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Regional research attracts international scholars

International academics will gain invaluable insight into regional Australia thanks to a new partnership between the Regional Universities Network (RUN) and Australian-American Fulbright Commission.

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will welcome Professor Dr Levon T. Esters from Purdue University, Indiana, to provide a first-hand look at regionally-relevant research.

Professor Esters will examine agricultural career education as a strategy to enhance the tertiary and career prospects of youth and adults in regional, rural and remote areas.

The Chair of RUN, Professor Helen Bartlett, said the partnership between Australian universities and Fulbright was the first globally to focus research on regional issues.

“Each year for four years, RUN will fund two academics from the United States to come to Australia, and undertake research relevant to rural and regional Australia,” Professor Bartlett said.

“The RUN Fulbright Scholar Award recipients will focus their work on one of RUN’s three collaborative research themes, which includes Crops and Food for the Future, Health and Wellbeing in the Regions, and New Industries.

“The scholars will be based at one of the network’s seven universities. They will also spend time at other RUN universities to deepen the collaboration and inspire RUN academics to become Fulbright Scholars.”

Fulbright Australia Executive Director Thomas Dougherty said Fulbright was excited to partner with RUN in fostering collaborations between institutions and scholars from regional Australia and the American heartland.

“This is the first opportunity of its kind in our 70-year history, enabling U.S. experts to work with a diverse range of institutions, from Far North Queensland to inland Victoria,” Mr Dougherty said.

“The RUN Fulbright Scholar Award’s focus on regional issues has clear potential to improve the lives and livelihoods of Australians and Americans alike.”

The first two recipients of the RUN Fulbright Scholar Award are Professor Esters and Professor Courtney Meyers from Texas Tech University (who will be based at Charles Sturt University).

Image of man on right with text on left "RUN Fulbright Scholar Professor Dr Levon T. Esters from Purdue University"