and EU business relationship so we want to look at that relationship and make it relevant for New Zealand students, ensuring a greater understanding of the EU as a developing global business and trade actor.”

Professor Holland’s grant was for an international conference, “EU's unknown Asia: New Horizons and New Beginnings: European Integration and the Asia Pacific in the 21st Century”, which will be held in Singapore in June 2012. Professor Holland received the grant on behalf of the European Union Studies Association Asia Pacific, of which he is Secretary.

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