The Research Department of GIPA coordinates ongoing basic and applied research activities at the Institute. The Department provides support for preparing highly qualified scientific personnel in social sciences and related interdisciplinary fields, ensures engagement of students, academic personnel, school representatives and other interested individuals in research by supporting them in basic or applied research, creative and consulting activities. The Research Department, independently and in cooperation with schools, aims at strengthening research capacity within the University, fostering international cooperation in research. The main priorities of the Department are as follows: to encourage research activities within the University by providing Internal University Grant Funding Programme for Small Studies through which the school representatives, based on the competition, are able to submit scientific research projects and receive financial support for conducting research; financing travel grants, encouraging students and academic personnel to participate in scientific events, seminars and conferences; based on necessity, to cover expenses related to publication issues, mainly, to allocate funds for organizing scientific events, seminars and conferences and to support membership of more professional associations in the future. According to the request of the Research Department of GIPA, the budget allocated for the purpose of promoting the internationalization of scientific researches/scientific activities and improving the performance of faculty members in research in the budget of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), is expected to increase significantly over the next few years, that once again confirms the fact that enhancement of research productivity is the priority of the future 7-year strategy of the University. In the Strategic Development Plan for the next 7 years the support for basic and applied research is considered as the main priority of the University. Support for publication in peer-reviewed journals, participation for the international scientific projects and conferences as well in capacity building and consulting projects is identified as the means for promoting GIPA’s research capacity.
Georgian Institute of Public Affairs manages support to research, development and creative activities through the following systems:
- Internal University Grant Funding Programme for Small Studies under the Research Department of the University, within the framework of which the representatives of the University Schools are able to submit scientific research projects twice a year and based on the competition, request funding for the implementation of the research. The submitted projects are reviewed by the Scientific Council of the Department. For each submitted project, the amount requested from the Research Department of the University is 3,000.00-5,000.00 GEL. In exceptional cases, it is possible to increase the budget, taking into consideration the scope and significance of the project. The Council also reviews the projects submitted for co-financing. The project focus should correspond the basic academic and scientific directions of the University and one of the criteria to receive the grant is student participation and involvement, particularly PhD, as well as MA and BA students. Currently, 9 research projects were funded. The total budget for the first half of 2018 is 16725 GEL
- Encouragement of the activities of the Policy Evaluation Center under the Research Department of the University - The function of the Center is to facilitate strengthening of applied research component in the direction of public policy, to prepare policy papers for the interested individuals and institutions, as well as to provide relevant recommendations. Consequently, the goal of the Center is to promote evidence-based policy making in the country, which is the guarantee for further social and economic development. The topics of upcoming research include: Public Administration Reforms, Priority Assessment, Budgeting, Assessment of Ways of Reform Implementation, Performance Evaluation, as well as Governance and Management Issues. Thus, the Center actively cooperates with the public sector, examines their needs and therefore, plans to conduct policy research/evaluation. In February 2018, the first cycle of training was conducted. The participants were given the deadline and in 3 months they had to present policy papers in respect of the selected topics. Currently, academic staff, in line with the students of BA and MA programs are working on the policy papers. The interim results were discussed with policy experts at the workshop. The final results will be uploaded on GIPA website and delivered to the relevant public agencies. Preparing the policy papers is financed from the budget of the Research Department and the grant is obtained through competition. GIPA academic personnel, invited lecturers and students can participate in a research contest announced by the Policy Evaluation Center. Moreover, funding of projects, in which students participate along with GIPA academic staff, are supported, as well.
- Promoting participation in international conferences, seminars and mock trials - The Research Department of the University is actively engaged in the process of internationalization and assists university academic personnel and students by travel grants. 18 academic personnel were financed based on the applications submitted for granting during the reporting period, including one PhD student for participation in the international conference. The University budget annually provides travel grant for the students of the School of Law and Politics to participate in mock trials (Law and Politics School of GIPA participates in mock trials since 2014 - Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, while since 2016 joined Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court). The following activities were carried out by the University:
- Conference organized with the active cooperation with the Eastern Europe and Caucasus University and Friedrich Ebert Schiftung Fund: "Georgia's European Integration Perspectives"; 2017
- International Conference - Effective Governance: Promoting democratic values and practices through educational activities was conducted on February 23-24, 2017 with financial support from the US Embassy in Tbilisi; Organizers: Troy University, Alabama, USA (Professor Terry Andersonis), GIPA Research Department (Professor Nino Dolidze) (conference report and program is attached)
- International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Education, Organized by Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and Maastricht Management School (MSM) (Holland), June 30, 2017
- Conference "Basic Conditions for Increasing Innovative Potential" organized together with Eastern Europe and Caucasus University - Festival of Science and Innovation 2017
- Student Scientific Conference "Law and Supremacy of Law" organized with Eastern Europe and Caucasus University - Festival of Science and Innovation 2017
- Ensuring university book fund, electronic catalogues, archives, programmes and other supporting systems required for research - With the view to support research activities, the University offers the library to its students and academic personnel, supported by EBSCO and J-STOR, Cambridge Journal Online, BioOne Complete, E-Duke Journals Scholarly Collection, Edward Elgar Publishing Journals and Development Studies e-books, IMechE Journals, New England Journal of Medicine, Openedition Journals, Royal Society Journals Collection, SAGE Premier electronic catalogue system as well as the book fund in place. In accordance with the recommendation of the Research Department, the media archive supplied by the IPM Company, was purchased for Journalism and Media Management School. At the same time, the specific amount is allocated for renewing the University book fund annually.
