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2023 Bentley and Hopper-Bhatia research award recipients announced

June 9, 2023
The 2023 recipients of the Bentley and Hopper-Bhatia research awards are advancing research on gastronomy in peacebuilding and vaccine hesitancy in pastoralist communities.
Photos of research recipients.
Maria-Paula Espejo Duarte received the Bentley and IDRC Research Award. Peris Kung'U is this year’s recipient of the Hopper-Bhatia and IDRC Research Award.

IDRC is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Bentley and Hopper-Bhatia Research Awards. Maria-Paula Espejo Duarte, a PhD student at Western University, is the 2023 recipient of the Bentley and IDRC Research Award. Peris Kung'U, an MSc Student at the University of London, received the Hopper-Bhatia and IDRC Research Award.

The Bentley Award is offered to an IDRC-supported researcher doing work related to agriculture. Maria-Paula is researching how gastronomy can be used as a peacebuilding mechanism in Colombia. Her work, part of the Centre’s Climate-Resilient Food Systems, is focused on advancing the sustainable development goals agenda with a special focus on small-holder farmers and women.

The Hopper-Bhatia and IDRC Research Award is offered to young researchers in the early stages of their careers doing work related to the empowerment of girls, women and Indigenous communities. Peris is undertaking a qualitative study on vaccine hesitancy among pastoral communities in Kenya. Through exploring the knowledge, attitudes and practices surrounding vaccination in both humans and animals within Kenyan pastoral communities, her work, part of IDRC’s Global Health program, endeavours to provide context-specific interventions that address unique needs and challenges faced by pastoralists and thus promote equitable health systems. The research aims to contribute towards reducing inequalities, enhancing epidemic and pandemic preparedness, and informing vaccine policies and strategies, ultimately fostering more sustainable health systems in Kenya.