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News Category: News

Update from the Harvard Alumni Group in Nepal

Rai, second from right, with members of the Group

Rai, second from right, with members of the Group

The Harvard Alumni Group of Nepal hosted its monthly meeting on May 10, 2016 in Kathmandu, which featured a talk by Milan Rai, a young artist from Nepal who participated in the South Asia Institute’s Visiting Artist Program in 2016. He discussed his “White Butterfly” project.

Rai is an accomplished artist, who found his gift for painting and sketching following a painful stint with drugs and gang fighting when he was young. He dropped out of school, but did not lose the meaning of life. He began to seek out professional opportunities to improve his skills. He worked on figurative and landscape painting, and then abstract paintings utilizing a myriad of disciplines and media. His first solo exhibition was in 2007 at Park Gallery. He then moved beyond the gallery system and became a self-representing artist.

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    Faculty voices: Studying biology abroad

    bangaloreThis is part of a series in which we highlight recipients of SAI’s Faculty Grant program

    By Dr. Ryan Draft, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Neurobiology; Lecturer on Molecular and Cellular Biology

    I received a faculty grant from the SAI to offset the cost of transportation to and from Bangalore, India (Summer, 2015). In Bangalore, I helped run a biological sciences summer abroad internship with four Harvard undergraduate students. These students came from four different concentrations (Human Evolutionary Biology, Neurobiology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Applied Math), and they ranged in year from freshman to junior. All of them had an interest in learning about the culture of India as well as developing professional skills in a world-class biological laboratory.

    These students spent 8-10 weeks living and working on site at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore on a research project of their choosing. They took weekends and time at the end of the program to travel to more distant parts of India with friends they had made during the summer. I spoke with all of them after their return and without exception each felt that their time in India was a rewarding and enriching experience.

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      Call for Applications: Boston Bangalore Biotechnology Beginnings (B4)

      PosterBoston Bangalore Biotechnology Beginnings (B4):  A Collaboration between IBAB and Harvard South Asia Institute

      Up to 5 Science and Technology Fellowships for 2016-17 will be offered in fields related to the biosciences at Harvard University and other institutions in the Boston area. During their time at Harvard and Boston area, Fellows will be connected with faculty across Harvard and other academic institutions in the Boston area as relevant to each Fellow’s area of research. SAI will organize seminars at Harvard for Fellows to discuss their research with the broader community at Harvard and beyond.

      A Colloquium will be organized in India at the conclusion of the Fellowship where the Fellows will engage with Harvard faculty, Indian academics, and industry leaders and highlight what they have learned during their time in Boston/Cambridge.

      Fellows are expected to reside in the Cambridge vicinity starting October 15th and to actively participate in the events and intellectual life of the Institute. In addition Fellows are expected to contribute to the greater Harvard community by teaching, mentoring, or advising students.

      Stipend for one year: $36,000
      Health insurance and round trip economy travel expenses to and from India and Boston will also be provided.

      Deadline: July 30, 2016 for 2016 – 2017

      Click here to learn more and apply.





        Call for Applications: Program for Visiting Artists from South Asia (Deadline: Aug. 15)

        060916_graphicAbout: The Harvard University South Asia Institute’s Arts Program serves as a resource across all disciplines to explore critical issues of South Asia through the lens of art and design. The Program welcomes applications from emerging artists in South Asia to come to Harvard University to participate in interdisciplinary discourse with students and faculty on global issues relevant to South Asia.

        Four artists will be selected for the academic year to Harvard University in Cambridge, Ma for a total of two weeks. Two artists will arrive in the fall from October 30 – November 13, 2016 , and another two artists will arrive March 19 – April 2, 2017. While our visiting emerging artists are on campus, SAI will support events and exhibits organized in collaboration with specific Harvard departments and faculty, and aligned with undergraduate course-content within Harvard.

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          Teaching Fellows needed for Contemporary Developing Countries course

          Teaching Fellows and a Head Teaching Fellow are needed for the Fall course Societies of the World 47: Contemporary Developing Countries Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems. This is a University-wide course jointly offered with FAS, GSAS, HBS, HGSE, HKS, HLS, and HSPH, and coordinated by Tarun Khanna (HBS) and co-taught by several other faculty from around the university.

