Māori @ MIT – Doug Jones on gene editing, research collaboration and life in the US

doug jonesHarkness Fellow Doug Jones is coming to the end of his time in the US, where he has been based at MIT and travelling around the US to undertake research.

He has been blogging along the way about genetics, emerging technologies and how the public receives them. All the way his wife and children have been by his side.

Here are links to Doug’s posts from the road…

You’re never too old to learn new tricks

“The weather and temperature has dropped and we were in the depths of autumn or ‘fall’ here in Boston – lovely and orange but getting cold. We are currently in transit in San Francisco and Honolulu to meet with US Fish and Wildlife staff, native Hawaiian representatives and University of Hawaii lecturers to gather their perspectives of my research and gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Snakes and ladders

“In educating the public or looking for consent it’s important to note the role of the media, the government, the scientists or community leaders. Words and the links people make with words really matter. Edy MacDonald’s work at DOC has picked up on this, and I’ve found similar evidence here in the US on their perceptions of gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Mother, Martha, and mahi in Nantucket

“New England province (the North East of the US which includes Boston and the Islands) has the highest incidents of Lyme disease in the world, and is of huge concern to the people of this area. The conversation includes discussions on genetic tools to make mice resistant to Lyme and/or ticks, and minimise the transfer of this disease. It’s an open conversation, where the technology hasn’t yet been created, but the conversations are guiding the design of options known as open science.”

Read the post in full here.

Gene editing in Aotearoa

“Gene editing – anything with the word gene or genetic can freak people out! It means different things to different people, and that is part of the problem…that there is no shared understanding of what it is. Or, you don’t really know what it is, you don’t really care, and you’re not so worried about it.”

Read the post in full here.

Maori @ MIT part 1

“Our manu and native species are losing to the possums, rats, mice and stoats. Trapping and hunting will only do so much. 1080 – people love it or hate it and no one is willing to listen to anyone or look at the facts without some emotion for or against. Meanwhile, approximately 25 Million native chicks and eggs are killed by invasive predators.”

Read the post in full here.

Up, up and away

“What I’ve observed is a MIT culture of collaboration, hard work, ambition, very smart people with a side of fun. I have already been invited to present to a class from Harvard University next week, and have a number of engagements planned while I’m here for the next 3 months. So it will be a busy few months.”

Read the post in full here.

Harkness and Axford Fellows share experiences at Wellington meet-up

With Harkness Fellows Doug Jones and Donna Provoost set to embark for the United States to start their fellowships and the Ian Axford Fellows about to return home to the US, a Wellington gathering saw the fellows catch up before going their separate ways.

The Harkness and Axford fellowships have always shared a close relationship focussed as they both are on US-New Zealand research and collaboration. While Harkness fellowships allow emerging leaders to travel to the US to undertake research projects, Axford gives Americans the opportunity to undertake research in public policy here in New Zealand.

This year’s Ian Axford Fellows in public Policy include Laura Berntsen, Nate Swinton, Alexa Daniels-Shpall and Paul Phifer. The Axford fellows will report back on their research findings at an event in Wellington, Tuesday July 30.

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Harkness Fellow Donna Provoost with Harkness Fellowships Trust chairman Ross Tanner and Harkness Fellow Doug Jones

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Axford Fellow Alexa Daniels-Shpall relating her time spent at the New Zealand Police and Independent Police Conduct Authority

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Harkness Fellow Doug Jones talking about his upcoming research visit to the US, where he will look at approaches to introducing new technology in the environmental space

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Harkness Fellow Joe Beagloehole who recently returned from New York, where he looked at the city’s approach to urban planning

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Axford Fellow Nate Swinton explaining his research on New Zealand’s firearm laws

2019 Fellowship – applications now open

Our changing society – your chance to play a role

We live in an age of accelerating complexity. The world is much less predictable than it used to be. We need leaders who understand the nature of the disruptive economic, technological, and environmental forces that are reshaping our world.

harkness logoWe also need leaders with the ability to understand and interpret the changing social and cultural influences that are reshaping New Zealand society and the way we should live and work together in the future.

Public sector leaders who can help governments grapple with complex problems and develop responses across the spectrum of public policy and administration are more important than ever.

Visit the Fulbright New Zealand website for full details and to download the Harkness Fellowship application form.

That’s why the New Zealand Harkness Fellowships Trust is this year looking for applications from emerging New Zealand leaders who are keen to explore how public sector organisations can respond to and harness these changes within our society and the way we interact.

The Fellowship is available to mid-career professionals in any field of study or vocation (excluding health care policy and practise) to study or research in the United States for between eight and twelve weeks. One New Zealand Harkness Fellowship worth NZ$30,000 will be offered in 2019 (for travel in 2020), to a person who is currently employed in a public sector organisation* in New Zealand.

You could be looking at what the rise of social media means for free speech, how to build more inclusive communities or the human rights implications of poverty and climate change. The common theme to the work of our past Harkness Fellows is that they have returned from the US with ideas, knowledge and contacts to apply here to make sure we have a world-class public sector capable of responding to emerging challenges and opportunities.

