The Incubation Centre at St. Edmund’s College, Shillong, was established in August 2022.
It is designed to accelerate publications by the faculty and students of the college and organises Value-Added Courses (VACs)
to familiarise them with the ecosystem of research. Its nascent origins are guided by its primary objective — to enhance the value
of knowledge by promoting a temperament for academic research. Although initially intended to work closely with the seven Arts departments,
the Centre has extended its network among the Science and Commerce departments. It conducts three VACs across the Odd (July-January) and
Even (February-June) semesters.
1. Academic Writing and Understanding the Ecosystem of Research
2. Research Methodology
3. Developing Soft Skills: Communication and Critical Thinking (now renamed as Navigating Modern Workplaces)
The first two courses are designed to familiarise students with elementary research etiquette and enlighten them on the accepted process of publishing their research. A secondary – albeit equally vital objective – is the development of logic-flow amongst students. The third course helps students navigate the intricacies of modern workplaces by imparting ‘functional’ knowledge of prevailing practices in most organisations – private and government.
It organises these courses in collaboration with the college’s Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), the Counselling and Placement Cell and various departments. Since its inception, the Incubation Centre has awarded more than fifty students with certificates for successfully completing these courses.
Apart from the VACs, the Centre actively encourages students and teachers to focus on generating outputs — in the form of articles and studies — targeted for publication, mainly in books and Scopus-listed journals. It believes that channelling research into substantial academic outcomes will impart job-oriented exposure to its students. Moreover, the Centre advocates the adoption of specific best practices for the promotion of ethical research. For instance, since March 2023, the college has embraced a writing tool and plagiarism software to improve the quality of students’ internal assignments and reports.
Currently (July 2023), the Centre is headed by the Research Facilitator, Dr Oliver Nelson Gonsalves. Dr. Gonsalves holds a PhD in Energy Studies from the Energy Studies Programme, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He has acquired more than four years of professional experience in research, business-intelligence, publishing and teaching. He was formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA University), Baku (2017), a delegate for a two-month Mandarin course (in China) by China’s Ministry of Commerce (2014) and a recipient of the prestigious Maulana Azad National Fellowship (2013-18).
Through its activities, the Incubation Centre is committed to achieving the College’s objective — to promote flexibility and innovativeness to make our courses of study more occupationally relevant.