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            Top articles from the semester

            Austin Wu and Patrick Xu, Harvard College ’16, in Nepal

            Austin Wu and Patrick Xu, Harvard College ’16, in Nepal

            As summer sets in at Harvard, take a look back at our most-viewed articles from the semester:

            1. SAI and Tata Trusts host workshop on empowering Indian craft sector in Gujarat
            January 14, 2016
            In January, SAI hosted workshop that brought together leaders from social businesses and non-profits from 15 states in India working towards improving artisan livelihoods and skills. It was part of SAI’s Livelihood Creation project with Tata Trusts.

            2. “It’s time to raise our voices”
            February 4, 2016
            In response the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in January, SAI hosted a discussion on the issues surrounding his death and to express solidarity with student and faculty protesters at Hyderabad University.

            3. Student voices: Disaster relief lessons from Nepal
            March 8, 2016
            With support from a SAI grant, two Harvard College students spent their winter session conducting research on how data is used in disaster relief like the Nepal earthquake.

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              SAI seeks to hire Communication and Outreach Manager

              SAI seeks to hire a Communication and Outreach Manager.

              Duties and Responsibilities

              Under the direction of the Executive Director of the South Asia Institute (SAI), the Communication and Outreach Manager will cultivate relationships and institutional connections with faculty at Harvard and peer institutions to broaden SAI’s outreach to the Harvard community and beyond.

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                Call for Applications: Aman Fellowship (Deadline: Sept. 1)

                2014 Aman Fellow Muhammad Zahir, right,

                2014 Aman Fellow Muhammad Zahir, right

                Aman Fellowship


                The Harvard South Asia Institute is pleased to offer the Aman Fellowship to support recent PhDs,  those in the final stages of their PhDs, and advanced professional degree holders in areas related to Pakistan, particularly areas of science and development.

                Priority will be given to candidates who demonstrate prior educational history that has taken place largely in Pakistan, and plan to return to Pakistan upon completion of the fellowship.

                Fellows are expected to reside in the Cambridge vicinity during the time of their award and to actively participate in the events and intellectual life of the Institute. Fellows are expected to contribute to the greater Harvard community by teaching, mentoring, or advising students.

                Total stipend for one term: $20,000
                Health insurance up to $5,000 and round trip economy travel expenses to from South Asia to Boston will also be provided (for participants residing in South Asia only).

                Deadline: September 1, 2016 for Spring Term 2017
                SAI aims to notify applicants by early November regarding decisions.

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                  Letter from the Director

                  Tarun KhannaThe following letter was published in SAI’s Year in Review 2015-2016.

                  Dear Friends,

                  This has been a year of firsts for the Harvard South Asia Institute. Since its establishment as an Institute by the University in 2013, SAI’s programs have continued to grow in scale and impact, across Harvard and South Asia, in addition to receiving attention from educational institutions across the United States and Europe.

                  In 2015, SAI’s Arts Initiative was launched to align with Harvard President Drew Faust’s commitment to strengthen the foundational role of the humanities on campus. The Initiative is supported by a newly formed Arts Advisory Council whose members (from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom) are committed to spreading global awareness of South Asian art. During the recent Fall and Spring semesters, emerging artists from India, Nepal, and Pakistan visited SAI for two weeks each to showcase their work, engage with faculty and students, attend classes relevant to their areas of interest, and visit Harvard and Boston area museums and libraries. This small but promising beginning has already opened up many avenues for scholarship.

                  Also in its first year, the multi-phased project, ‘Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development,’ funded by the Tata Trusts, brought together seven faculty from five schools across Harvard. The focus of the project is to leverage research at Harvard to further livelihood creation in a developing country. In the experimental phase, the Harvard team ran three year-long pilot projects centered on the handicrafts and handloom sectors, empowerment of women, and science and technology-based interventions for poverty alleviation. Given the initial impact of the program, including identifying exciting new sites for faculty research and Harvard student engagement, we now have a roadmap for expansion of this effort over several years. Hopefully, we will also kindle enthusiasm for this work in other countries in the region.

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