The Free Range International Knowledge Partnership (Free Range) is an international collaboration of institutes and researchers who have made community-level rural research a priority. Now in its second year, Free Range has already supported over 30 scholars for a range of activities including attending international workshops, conducting field research, and contributing to academic publications. Scholars, research mentors, and community partners have worked collaboratively on a variety of projects and produced a range of knowledge outputs related to their academic goals.

Free Range aims to:

  • Facilitate international knowledge exchange on the wellbeing of rural communities;
  • ‘Breed better students’ through field-based interchange and collegial support;
  • Develop innovative approaches to ‘wicked’ problems facing rural communities; and,
  • Enhance international research partnerships.

2018 Free Range Scholars in Burra, South AustraliaA cornerstone of our activities is the provision of Free Range bursaries for undergraduate, post-graduate, and other scholars to join collaborative research teams examining some of the issues affecting the health and wellbeing of small rural communities in our partner countries.

Free Range scholars contribute to research design, data collection and analysis, report writing, and community engagement. Free Range scholars have the opportunity to visit rural communities in partner countries, to present their research at academic and community workshops and conferences, to receive mentorship from project leaders, engage in research fieldwork, and contribute to academic publications. Free Range can support students for four weeks or four years, with individualised research plans and supervision from some of the world’s leading rural researchers. Free Range welcomes scholars from any discipline or profession, as long as they demonstrate a commitment to the program’s aims and objectives.

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