Cornell graduate award to accelerate niche research in global development

A new graduate award will empower Cornell graduate students in global development to pursue innovative thinking in their studies and careers.

The Ronny Adhikarya Niche Award (RANA) provides $10,000 in funding to either a doctoral or master of professional studies (MPS) student in the Department of Global Development. The competitive prize will be given to a student interested in studying and solving important contemporary problems or futuristic societal challenges not currently being considered or significantly addressed by others.

The application is now open through March 15, 2022; students to the Global Development MPS program and Development Sociology Ph.D. program are eligible to apply.

The annual award is geared towards those who think outside the box and are interested in pursuing a “niche” area of study or preparing for an unconventional career in development, said Adhikarya, who earned an MPS from Cornell in 1972.

“We are pleased that Cornell has joined two other world-class educational institutions (Stanford and the East-West Center) in offering the annual RANA Prize as a token of recognition and encouragement for extraordinary students who aspire to be trailblazers in pursuing innovative studies, applied research, and careers needed in this era of disruption,” said Adhikarya.

“Here in Global Development, our graduate students are pushing forward bold ideas to understand and solve the biggest challenges of this century. The RANA Prize will accelerate the work of our students in profound ways,” said Lori Leonard, chair and professor of global development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Adhikarya began his career as a journalist in his native Indonesia. In his early twenties he joined the East-West Center as a staff researcher. In 1972 he earned an MPS in international agriculture and rural development at Cornell, and in 1981 received a Ph.D. from Stanford. During his career he held high-level roles at World Bank and UN-FAO and consulted for a number of development organizations, including UNESCO, the Ford Foundation and USAID.


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