Image credit: Chris 2017 on Flickr.

UniPID DocNet organizes an annual UniPID DocShop for doctoral students and supervisors to get together and discuss timely issues related to development research and the quality of PhD training.

UniPID DocShop 2018

Q&A Session with Jesse Ribot

Time: February 14 2018 at 9:00 - 12:00
Place: Room 309, Tieteiden talo (House of Sciences and Letters), Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki

PhD students often work on their PhD theses for long periods of time in isolation, with only occasional meetings with their supervisors and peers. Even in such meetings, existing questions, concerns and confusions that undoubtedly arise at all stages of the PhD process may go unasked and/or unanswered. Such questions and concerns may well relate to methods, fieldwork issues and practicalities, ethical dilemmas, writing, communication and dissemination, policy and impact, and many other issues. Whether big or small, it is important that PhD students have the chance to ask their questions (whatever the question), and that they be given an answer of sorts.

To provide such an opportunity, and to discuss both specific and common questions and concerns of doing a PhD in development studies, the Finnish development research doctoral network (UniPID DocNet) will convene a half-day workshop on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 in connection with the annual Development Days conference taking place in Helsinki. The workshop is open to all doctoral students, post-docs, teachers and research practitioners in development studies. It is free of charge but pre-registration is necessary in order to participate.

The guest of honor at the workshop is Jesse Ribot, Professor of Geography, Anthropology and Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois, where he is affiliated with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Women and Gender in Global Perspective program, and he directs the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy Program. Before 2008, he worked at the World Resources Institute, taught in the Urban Studies and Planning department at MIT and was a fellow at the Department of Politics of The New School for Social Research, Agrarian Studies at Yale University, the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at Rutgers, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Woodrow Wilson Center and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Most recently, he has been a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences and an affiliate of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University and of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Ribot is an Africanist studying local democracy, resource access and social vulnerability. 

The workshop will be comprised of an open and very informal Q&A (questions and answers) style interactive reflection on the questions posed by the participating students themselves. Participants are strongly encouraged to think of their questions beforehand and bring them to the workshop. In addition to interventions by Prof. Jesse Ribot, the workshop will include discussion and reflections from all other participants. 

The workshop is organized and facilitated by Professor Anja Nygren and University Lecturer Aili Pyhälä (University of Helsinki), and organized in collaboration with Johanna Kivimäki, Coordinator of UniPiD.  

Registration to the workshop by February 5, 2017 at:  

If you are travelling to the DocShop and Development Days from within Finland but outside of the metropolitan region, you can apply for a UniPID DocNet grant (max. 250 €) to cover your travel and accommodation costs during the conference. Deadline for applications is 5th February. More details, requirements, and the application form here:

For funding inquiries contact: Johanna Kivimäki, University of Jyväskylä, email

For general inquiries, contact: Anja Nygren, or Aili Pyhälä

Workshop programme:



Professor Anja Nygren and University Lecturer Aili Pyhälä (University of Helsinki)


Development Research: Common questions, concerns & dilemmas of PhD  students

Professor Jesse Ribot (University of Illinois)


Open Q&A


Coffee break


Open Q&A continued with possible break out into smaller thematic discussion groups


Closing words