* This includes the State Services, tertiary education institutions, State-Owned Enterprises and Crown companies, agencies that operate as part of the Legislative Branch of Government, and local government.

Closing date: 14 October 2019

The New Zealand Harkness Fellowships were established in 2009 by the New Zealand Harkness Fellowships Trust Board to reinforce links between New Zealand and the US and to enable emerging leaders in the public sector to benefit from study and travel in the US.

Their purpose is to enable appointed Fellows to gain first-hand knowledge and build contacts in their chosen field of endeavour that will be highly relevant to the NZ context and future NZ/US links. The Trust Board works in partnership with the Leadership Development Centre, a business unit within the State Services Commission that is the primary delivery vehicle for leadership development within government.

The programme has four goals:
– Support emerging leaders seeking to better understand public policy innovations in their chosen topic area so they can help build a better public sector.

– Reinforce New Zealand-United States links by enabling actual or potential leaders and opinion formers in New Zealand to benefit from new ideas, practices and new contacts in the US;

– Help improve the cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience between New Zealand and the United States; and

– Build a leadership network on both sides of the Pacific, encourage ongoing exchange between New Zealand and the United States and establish enduring relationships offering reciprocal benefits to both countries.

To be eligible, you must:
– be a New Zealand citizen who is currently residing in New Zealand;
– be an early to mid-career professional active in any part of the public sector;
– be a potential leader and opinion-former in your chosen field;
– have an interest in learning from your experience in the US and be capable of putting to effect in NZ,  relevant lessons learned.

The Fellowship is not intended for post-graduate or academic research. It provides an opportunity for emerging leaders in New Zealand to develop their ideas, practices and contacts in the US.

A fellowship valued at up to NZ$30,000 is offered in 2019 (for an award start date in 2020). New Zealand Harkness Fellowships are intended to contribute towards travel costs (international and domestic), accommodation and per diem expenses. The funds are not intended for the purchase of equipment or any other research costs. Additional costs, in excess of NZ$30,000, must be met by the Fellow and/or their New Zealand employer.
A basic health benefit plan covering a maximum of US$50,000 per sickness or injury.

Award conditions
– The period of your award is a minimum of eight weeks and a maximum of  twelve weeks with a 2020 award start date as negotiated with the NZ Harkness Fellowship Trust;
– You must travel on a NZ passport, and US immigration documentation must be completed from within New Zealand;
– You will be expected to take the opportunity to deliver seminars or speak with various groups as opportunities arise;
– You may be required to fulfil some Harkness media requirements before your departure for the US, during your exchange and/or on return to the NZ;
– You must provide Harkness (via Fulbright New Zealand) with copies of any articles or research papers resulting from your Fellowship. A final report must also be completed before you depart from the US.

Application process
When should I apply?
The deadline for applications is 14 October annually*.

Interviews will be held in Wellington on Thursday 8 November 2018. Fulbright New Zealand will pay the costs of travel to Wellington only for applicants residing in New Zealand. Applicants outside New Zealand who are unable to attend an interview in person may be disadvantaged.

We will advise you of the outcome of your application shortly after the interviews in November.

* Note that if the application deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline is extended to 5:00pm on the next business day.

How do I apply?
You must complete and submit the application form below by the application deadline;
You must also submit all required support documents to us by the application deadline. These include:
– a CV of no more than four pages
– a scan of the photo page of your passport
– a letter of invitation from a potential host organisation in the US
– a short statement about any previous experience in the US
– a statement from your employer about your leadership experience and potential
– a letter from your employer confirming their support for your participation in the programme
– a one-page project statement
– references from three referees (the letter from your employer does not count)

What are the selection criteria?
Applicants will need to:

  • Be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to develop as exceptional leaders of intelligence, empathy and resilience who can play a significant leadership role in New Zealand.
  • Have a proposed programme which meets the vision of the Fellowship: with clearly defined learning objectives and a plan to transfer and embed learning on return.
  • Be capable of putting whatever lessons they have learned into effective use back in New Zealand;
  • Have a commitment to increasing international understanding; and have the ability to be a cultural ambassador for New Zealand.

Can I take my family?
Yes, although there is no additional funding available and the Fellow is solely responsible for any visa and insurance processes.

Where can I go?
Fellows are expected to be based at a university, research institute or ‘think tank’ for a significant part of their stay in the US.  This requirement can also include a corporate (private sector) research institution, or a federal or state government department. Applicants are asked to provide a letter of invitation from a potential host organisation at the time of their application.  It is also anticipated that during their time in the US, Fellows will travel outside of their ‘home base’ to other parts of the USA. Preference will given to applicants who have identified and can demonstrate they have made at least preliminary, positive contact with a host institution.

How long can I stay?

New Zealand Harkness Fellowships are for study or research in the US for a minimum of eight weeks and a maximum of twelve weeks.

Visit the Fulbright New Zealand website for full details and to download the Harkness Fellowship application form.

Contact Information
If you have any questions concerning eligibility or the application process, please contact:
Kyla Orr, Programme Manager
Telephone: +64 4 494 1501           Email:  kyla@fulbright.org.nz