An exceptional opportunity to learn from the best USA political analysts for a KTU PhD student

University | 2021-02-25

Audris Narbutas, who is studying at KTU Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Political Sciences PhD programme, has already taken care of his new year’s resolutions and will soon begin to realise them. The Heritage Foundation, one of the most influential public policy research institutes in the United States, invited the young researcher to intensive distance learning courses. The student will be learning about USA politics from January 11th to April 1st.

The courses are oriented towards students of political sciences, young academists, and people who practice politics, however, the majority of open spots in the programme are offered to US citizens. For foreigners to be among the participants is a rare opportunity. People who are interested in US political processes are selected to participate in the courses, as well as those who can show through their studies and works that they follow the direction represented by The Heritage Foundation political research centre.

Audris Narbutas is happy to receive the invitation and says that the three-month course will provide lots of information about the functioning of US internal and public policy, and will be useful to his dissertation, in which he is planning to analyse the reasons why some mayors are re-elected for another term of office and some are not.

Dr Vaidas Morkevičius, his scientific supervisor says that for PhD students, internships, studying, and accumulating research conduction experience in foreign institutions and organisations is a necessary condition to successfully improve professionally.

“Participating in the courses conducted by The Heritage Foundation will undoubtedly be useful to  Narbutas, as there will be an opportunity to establish connections with important US analysts, to take a closer look at extensive research on the topic of the advantage of the current candidate, and to better understand the mechanisms behind it, especially in the context of local elections“, says Dr Morkevičius.

Narbutas is aware of the many benefits the three-months course at The Heritage Foundation will present.

“All the participants will be divided into smaller groups which will have their own supervisors, they will be able to participate in other meetings with experts of idea forge. In my case, these connections are especially important, because the topic of my PhD thesis (the advantage of the current candidate in a direct mayor election) is closely related to the US policy. It was US academics who best expanded the current candidate advantage theory, so I hope that by establishing a relationship with The Heritage Foundation, I will get to know experts who can share useful tips and tricks for my dissertation”, says Narbutas.

Even though the most important criteria for selecting the KTU PhD student for the distance learning courses are not publicly available, it is possible that being active in extracurricular activities had a positive influence. Audris Narbutas is the founder and leader of the “Stasys Šalkauskis philosophical thought community”, is in contact with The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Another reason that could have positively influenced the selection is the fact that Narbutas was the strategist for president Gitanas Nausėda election campaign, and was responsible for Šiauliai city.