- Supporting organizational expenditures for conferences, seminars and workshops - The University is actively involved in organizing international conferences where representatives from academic personnel as well as students from PhD and Master Programmes participate. The University supports international conferences aiming at fostering research activities as well as internationalization. Two international conferences are significant from the conferences held during the reporting period, the organization of which was supported by GIPA budget as well as by international donors – “Effective governance: promoting democratic values and practices through educational activities, with the US Embassy financial support, that was organized by Troy University (Alabama, USA) and GIPA Research Department (February 23-24, 2017, Tbilisi); International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Education, organized by the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) together with Maastricht Management School (MSM) (Holland, June 30, 2017, Tbilisi).
- Promoting membership in professional networks and associations - By the initiative of the Research Department, the Public Administration Research Organizations Network (PARON) was established in June, 2017, which includes the membership of the following organizations: International Transparency - Georgia; Georgian Young Lawyers' Association; Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI); Public Administration School of Caucasus University and Tbilisi State University Institute of Administrative Sciences. GIPA is a member of several important professional associations based on the specifications of the field. Among them the membership of professional networks of NASPAA and NISPAcee should be emphasized. GIPA is the member of the European Network of Training Organizations (ENTO) for Local and Regional Authorities aiming at promoting democratic and effective governance by ensuring that the staff and elected representatives of local and regional authorities are well trained and qualified to carry out their responsibilities in a rapidly changing world (ento.org) . GIPA is the only institution in the post-Soviet area, which is a member of the Cost Action Movement (Femicide across Europe) established in 2013 as well as is one of the 27 European researchers studying this issue at the scientific level. Since 2015 the University is the member of European Journalism Training Association – EJTA that integrates 76 universities of 32 Countries in Europe (http://www.ejta.eu/list-members). The University support is provided by covering the annual membership fees for association with these systems, which will be increased in the future and affect enhancing of scientific research productivity indicators by joining various professional associations. GIPA is the only university in Georgia who is accredited by the Georgian Bar Association and has the right to issue compulsory annual credits to the lawyers through providing trainings.
Internationalization of research
The fact that the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs is actively involved in the internationalization process of research / development / creative activities, what is proved by some international projects, that are focused on promoting and developing international research:
- Particularly, within the framework of the grant partnership programmes funded by the U.S. Department of State with American Universities, governed by the Public Relations Department of the US Embassy, the School of Journalism and Media Management has established active cooperation with the University of South Carolina, The School of Government with George Mason University, School of Law and Politics with the University of Troy in Alabama. Within the framework of these partnerships, the academic staff's business visits were considered in order to enhance capacity development; an English-language electronic scientific journal was developed, and a collection of public administration researches was published. Two representatives of GIPA have defended their PhD dissertations (Keshelashvili, A.(2014). Innovation among Georgian Journalism Educators: A Network Analysis Perspective. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/2996; Mikashavidze, M.(2014). Social Movements, Media, and Democratization in Georgia. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/2854).
- In partnership with GIPA, University of Georgia (USA) conducts an intensive programme of university research in public administration aimed at improving the research skills of Georgian researchers, MA and PhD students as well as at getting closer to Western Standards. The representatives of GIPA as well as other universities are participating in the programme. One-month intensive course includes lectures in research methods, development of research project, conducting research and preparation of publication. The project is led by leading professors of the University of Georgia. The goal is to conduct the research by participants and publish in an international peer reviewed journal. During the entire year, programme participants are able to consult with the professor of the University of Georgia regarding the research related issues.
- The School of Law and Politics actively participated in the TEMPUS project "Migration and Higher Education - Building Skills and Capacity" (517002 - UNIMIG); currently, continues cooperation on the Erasmus + Project "Promoting Migration Studies in Higher Education" (573554 - PROMIG) to strengthen research component.
- Since 2015, the research project on Current Issues of Phycology based on the Theory of Attitude was conducted in the School of Social Sciences, within which the participants have prepared reports for the third and seventh Eurasian Multidisciplinary Forum; the project considers promoting the scientific work of the students by their active involvement.
- In the framework of the School of Government, a research was conducted on Supporting Public Administration Reform within the Government Reform Fund Project in Georgia, with the financial support of the United Nations Development Programme, which provides evaluations based on the results of the research carried out on the empirical level of reforms implemented in the Georgian public sector.
- From 2015, faculty members of School of Journalism and Mass Management participate in IREX research projects, Media Sustainability Index Georgia. The results of the survey can be found in the Research Department report as well as web-page - https://www.irex.org/resource/media-sustainability-index-msi.
- “Short term courses in Results Based monitoring and evaluation for civil servants” – 2-year project was implemented by the school of government with the financial support of World Bank group. The project aimed at training of 120 public servants in M&E. The initial phase of the project aimed at training of GIPA faculty members in the modern approaches of M&E. During the project, the faculty members developed four case studies in the public policy area, that were incorporated in the Public policy and Public Administration curriculum. The case study book was published and is available in two languages, English and Georgian.
Student involvement in the research project
Students of different levels are often engaged in researches carried out in the University schools. For example, the students of Public Administration Programme were engaged in the study - "Training and Development of Public Officials in the Georgian Public Sector”; It should be noted that while evaluating projects in the process of selection of grant projects, special attention is paid to the involvement of students in projects and this criterion takes up to 20% of the overall assessment. This once again emphasizes the importance of students’ involvement in implementation of scientific projects supported by GIPA.
Since 2014, The CG MULTILAB @ GIPA Computer Graphics Development Laboratory was established on the basis of Journalism School, which conducts trainings and study programmes in the fields of 2D and 3D animation, moving graphs, various social and creative startup projects as well as the Art Factory of GIPA, known for operating in the field of creative industry development. Upon the study period, the programme assists students to create creative, social and commercial projects in cooperation with students’ initiative groups that serve as solving some problems. The working process is led by the lecturers with international experience.