The GMI Fellowship Program is focused on identifying local organizations and churches throughout the world who value research and see a need for field research soon on a specific issue affecting their ministry. The Fellowship Program has two distinct tracks: SearchLite Fellowships and GMI Fellows. A SearchLite Fellowship refers to a short program (one month of concentrated research with some follow-up activities) designed to investigate a simple question for a Fellow’s organization. GMI Fellow refers to a one-year program allowing a researcher to investigate a larger issue informing decision-making by the Fellow’s organization. (The term “Fellow,” when used alone, refers to both approaches.)
In both approaches, the project starts not with the Fellow, but with his/her supervisor or CEO, since GMI’s partnership is with the Fellow’s organization, not the individual Fellow doing the research. The Fellow’s supervisor in his/her organization plays a key role in defining the focus of the project and following through on the insights. The three-way interaction of the Fellow, the supervisor, and the GMI staff or coach produces projects that lead to real Kingdom impact.
Through the Fellowship Program, GMI will open the way for these next generation innovators and researchers to zero in on their regional and organizational issues as only they can. The Program gives these women and men the framework, the coaching, and the encouragement they need without requiring them to leave their ministries and families for a long period.
GMI’s wider connections will also help the researchers’ work have a wider effect—good stewarding of good research. The research products they produce will give the Church and Kingdom ministries new perspectives and solutions that are practical and designed to be implemented in particular local contexts.
Most importantly, the Fellowship Program empowers Christian thinkers in places with the least access to the global Christian research community, for example in less economically developed African and South Asian contexts, and in politically volatile areas of the world.
Responsibilities of Fellow’s Organization
- In discussion with GMI, define its research issue and choose its Fellow
- Free the Fellow from most or all other work responsibilities during the research period
- Pay the Fellow his/her normal salary during the research time (no supplement from GMI for this)
- Choose an in-house supervisor for progress checks during the process and help in following through on the findings
Responsibilities of Fellows
- In discussion with GMI, develop a realistic plan to detach from normal work responsibilities during the research period as far as possible
- Reply in a timely way to messages GMI sends via an agreed channel
- Diligently and prayerfully complete the project in the agreed time, always having God’s glory and the organization’s fruitfulness in clear focus. This includes producing the agreed written items
Responsibilities of GMI
- Help the researcher’s organization define its research issue and choose its Fellow
- Orient, train, and coach Fellows
- Listen to the Fellows; allow their research and expertise to shine
- Maintain a GMI reputation the Fellow can be proud to be associated with
- Promote the research findings beyond the Fellow’s organization
Benefits for the Fellow’s Organization
- A precise research question about an actual situation is researched, producing information and insight that will help leaders prayerfully apply the findings to their organizational situation
- Organizational capacity for further practical research increases because the Fellow has developed research skill and professional research relationships
- The organization as a whole becomes more research-friendly, having seen the benefits of this project
Benefits for Fellows
- Skills training in research methods and confidence in using them
- New friends and colleagues in a Community of Practice (CoP) for researchers in the GMI family
- Peer review of writings and products
- Linkage with other knowledge stewardship workers globally
- Identification with GMI (influence and entrance into markets)
- Participation in the expansion and stewardship of the GMI knowledge base
Benefits for GMI
- Enrichment of the GMI research community and its discussions
- Access to practical mission research as it is produced
- Mission fulfillment as we serve the global mission research community
- Relationships that can produce more fruit in the future
If you are interested in more detail and would prayerfully like to start a conversation, please contact GMI’s Global Engagement Director Dr. Nelson Jennings.