WiderNet Committee Member Establishes Annual Research Fellowship

WiderNet Project co-founder and Executive Committee member Dr. Mike McNulty and his wife Dr. Darlene McNulty have established a research fellowship that will be given annually to one University of Iowa masters or doctoral student planning to engage in research or training in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Stanley Foundation has matched the McNulty’s initial donation, allowing the $1000 research fellowship to be awarded annually. The WiderNet Project, with its emphasis on providing digital communications to developing countries, particularly in Africa, will direct this fund and select the fellowship recipient.

Mike McNulty and his wife Darlene have a long-standing interest in the urbanization and development of African nations which traces back to time spent in Ghana while Mike conducted field research for his Doctoral dissertation in 1965. The McNulty Research Fellowship will be awarded to a current student who shares their vision for the development of African nations through the dissemination of information and technology.

Mike McNulty says, “Throughout my personal life and professional career, at critical moments when I most needed assistance, someone (a family member, friend or stranger) has stepped forward to provide support, encouragement, and/or advice. Now, Darlene and I are pleased to have an opportunity to support UI students planning to pursue their interests in Africa, information technology and development.”

The fund seeks to support young academics interested in combining international studies with digital librarianship, computer programming and/ or information technology so as to improve their teaching or working capacity once they graduate.

The first scholarship will be awarded in March of 2011, and will be awarded on an annual basis. All applicants will be expected to seek additional funding from other UI or external sources to pay for a portion of their travel and research expenses to supplement the scholarship.

The WiderNet Project anticipates collaboration with the McNulty Research Fellows. Project Administrator Karen Chappell says, “We are pleased that Mike and Darlene are supporting the WiderNet Project and the University of Iowa students in this manner, we look forward to selecting the first recipient.”

If you are interested in making a donation to the annual research fellowship, please visit www.givetoiowa.org/2010GCNA .

If you would like to apply for a research fellowship, please visit www.widernet.org/jobapp/mcnulty .